May 26, 2019

Honor the Ascended One

Psalm 2

To which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father”?

—  Hebrews 1:5

The ascension changes the way God’s people understand history.

As faithful Jews, Jesus’ first disciples knew Psalm 2 well. They understood how futile it was for humans to try to stand against God. They knew that someday God would call the world to account.

And now they knew how.

Originally, this psalm probably celebrated the crowning of Israel’s kings. But those who knew Jesus saw more in its words: a prophecy of the reign of Christ. As the author of Hebrews notes, God did not even give the angels—much less human kings—the kind of authority we read of the Son having in this psalm. In the ascension and reign of Jesus, God proclaims that his Son is the “heir of all things,” appointed to rule over world history and the universe (Hebrews 1:2).

There is a warning in these words. If Jesus truly is God’s Son and Lord of all, we must take his power and authority seriously. We have to surrender our lives to him. He suffered the punishment for human sin, so Christ can rightfully pour out his wrath on sin and its effects and call on the world to resist it.

But the goal is not merely for people to submit to Christ, but also for them to find refuge in the ascended Lord of all. Jesus is God’s appointed provider of salvation. Will you receive his refuge today?

Almighty God, our world can be a troubling place. Bring our nations—and each one of us—more and more under his authority and protection. Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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