Paul starts his letter to the Ephesians with a wonderful explanation of the gospel, and the amazing truths that God had revealed to him about salvation and what happens to us spiritually when we become Christians. He writes to them of their having been dead in their sins and then made alive through Gods mercy and grace. He then tells them that they have been raised up and seated with Christ in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 2:2-6.
So what are these ‘heavenly realms’, and where are they anyway. Well we know in our material world that there are things all around us that we can’t actually see, but we recognise their presence. Things like the wind, microwaves, and wifi to name a few. We are comfortable and familiar with these mysterious things that we rely on but can’t see.
The heavenly realm is also around us but not seen. It’s not somewhere above the clouds, but all around and although we can’t see it with the natural eye we can be aware of the effects of that realm on our lives. When the heavenly realm invades the earthly we get a miracle, like the water being turned to wine. We know too, that after we have been born again, this heavenly realm affects us. Things change in and for us, and we understand spiritual realities that we didn’t ‘see’ before.
It is such a mystery, but an amazing truth to ponder, that in the spirit we are actually seated with, or ‘in’ Christ in this heavenly realm. At it’s simplest we can explain it in human terms like this. I have a book, and I place a bookmark inside, between some of the pages of the book. If I then put that book up on a book shelf to rest there, that bookmark will then also rest on the shelf. We have been raised from the dead state of our old sinful life and placed ‘in Christ’, so that where He is, we are too in our spirit.
So what does all this mean for us in our lives today? Well the first thing that comes to mind is that I need to thank Him for imputing to me all the righteousness of Christ, because there is no way I would be allowed into that heavenly realm without being clothed in Him, in the righteousness of Christ Himself. Like Isaiah we know that all our own righteousness is more like ‘filthy rags’, Isaiah 64:6, only Jesus makes us clean enough to come into that heavenly realm.
If Jesus has been raised to that place at the Fathers’ right hand, and I see that I am, ‘in Christ’, also raised to that place, then I will have done with all accusations of unworthiness. I will have a new boldness to talk to my Heavenly Father, to pray to Him in Jesus name, because my life is now ‘hidden with Christ in God’ Colossians 3:3. God now sees me in Christ as I come with that faith in my heart, and I can approach the throne of grace with confidence. Hebrews 4:16.
So today our thanksgiving is for the fact that the Lord has raised us to that place of victory in Jesus. Our thanksgiving helps to affirm us in that faith. As I thank Him for what He has done for me and where He has seated me, my faith rises, and not only will the Father be delighted that “I’ve got it”, but Jesus will be blessed that His sacrifice on my behalf is being fully appreciated. ‘He will see the fruit of the travail of His soul and be satisfied.’ Isaiah 53:11. This was part of the ‘joy set before Him‘ Hebrews 12:2 that enabled Him to endure the cross. So let us be very grateful and fullfill His joy today.