Ascended

Ascended my master,
But well only after
Found fashioned a man,
With nails in each hand.

He’s risen, I’m mended
My life now extended
In Him for all time,
Forgiven my crime.

Philippians 2:7-9 – “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

Ephesians 4:8-10 – “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)”

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5 thoughts on “Ascended

  1. I have never understood the concept, ‘Jesus died for our sins.’ Are my sins not my own? How does the death of another man, even if a god-king, affect my salvation? I respect your views and your work, so I ask in earnest, what is your take on this?

    • Yes, our sins are, indeed, our own, most definitely. But we are not our own. We all belong to God. Our sinfulness has separated us terribly from God. We may know of God, and to a degree, of sin, but in this condition, we can only die in our sins separated forever from the God who made us. The good news is that Christ performed for us the very thing that we could not do for ourselves.

      He redeemed us by satisfying God’s justice. He lived the perfect life we owe God, he credits us with it, pays God the penalty for our sins, (more specifically those very “personal” sins of ours that you mentioned), and endures the agony of separation from God that we deserve.

      With regard to “Jesus died for our sins”, the most common reference for that is Paul in 1 Corinthians 5:13, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” As a clarifier, I’ll offer what Paul says in Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” He died for us. He paid the price for our sins.

      On the cross He became as sin for us. He took upon himself the responsibility for our sin. Isaiah 53:5, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” For these words of truth, Isaiah ended up martyred, amongst his own people nonetheless, sounds familiar. By nature we are all at war with God. God’s Spirit speaking through His Word is the mechanism, the only power by which we stop our suppression of His Truth, and return to God through the way he has provided, confessing our sinfulness and believing Him.

      • ‘Christ died for us,’ is still a far cry from ‘The death of Christ absolves me of sin.’

        ‘..with his stripes we are healed.’ I cannot accept this teaching. Should one stand by passively as other man is whipped for his transgressions?

      • I’m admitting here that I’m not quite clear enough on the first line of your response, so I’m not going to respond to that part here. The remainder of your response reminded me of the following exchange, recorded in Matthew 16:13-17:

        “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some [say that thou art] John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. ”

        Remarkably, later in the same chapter, verses 21-23:

        “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”

        So, more directly, with regard to “Should one stand by passively while another man is whipped for his transgressions? Absolutely not. But the foundation of the argument is that Jesus Christ was no mere man, but God in human form, Philippians 2:5-11:

        “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

        As evidenced by all the passages above, there is a very strong relationship between who Jesus Christ was, and what he did. Peter’s distinctive responses to Christ in those passages from Matthew seem to present another question for us. By what agency do created beings oppose this very clear, reasonable, expression of the love of God to save them?

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