by Abraham Cremeens
There are so many reasons for us to praise Jesus. The incarnation was a supernatural event that we celebrate every Christmas season. We greatly enjoy reading through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John to gaze again at the perfect, loving life of Jesus. We just walked through Holy Week and praised him for his death and resurrection. But what is Jesus up to now? Did he retire and give himself to eternal golf outings?
So far, Hebrews has made us aware not only of his past work but also his present work. Do you realize that your day today is being deeply impacted right now by the person of Jesus and what he does in real-time? We often major on what Jesus did historically at the expense of what Jesus does presently, but that misses a major portion of his ministry. I’d like to focus below on three aspects of Christ’s present ministry for his people: His sovereignty, solidarity, and support. Spoiler alert: Jesus didn’t retire.
The ascension of Jesus is a crucial point in God’s redemptive plan. After his resurrection, he appeared to many over the course of several weeks and then was lifted up into heaven to rule from there. We saw this at the start of Hebrews…
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. (Hebrews 1:3 ESV)
Jesus created the world with his words. He now sits on the throne and upholds that very world with his same words. Should Jesus choose otherwise, this earth would stop spinning and you would exhale your very last breath. Thankfully, he expends his sovereign rule to keep his promises and move everything toward the new creation. Despite how out of control the world seems, Jesus is in complete control at all times.
Jesus offers a present relationship with his people which is experienced through the Holy Spirit. He is no mere acquaintance. He has made you family.
For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers. (Hebrews 2:11 ESV)
My older brother and I are very close. We call and text often. We have even begun running races together in team relays. He would be quick to respond to any need I ever had. Yet, as close as he is, Jesus is closer still. Jesus cares deeply about your woes and well-being. He is deeply involved, closer than a band of brothers. When you delight, he delights. When you ache, he aches.
It is a sobering fact that even though our sins have been forgiven (praise God!), we still continue to sin. We all can point to ways we have fallen short just in the last 24 hours. This grieves us, no doubt, but Jesus offers a present comfort today.
For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:18 ESV)
Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25 ESV)
Jesus knows what it is to face temptation and endure hardship. He remained perfect through it all, but he is positioned to empathize with your every struggle. Jesus didn’t retire and busy himself with golf at his ascension. No, he is presently engaged with all the minutes and moments of your life with empathy, care, and prayer on your behalf. If you are a true child of God by faith in Jesus Christ, you will reach your finish line because Jesus himself will personally see to it. And he cares deeply about each step of the way. Jesus does not outsource his care and concern.
I don’t know how your week has gone. My guess is it has been a strange mixture of happiness and hardship. Regardless, Jesus is presently working on your behalf, and you can enjoy it because of his work in the past. He is sovereign, ruling over the entire universe as well as your personal world. He offers solidarity and is with you in it all. His presence also brings support through all your difficulties. You are never alone or abandoned because Jesus is for you and will see you through.