Welcome to week ten of the series Christus Victor. Christ the Victor, Jesus, the Champion you need in the fight for your life.
It’s really important to be solid in who Jesus is. And in what he did. So we have been looking at all the major events in the life of Christ.
Birth, Childhood, Baptism, Temptation, Teachings, Miracles, Arrest and Trials, Crucifixion and death, and last week, his Resurrection.
In the next big event in the life of Jesus, two huge things happen. One, he goes up to heaven. He ascends, so this is called his Ascension. You can google the Ascension of Christ, and there’s all this famous art about Jesus going up into heaven.
When he got there, the second huge event happened: he was seated on the throne of the universe. This is called his Session, which basically means he was seated on his royal throne.
So, the Ascension and Session of Christ.
This is the day Jesus smashed his enemies and leveled up to the maximum.
He became the ultimate champion, the ultra-mega-super-hero of all time.
As all this happened, he achieved three new superpowers. Let’s look at them.
Three Superpowers of Christ
They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.” (John 20:25, NLT).
He died for our sins.
He was buried in a tomb.
On the third day, the stone rolled away, the guards ran away, and Jesus rose from the dead. This is called the resurrection.
After that, Jesus spent time teaching, traveling, and hanging out with his friends.
As the word spread, most people were skeptical. They didn’t believe it. One of them was Thomas. He was one of the main followers of Christ, and he said that he wouldn’t believe until he stuck his finger into the nail scars in the hands of Jesus, and the scar from the spear in his side.
Thomas got a nickname for this spirit. He is called Thomas the Doubter.
Jesus has a way of erasing people’s doubt.
Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. (John 20:26-28, NLT).
Jesus shows up. He shows his scars. He shows the nail prints in his hands and in his feet. He still wears the scars from the crown of thorns. He shows the wound in his side. It’s still him. He’s still the same person.
Thomas sees him and believes. That’s awesome.
But look at how Jesus shows up.
The doors are locked, and suddenly, Jesus was standing among them. He just popped in.
I wish I could have seen that. I wonder if it was sudden, like Boom, he’s there. Or maybe he did a fade in, and the room is so crowded nobody notices until he starts talking.
But he says, “Peace be with you,” which was their way of saying, “‘Sup.”
When Jesus died, he had a normal physical body just like ours.
But when Jesus rose again, he leveled up, and received an upgraded body. People call this the Resurrection body. And if you have Jesus, one day you will rise from the grave, and you will get a resurrection body too.
The Resurrection Body will be awesome.
- LOOKS: You will look like you, only everything you don’t like will be fixed.
- AGE: You will be locked into your ideal age, and you will live forever.
- POWERS: You will be able to travel through space and pass through matter.
- TIMING: You will receive your Resurrection Body when Jesus comes back to end time as we know it. (more on this next week)
When Jesus rose from the dead, he was the same person, with the same soul and the same spirit and the same personality. He had the same memories and the same jokes and the same friends and the same love.
And you will have all that in heaven too, only better. Magnified. Strengthened. Bigger, stronger, better.
God will give you a body equipped to enjoy the gigantic eternal cosmos forever and ever.
Walls, doors, and mountains won’t get in your way, because Jesus had the super-power of dematerialization.
Forty days after Jesus rose from the dead, this happened:
“But you are to be given power when the Holy Spirit has come to you. You will be witnesses to me, not only in Jerusalem, not only throughout Judaea, not only in Samaria, but to the very ends of the earth.”
When he had said these words he was lifted up before their eyes till a cloud hid him from their sight. While they were still gazing up into the sky as he went, suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them and said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here looking up into the sky? This very Jesus who has been taken up from you into Heaven will come back in just the same way as you have seen him go.” (Acts 1:8-11, Phil).
Jesus is there. His friends are there. It’s a nice, sunny day. A few fluffy clouds in the sky.
They’re talking. The friends ask a question, Jesus answers the question. They ask another question, Jesus rises a few inches off the ground. They’re thinking, “He looks a little bit taller than I remember.” They ask another question. Now, he’s a foot off the ground.
They disciples are freaking out. They can’t believe their eyes.
He talks. He goes up. He talks. He goes up.
Jesus tells them to go be his witnesses to the whole world. Tell them about my love. Tell them about my death. Tell them about my resurrection and about my salvation and about how they can know for sure the are going to heaven forever.
He’s just going up and up and up. And the disciples are too freaked out to move.
Until finally, he’s so far up, that Jesus disappears into a cloud.
And he didn’t stop until he reached heaven.
This is the Ascension of Christ. He ascended. He went up.
This is the super-power of Anti-gravity. The physical realm has no power to hold back Jesus Christ — the God/Man — any more.
This means that your chemistry teacher and your physics teacher and your biology teacher don’t know everything.
