The Power of the Resurrection and Ascension
The Power of God on Display
In Ephesians 1:15-23, Paul prays that his brethren would have a greater understanding of three things: “what is the hope of God’s calling” (v. 18), “what are the riches of the glory of God’s inheritance in the saints” (v. 18), and “what is the surpassing greatness of God’s power toward us who believe” (v. 19). The latter petition, then, becomes the focus of 1:20-23, and even 2:1-10!
God's Power Displayed in Christ
What is the supreme manifestation of God’s power that we as believers need to comprehend if we are going to “walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel” (4:1)? It is God’s power FIRST displayed in Christ (1:20-23). God raised Jesus from the dead, in the ultimate display of His mighty power (six words for “power” in vv 19-20). Not only did God raise Jesus from the dead, but upon His ascension, God “exalted” Him to His right hand, and subjected all things under His feet. No one is greater than Christ. No one surpasses His preeminence over all things. No one holds the place of prestige that Jesus does at God’s right hand.
God's Power Displayed in the Lives of Sinful Men
But this is not all. The same power that God displayed in raising Jesus from the dead is the same power He displays in raising spiritually dead sinners (2:1-10)! We who were spiritually dead, unable to respond to spiritual stimuli, God raised from spiritual death. The words “But God” (2:4) are some of the most beautiful words in all of Scripture. God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love, “raised us up with Christ” and “seated us with Him” for His glory and our good. He took the initiative to “reconcile us to Himself” (2 Cor 5), that we might become His children and His special possession in Christ.
The Hope of the Resurrection
What wondrous love is this! What great power God has displayed in Christ and in us. If God is for us in Christ, who can be against us? This, indeed, is the great power of God displayed in the Resurrection, Ascension, and Exaltation of His Son. This is the basis of our Christian joy and hope. Because Christ rose and we have been spiritually raised, we can be sure that one day we will rise again (1 Cor 15). May God cause us to abound in love for Him and for one another, in light of His power shown in Christ and in us. May we be all the more eager to tell people of the hope that is in us, that they might have, by the grace of God, the same hope as well.