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New City Catechism 49.2

Question 49: Where is Christ now?

Answer: Christ rose bodily from the grave on the third day after his death and is seated at the right hand of the Father, ruling his kingdom and interceding for us, until he returns to judge and renew the whole world.

We are not currently waiting for the day when Jesus Christ will be enthroned over all creation. He has already been seated at the right hand of God, signifying his investiture with royal power. Of course, as God he has always been all-powerful, but the authority that has now been given to him is authority from God given to him as a man (Matt. 28:18). His enthronement is the result of the completion of his redemptive mission and his resurrection from the dead. The Old Testament verse that is most quoted in the New Testament is Psalm 110:1: "The LORD [Yahweh] says to my Lord [i.e., my human master, the king]: 'Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool" (see, for example, Acts 2:34-35).

Jesus Christ now reigns over all creation. His enemies have been stripped of their power in the heavenly court (see Rev. 12:7-12) and are now on the run, causing havoc on earth as they go. But their time is short, and one day they will completely subdued (see Revelation 19-20). Our situation now is like that of a war that has already been decisively won, and yet skirmishes still remain as the decimated enemy forces that persist put forth their final acts of resistance to the inevitable. In this time when the kingdom of heaven is already a reality (because Jesus has been enthroned) and not yet a visible reality (because Jesus reigns from heaven and most people go on ignoring him), the church bears witness to the truth as we go forth making disciples in anticipation of Jesus' return. When he comes again, the purpose will not be to assume his throne. It will be to reveal publicly a reign that already exists and has been in effect for 2,000 years now.

Suggested passage for personal or family reading: Revelation 12. What does this vision teach us about Christ's ascension, Satan's power, and the present condition of the church? How does this vision encourage you?

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