This twelve-part series outlines the “Vintage Jesus” sermons of Pastor Mark Driscoll. See part 1 here.
In the last two sermons Driscoll covered the culmination of Jesus’s earthly ministry in discussing his past acts of death and resurrection. This sermon covers where he is and what he’s doing now, post-ascension. (The next sermon will cover what he will do in the future.) Driscoll challenges us to adopt a more holistic view of Jesus—one that takes into account not just his humble incarnation but his glorious exaltation. Too many people derive their entire concept of Jesus from the four Gospels, failing to reconcile this revelation with the other revelations of him in scripture, especially that given in the last book of the New Testament, the full title of which, after all, is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Here are some time stamps and notes.
4:10: What other religions say
11:01: Jesus in his current state
Since before creation, Jesus existed in a state of glorious exaltation. (Isaiah saw him in this preincarnate state.) But he temporarily set aside that state and entered human history as a humble Galilean peasant. After his crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension, however, he returned to his original state of glorious exaltation, which he inhabits now. (John saw him in this postincarnate state.)
It’s important that our Christology encompasses both the Jesus of the Gospels (a picture of Jesus on Earth) and the Jesus of Revelation (a picture of Jesus in heaven).
Jesus doesn’t look like a poor, lowly, oppressed person anymore. In his present state, he is a tattooed, blazing-eyed warrior-king, one who will never take a beating again.
18:33: Jesus still has a physical body (Acts 1:1-11)
Jesus came to Earth with a physical body, ascended back into heaven with a physical body, and will come back again with a physical body.
Prior to Jesus’s death and resurrection, the souls of all the deceased people of God, except for those of Elijah and Enoch, went to a temporary holding place (referred to variously as “Abraham’s bosom,” “Upper Sheol,” or “paradise”—it was not purgatory, nor was it heaven). When Jesus rose from death, he opened up heaven to humans for the first time, and so all the souls of the departed faithful were taken from their holding place into heaven. Now when Christians die their souls go straight to heaven, into the presence of the Triune God, for full redemption has been accomplished.
This is a position of honor and authority.
From here he reigns, intercedes, and passes judgment.
24:42: Do you have a deficient picture of Jesus?
Maybe your worship is uninspired and your prayer life suffers, because you see Jesus in his humble incarnation only, instead of in his glorious exaltation. Maybe the Jesus you know is a little Jesus who tolerates you because he sits at your right hand.
It’s absolutely essential that we acknowledge the fullness of who Jesus is, and that means a Jesus who is alive and who has power and authority over us.
33:15: Practical implications
1. Jesus intercedes for us: our prayers and our worship are by the power of the Spirit, through the mediation of the Son, to the Father. Jesus can mediate between us because he remains fully God, fully man. (1 Timothy 2:5)
2. Positionally, we are seated with Christ at the right hand of the Father, and so we share in his authority (over Satan and demons). (Ephesians 2:6)
3. Jesus is preparing a place for us. (John 14:2-3)
38:25: Jesus’s last words on Earth
Speaking to his disciples just before his ascension, Jesus says, “All authority on heaven and on earth has been given to me . . .” (Matthew 28:18-20)
Postmodernism says: There is no authority; there is no one above human history; there is no objective point from which history can be seen and judged; there is no one to say what’s right and what’s wrong, what’s true and what’s false. → Christians say, Wrong!
[[There is a thirteen-minute interlude at 42:29-55:05 in which Driscoll addresses his congregation regarding financial matters specific to their local church at that time. Skip.]]
When Jesus ascended, he risked being forgotten. He’s not on the news every day; he’s not in the papers. Have you forgotten him?