“Every knee should bow…” are words from Philippians 2 that remind us of Ascension Sunday.
Following the Easter Season, the celebration of Ascension Sunday this week is also an important event that reminds us that Jesus didn’t just rise from the grave and disappear into oblivion. He ascended to heaven and is the ruling King over all.
According to the Bible, Jesus ascended to heaven 40 days after his resurrection from the grave.
Why is this significant for your family?
Jesus is the King.
As important as the federal government may be and the President as Commander and Chief, Jesus is most important. Jesus having ascended into heaven means that Jesus trumps all (Acts 2:36). Having accomplished his plan on earth through His death and resurrection, he ascended into heaven and is Ruler in heaven and on earth and all things are according to His plan (Acts 2:34-35).
King Jesus is trustworthy.
Like our coinage, “in God we trust,” we can trust Jesus as Savior and Lord to do all things right. Though we may not understand why we face difficulties and major obstacles, we can know that Jesus makes no mistakes. Remember, he’s not just a king, but the perfect King (Romans 8:28).
As King Jesus is trustworthy, He deserves obedience from our nation as well as in our homes. There is no room for exceptions (Philippians 2:9-11). As in the words of Abraham Kuyper, a twentieth century Prime Minister of the Netherlands:
“There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”
King Jesus calls for our heart loyalty.
Simply obeying is insufficient. We realize this with our children, don’t we? Taking out the stinky garbage shouldn’t include a stinky attitude. Rather, obedience out of loyalty is the goal. After all, Jesus paid it all for our sins. How can we respond with anything less to the King than in love and loyalty? (1 John 5:2).
We recognize a problem, however.
Left to ourselves we are rebels at heart. As one theologian put it, our hearts are very good at manufacturing other gods to worship. Instead of love and obedience to God, we replace them with self-indulgence.
The Apostle Paul describes this earthly lifestyle as sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire and covetousness, which is idolatry (Colossians 3:5; ESV). Anger, wrath, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth (v. 7) all reveal that we can’t escape this problem on our own. In fact, Paul speaks of God’s coming wrath on all that is disobedient (v. 6).
To have loyal obedience to King Jesus requires God’s mercy.
In Ephesians 2, Paul speaks of God’s great love to His people through His grace, changing them from rebels to people now dedicated to serve their King. Left to ourselves, self-interest is supreme. When God changes us spiritually, however, and this is to be our family daily prayer of faith, loyal obedience ensues out of hearts that says to the King, “Send me.”
Even though King Jesus has ascended into heaven, He is not, as it were, “out of sight, out of mind.” Instead, we take encouragement that King Jesus in his love intercedes for His people (Romans 8:34). Though tribulation, distress, persecution, famine and so on may afflict us, nothing can separate us from the love of King Jesus (v. 35).
Through faith we are more than conquerors in Christ who answers our prayers (v. 37).
Easter season has now passed, but Jesus’ historic ascension into heaven is a reminder that Jesus is alive, active and the Almighty King. Again, in the words of Paul, Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11; ESV).
How is King Jesus experienced in your home?
This piece first appeared in Faith and Family section of the Excelsior Springs Standard.