Our Ascended Lord
1 Peter 3:18-20
For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh…


1. They begin thus — "Who is gone into heaven." "He is gone": that sounds rather dolorous. Yet we dare not raise a monument to Christ as one who is dead. Let us complete the sentence — "who is gone into heaven." Now you demand the trumpet, for the words are full of soul-stirring music, and create intense delight. Still, there are the words, "He is gone": He is gone away from you and from me; we cannot now embrace His feet, nor wash them, nor lean our head upon His bosom, nor look into His face. Henceforth we are strangers here because He is not here. He intends us to remove, for He has removed. We are not at home on earth. He seems to say, "Upwards, My brethren, upwards from off this earth; away from this world to the glory land. I am gone, and you must be gone, This is not your place of resting, but you must prepare yourselves for a time when it shall be said of each one of you, 'He is gone.'" Now let us consider that He "is gone into heaven." What does this signify but, first, that He is gone out of the region wherein our senses can perceive Him? But then we know that our Lord, as man, is gone into a greater nearness to God than ever; "He is gone into heaven," where is the throne of the great King. Let us joy and rejoice that our covenant Head is now in the bosom of the Father, at the fountainhead of love and grace, and that He is there on our behalf. In going into heaven there is also this thought, that our Lord is gone now into the place of perfect happiness and of complete glory. The Lord Jesus is filled with ineffable satisfaction, which is the reward of His passion and His death. Thinking this over, let us reflect that nothing could stop His going there. "He is gone up into heaven, despite all who raged against Him." But I beg you to remember that He is gone up into heaven as our representative. Jesus does nothing by Himself now. All His people are with Him. He says, "Behold I and the children which God hath given Me." They are always in union with Him. This is the best seal that our faith could desires the resurrection and ascension of Christ being practically the resurrection and the home bringing of all His redeemed.

2. Secondly, His sitting at the right hand of God: "Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God." Remember that this being on the right hand of God relates to the complex person of our Lord; it relates to Him not as God alone, but as God and man. It is His manhood that is at the right hand of God. Wonderful conception! The next being to God is man. Infinite leagues must necessarily lie between the Creator and the created; but between God and man in Christ Jesus there seems no distance at all, the man Christ Jesus sits at God's right hand. What meaneth it that Christ sits at the right hand of God? Does it not mean, first, unrivalled honour? To sit at the right hand of God is the highest conceivable glory. Does not it also signify intense love? When Solomon would describe the love of the King to his bride, he said, "Upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir." It means also communion and counsel. We speak of a person with whom we take advice as "the man of our right hand." God taketh counsel with the man Christ Jesus. When you have a friend at court, you hope you will do well; but what a friend have we in the King's courts; even Him who is the Wonderful Counsellor! Does it not also signify perfect repose? Jesus is gone up to the right hand of God, and sitteth there. O restful Saviour, we labouring, come to Thee and find rest in Thee; we also sit down expecting the time when Thou shalt put down all our enemies, and we shall tread even Satan under our feet.

3. The third fact is, His dominion: "Angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him." Angels are subject to Him whom they nailed to the Cross, and at whom they wagged their heads. This is one of the wonders of heaven. Men in countless myriads are in heaven white robed, praising God; and one Man is actually on the throne of God, vicegerent, Lord over all; having every knee to bow before Him, and every tongue to call Him Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


1. The religion of Christ is true. Our doctrine is not sentiment, and view, and opinion, but fact.

2. Christ's cause is safe. Let not His church tremble, let her not think of putting out the hand of unbelief to steady the ark of the Lord. The wheel will turn, and they that are lowest now shall soon be highest; they that have been with Him in the dust shall be with Him in His glory.

3. Now I can sea that His saints are safe; for if Jesus has risen and gone into His glory, then each individual in Him shall be safe too.

4. This explains the way in which Jesus deals with sinners. That which took place in His own person He makes to be a picture of what takes place in the men whom He saves. If you come to Him you can only get to know the fulness of His gracious power by being buffeted with conviction and repentance, and by having self, especially self-righteousness, crucified and slain.

5. I think, since Christ has gone into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, it shows which way we ought to go. "I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me." He draws them to the Cross, and you may be sure He will draw them to the crown.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

WEB: Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God; being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;

Christ's Sufferings; Or, the Basis of Evangelism
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