Where HE goes, We go
Last week I talked to you about heaven in a familiar way; the way we learn about it in Sunday School or church. Today I want to stretch you a little… consider this passage:
For He raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:6 NLT)
Did you notice the verbs: raised, seated, and united are all past tense? How could Paul say that we are raised from the dead when we’re still alive? How could we be seated with Him in heaven when we are still walking around on earth? What is ‘united with Him’ all about? These are critical points, so read on.
Let’s take first things first. Paul wrote this book, and in essence, prophesied to all believers of all time. When we were spiritually dead and separated from God, He physically became flesh, lived, died, was resurrected, and ascended back to heaven as our forerunner (He went ahead of us). Jesus Christ made a way for us to be reunited with God in heaven; He went first and where He goes, we go. That phrase united with Him means that His Spirit lives in us and we have a divine union with Him. I told you this would be a stretch, but stay with me. After our experience of becoming a believer we become joined with Him in the Spirit. That’s why when He was resurrected, so were we. When He ascended into heaven, so did we, spiritually. As He sits on the right hand of the Father, so do we–spiritually speaking, for now. It’s obvious that we are not physically in heaven right now but our rightful place or standing is as if we were. We were given spiritual rights to be there because of our mystical, or spiritual union with Christ.
This picture that Paul paints is to give us hope for our future. Yes, we live in victory and triumph in this life because of Christ, but if you read verse 7 you’ll see that the spiritual union will become a physical one as well. Paul is looking ahead to the ages to come.
“… so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:7 NASB)
This is a done deal. God prepared this spiritual and physical place for us in advance and it awaits our arrival. When Jesus returns this place will overlap, as I said last week, with earth and we will rule and reign with Him in a physical way, not just a spiritual one. Our dominion will not be simply a foreshadow, but a real-time, eternal position with Christ. This will be the quintessent reality show of all time and I eagerly await That Day.