Jesus in Heaven
We love to fix the eye on Jesus — and to keep it fixed on him. He is . . .
the light of our eyes,
the joy of our hearts,
the food of our souls, and
his glory is the great end of our lives.
O to think of him, speak of him, and write of him as he deserves!
I want for a few minutes to fix my mind on Jesus — as now in the presence of his Father, "For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered Heaven itself, now to appear for us in God's presence." Hebrews 9:24
WHERE HAS CHRIST GONE? Not into earth's holy places, the tabernacle or the temple — these were but figures or types, and Jesus was no Levitical priest. He is not now a priest on earth, he has no need to offer sacrifices, or make an atonement — that has been done once for all. There is now no more offering for sins. Jesus has once suffered, and forever put away sin, by the sacrifice of himself. He has gone into Heaven itself, the immediate presence of God, the home and residence of the Father, where angels and the spirits of just men made perfect worship and adore him. He has carried his blood there, that it may speak on our behalf. He has taken our nature there, as the first fruits of those who slept. He has gone there in our name as our forerunner, intercessor, and advocate. He is ever before the mercy-seat, with our names on his breast, and our cause in his hands.
WHY IS HE GONE THERE? "To appear for us in God's
presence." He is gone to stand between God and us, as the glorious
Mediator. He is gone to present the blood . . .
which made our peace,
which was the price of our ransom, and
which met the demands of God's inflexible justice.
He is gone there to meet and silence every accuser, answering every accusation that may or can be brought against us.
He is gone there to receive, perfume, and offer up our prayers and praises to his Father. He is gone to obtain blessings for us — and confer those blessings upon us. He is gone there to encourage us to follow him — and to embolden us when we draw near unto God. He is there to secure our salvation, assuring us, that being reconciled unto God by his death, we shall be saved by his life.
Jesus, once appeared on earth for us,
encountered Satan and overcame him;
met divine justice, and answered all its claims;
faced the sufferings deserved by our sins, and endured them all;
overcame death, and perfumed the grave, and procured for us a title to everlasting life.
Jesus is now in Heaven for us, this should . . .
comfort us in the hour of temptation,
encourage us to come with confidence to God in prayer,
embolden us in the prospect of death —
seeing Jesus has gone before, and is waiting in Heaven to receive us.
O what a mercy to have such a high priest, such a high priest before the throne, before the throne for us — on our behalf! O how sweet the thought, Jesus is gone into Heaven, on purpose to appear in the presence of God for me!
But the case of the unbeliever is sad — very sad! He has
. . .
no hope in Jesus,
no help from Jesus,
no interest in the intercession of Jesus,
no advocate before the throne!
For him, no friend appears before God; to him, no precious promises belong. No good hope of Heaven cheers his heart, amid the toils and trials of life. For him, no light shines at the end of life's weary pilgrimage, to encourage him to hasten home.
O sinner, sad, sad is your case! You cannot look back to the cross, and say, "There Jesus bore my sins in his own body on the tree!" You cannot not look up to Heaven, and say, "Jesus has gone there to appear in the presence of God for me!" Nor can you look forward to the coming of Jesus, and say, "Jesus is coming to receive me unto himself, that where he is, there I maybe also!"
Let me beseech you to bethink yourself, and ask, "What shall I do when God rises up, when he calls me to appear before him in judgment? What shall I do, when he demands of me an account of my life, and my reason for neglecting the great salvation?"
Ah, what will you do? Your only way is to come to Jesus now, secure an interest in Jesus now — and then you will find him to be your friend at last.