But don’t tell them I said so. I’ll deny it.
Because no math and no calculators and no experiments can tell us a about a man who can walk through locked doors and defy gravity.
As Jesus was going up, he accomplished two big things:
TERRITORY: He claimed every realm of space and time as his own territory.
- From hell to earth to heaven above, it all belongs to him.
- The second thing has to do with battles in the ancient world. When a general won a battle, his town would welcome him home with a huge parade. There would be music. Celebration. Food. Dancing. Singing. Speeches. Awards. It was a big spectacle.
- The General would ride in on a golden chariot pulled by the most beautiful horses.
- His soldiers would march in formation behind him.
- There would be banners and trumpets and a glorious display.
- They called this parade a TRIUMPH. This is the second big thing that happened during the Ascension.
TRIUMPH: Jesus led a victorious parade into heaven with all the believers of ages past.
- This is described in places like Ephesians 4:8-10. Last week, we talked about Paradise and Abraham’s Bosom and all that. Jesus emptied out Paradise in his ascension. He led those people to heaven, to the immediate presence of God.
- Now, when a person dies who knows Jesus, they go straight to heaven to be with Jesus and with God forever.
- This triumph was a huge embarrassment to the devil. He tried to stop it but he couldn’t.
All the bad stuff that happens in the world, happened because of sin. Sin is the force that breaks hearts. It is the force that hurts people. It makes us want to disobey God. It makes us think we are smarter than the Bible.
If the Bible calls something sinful, that’s only because God knows that if we do that practice often enough, we will hurt ourselves and hurt others too.
In a way, sin blew up the happiness and joy of the human race. If you feel insecure. If you feel ugly. If you feel unwanted, unloveable, and undesirable… all of that is because there is sin in the world. Some of it, you did. Some of it, other people did.
But all of it, Jesus came to pay for, and erase, and undo.
Jesus came into the world to undo the devastation caused be sin. He had to die for this and he had to rise again. He came to rewind the world back to the Garden of Eden.
But not just the Garden of Eden, he came to give us awesome gifts and superpowers that Adam and Eve never even imagined.
So here’s Jesus, and he’s going up and up and up. The Ascension.
And where did he go?
All the way to heaven.
[Jesus] has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him. (1 Peter 3:22, NKJV).
Jesus beat the game. He beat every level. He did all the side missions and won them too.
When Jesus led that triumph into heaven, something huge happened.
He sat down at the right hand of God. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it is.
The right hand of God is a place of unlimited power. It is a place of maximum authority and unchallenged victory.
When Jesus sat down, that was like an explosion that sent a ripple effect through all the demonic realms.
It told them, Game Over.
The devil and the demons won’t admit it yet.
There’s a name for this moment when Jesus sat down. It’s the name “Session.”
SESSION means that Jesus sat on his royal throne to rule his kingdom and bless his people forever.
Nobody can challenge him.
Nobody can unseat him.
And here’s the thing that bugs the devil the most:
Remember, his biggest problem is arrogance. The devil was created as an angel. His name was Lucifer. He was the most beautiful angel God created. All the other angels thought he was awesome. He was powerful. Under God, Lucifer led all the angels in the worship of their Maker.
All that changed when Lucifer thought he should be equal with God. He lied to himself. He knew there was a huge gap between God, who was uncreated, and a mere angel, who was created. But he told himself that didn’t matter. He decided he could be equal with God, and should be equal with God, and God was being unfair not to let him be God.
So God kicked him out of heaven, and Lucifer became Satan, also called the devil. He became God’s mortal enemy.
One day, the devil watched as God created a strange kind of being. They were weak. They were made of matter and spirit and energy. They were made in the image of God. But they were small, not as beautiful as the angels, and no where nearly as strong as the devil.
The devil hated these creatures. Since the very beginning, he’s declared a war against this puny, weak, beast made of dirt and spirit. The devil hates the humans with a passion.
All of world history tells the sad tale of the devil deceiving our race, and trying to lead us farther and father away from God. History is the story of the devil’s lies to trick humans into following Satan without even realizing.
The devil wants to be the god of the human race. Not because he loves us, but because he loves himself. The devil has proven over and over again that he hates us. He disrespects us. He thinks were stupid, weak, fragile, a waste of matter and energy.
Can you even begin to imagine the sick feeling the devil had in the pit of his evil stomach when he watched this Person die for our sins, rise again, pass through the heavens, gather up all the believers of all the ages, lead them in Triumphal Procession to heaven, unlock the highest levels of existence, and sit down on the throne of the Cosmos, to rule and reign without challenge and without peer forever and ever and ever? Can you imagine how the devil must feel to know that this person who crushed him, this person who shoved him into eternal oblivion, this person who embarrassed him forever… this person is a lowly human? Broken. Unbowed. Fragile. Frail. But with a passion for God in his belly, the strength of God in his fist, and the love of God in his eyes.
