After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Hebrews 1:4
The first five words ~ powerful words ~ and so simply said that they could get lost in some quick read of Hebrews. Yet, in the history of this world, never were a few words more important. Our greatest human need is to have our sins forgiven. Without someone to forgive us and purify us, we face an eternity apart from God in a place of torment. It is the future home of those who don’t want God.
Many have speculated about what the goodbye was like when Jesus left heaven and came to earth. The coming separation between Father and Son had to be excruciating to face. They both knew what Jesus was coming to do. Atoning for the sins of the world lay in front of him and since God is not bound by time, the Trinity could look into the tomorrows and see them as if they had already happened. They knew who would believe. They knew who would betray. They knew the fickleness of Jesus’ family. They knew the many devices their enemy, Satan, would use to try to stop Jesus’ mission.
While the goodbye had been difficult, going home was quite another scene. Jesus ascended, left his disciples on a hillside, and was gone from them. While absent from humanity, He was back in company with His father. Were there tears of joy? Did they both review 33 earth-years to try to capture the wonder of what just happened? For them both, there had to be great relief and unfiltered joy. From the time Adam and Eve sinned and left paradise, God knew His Son would die. But, much of history needed to be lived before it was the right time for Jesus’ incarnation. There was the agony of waiting amidst the carnage of animals being slaughtered in the temple. There was the anticipation of a ‘once and for all’ sacrifice instead of a temporary covering of sin. There was a longing in God’s heart for intimacy with His creation that only could transpire when the holy of holies was accessible.
Mission accomplished was celebrated when Jesus returned and sat down at the right hand of His Father. The salvation of mankind was now possible and as I’m writing, I marvel that the world as a whole hasn’t recognized the gift and knelt before the feet of Jesus in gratitude. Yet, before Jesus ever left heaven in the first place, He knew how few would want the gift. He perceived the narrow gate and the wide gate. He saw the throngs who would be incensed at the suggestion that they were sinners and needed a Savior. But He also saw the ones who would hear The Story, see His glory, and believe. The holy trinity, in celebration, could see one sinner, on his face, or on her knees, awestruck with the wonder of such a gift of redemption. It was you and it was me.
Yes, before Jesus ever came, the God-head saw you. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit saw me. They called us by name thousands of years before we lived and by grace, we heard the song.
I review the story and I tremble with wonder all over again. Amen