Ascension – Christ, the Head of his congregation

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“And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body” (Ephesians 1:22 and 23a).

God the Father carries out His plan of redemption through Christ. He gave His only begotten Son in the manger at Bethlehem and on the cross of Golgotha.

And the Son gave Himself in the bitter and shameful death on the cross to pay for our sins.

God the Father raised the Son from the dead and crowned His Mediator’s work by giving Him a place at His right hand. That is a place of honour.

It is also a place from where Christ exercises power. For God has placed everything under His feet.

Christ rules. And He does not do so in a casual manner. Nor as a tyrant, or by chance.

He rules purposely as Head of the congregation over all, so that He may gather out of a tumultuous world history His congregation chosen to eternal life. And so that He may care for her, protect her and preserve her, to lead her on the way to the new heaven and the new earth.

She is not there yet. The congregation of Christ is still church in temptation and struggle. Here and now there are still enemies who are intent on the downfall of the church and of every living member of it.

Enemies from without who through ridicule or persecution, deception or temptation, try to draw members away from Christ.

Enemies from within who try to falsify the Gospel-according-to-the-Scriptures and lead believers away from the confession of the truth. Moreover, there is – not to be forgotten – the enemy in our own heart.

All these enemies attack without ceasing.

Christ does not place us in the danger-free zone, but often throws us into the midst of the struggle. To the end that we fight the good fight.

And in that fight He wants to shelter and protect us by His power against all the enemies.

 

From Joh Francke (ed), Your Only Comfort, Pro Ecclesia Publishers, Armadale, W. Australia, 2017, p. 140.