It was a human that passed through the heavens and unlocked the throne room of God for every human who would believe in Jesus for all the ages to come.
When that man, Jesus the God-man, God yes, but one of us too… when he sat down at the right hand of the majesty on high, it sent a shockwave through the demonic realm. They’re still screaming about it, and will until he returns to shut them up.
The Session (Seating) of Christ means three things for us:
UNLOCKED: Jesus unlocked infinite levels of joy for us to explore forever.
Heaven will not be a boring church service with a song that never ends. It will be the most exciting adventure a human can stand. And all these adventures Jesus unlocked for you when he sat down in heaven on high.
TRAILBLAZER: Jesus cleared the path for you to go where he has gone.
The Bible says Jesus is leading many sons and many daughters down the exact same path Jesus took (Heb 2:10).
You will go where he has gone. If you have received Jesus, your tomorrows are all locked in. If you’re saved, you’re saved forever. Any obstacles that would block your journey to heaven, Jesus already kicked out of the way on his journey to heaven.
POWER SOURCE: Jesus became your source for power for every day for the rest of your life.
The Bible says that when Jesus sat down in heaven, he unleashed powers in your heart you never had before.
The same resurrection power, the same devil-crushing, demon-stomping, enemy destroying power that Jesus had has now become yours.
When he ascended, he said,
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” (Matthew 28:18, NKJV).
He turned around and gave that authority and that power to you. You have supernatural power available to you. You have resurrection power. The power of the same Christ who punched the devil in the nose can be yours today.
- You have power to rise above loneliness.
- You have power to rise above feelings like you want to give up.
- You have power to rise above confusion.
- The same power that Jesus had snaps and sizzles as it flows every single day to you.
- It is power to rise above your past.
- It is Power to rise above a crazy family.
- It is Power to rise above nasty comments from mean girls and bullies and abusive parents and fools.
- It is Power to rise above abandonment, rise above a broken heart, rise above a scary future, rise above every single trial yet to come.
You may feel weak. You may feel uncertain. You may think you’ll never succeed or never change or never be liked or loved. Don’t believe the devil’s lies.
Jesus Christ has made all things new, the Bible says, and you can start every day with the power of God working in you.
How does that happen? How does that work?
That’s the last thing I want to talk about really fast. And that is the…
Resurrection/Ascension/Session SO WHAT?
Jesus sits on that throne to deliver power for every minute of your life. At school. In the neighborhood. At work. At home. In your dating or lack of dating. You have power to be a normal, healthy, well-rounded individual, with good relationships and a love for others.
Because Jesus rose again and sat down in heaven, you have that power.
How do you plug into it?
Four Outlets to Plug Into Resurrection Power
Your Truest Identity
- All our lives, we collect labels. People tell us who they think we are. You’re stupid. Unwanted. Ugly. A fool. Not pretty. Too short, tall, skinny, fat, pimply, poor, dumb… labels.
- Those labels sink deep inside and mess with you.
- When Jesus saved you, he peeled off every single label from your past. He put new labels on you.
- Beloved. Wanted. Powerful. Able. Beautiful. Capable. Victorious. Glorious. Forgiven. Important. Valued. Cherished. Wanted.
- This is the power of a new identity, and it is the first source of power you have.
Christ Within/The Holy Spirit
- God came to live inside you. This happened the day you received Jesus.
- What’s he doing? He’s trying to unbury the deepest, most beautiful you from all the crud that has piled on top of you. He’s working every day to make you like Jesus.
- Not that you would be some saintly freak walking around, but that you would have the courage of Christ, the love of Christ, and the wisdom of Christ every single day. That you would be you…with all the color added.
- It is God’s power that works in you to make you the person you pray you could become. And he will work if you ask him.
The Word of God (The Bible)
- The first two power sources don’t work without this one.
- When you take in the Word of God, you don’t just receive information, you also receive power.
- When the power of Christ, seated in heaven flows into you, it flows into the deepest part of your heart. Before it activates, it’s looking for the Word of God, hidden in your heart.
- I hope you read your Bible. I hope you learn your Bible. It’s the most important way to live every day in the power of God. It’s the way you rise above.
- Faith isn’t really the power… it’s the switch that turns on the power. You have to come to believe that what God says is true enough to act like it, even though the devil is screaming in your ear that God is a liar.
- Faith is the victory.
- Faith pleases God.
- Faith stockpiles extra powers and unlocks extra levels in heaven for you.
- Faith, even when faith makes no sense.
- Faith, even with everything stays so messed up.
- Faith, because one day, when it’s game over on earth, the real game in heaven has just begun.
Next we’ll talk about that day when Jesus comes again and all the world bows before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.