A Seat with the Risen Christ


But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus(Eph. 2:6)

We can all recall a time when we had a seating assignment. Perhaps in schooling, at work, or around the dinner table, a particular chair may come to be known as your seat. We tend to size up the quality of our assigned seat by factors such as visibility, the ambience, and, above all, the surrounding company. If we’re off to a concert or sporting event, our first question may well be “Do we have good seats?” We intuitively recognize that where we sit and (more importantly) whom it is that we sit next to play no small role in our experience. Thus, as Christians, we do well to pause and ask the question, “Do we have good seats?”

Christians possess the most awesome of all assigned seats. How so? In this passage from Ephesians, Paul has just outlined the dreadful truth that mankind is dead in trespasses, in step with the age of this world, and by nature children of wrath. Far from making us victims, such realties are fully congruent with the desires of the corrupted heart and the passions of the flesh. Should we be offered a new and higher seat, we would resolutely decline, preferring instead our positions of autonomy.

But just as the tidal wave of despair is about to break, Paul interjects that great gospel conjunction “but,” as in “but God” (Eph. 2:4). How bleak our condition . . . but God . . . How ceaseless the diagnosis of death . . . but God . . . How settled in our seats of wrath . . . but God . . . For it was precisely in our state of death that God made us alive; namely by making us alive together with Christ (Eph. 2:5).

As an overflowing benefit of our life in Christ, Christians receive a novel assigned seat that postures us in the age to come. We have the best seat in all the cosmos: a seat in the heavenlies. Above all, we are seated with Christ Jesus. Since the believer is in Christ, then wherever Christ is seated, Christians are necessarily seated with Him.

Where, then, is Christ seated? As Hebrews tells us, it was “when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God” (Heb. 10:12). This act of “sitting down” crowns the truth that the Lord Jesus fully accomplished all the work that His Father gave to Him. To be a priest was to be “on your feet,” as it were, for a priest’s work was never done. To “take a seat” was not in the priest’s job description, as “every priest stands daily” (Heb. 10:11). The repeated sacrifices that could “never take away sins” required perpetual standing for the priests of old. But Christ’s single sacrifice was singularly perfect. That Christ lived, died, was buried, resurrected, ascended, and only then granted a seat at the “right hand of majesty” sets forth the irrefutable truth that His sacrifice was the “once for all” offering. Every reason to stand has been eliminated, and therefore “heaven must receive him” (Acts 3:21).

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