Wondering About Heaven

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 2:4-6

When my son, Nathan, was four years old, he and I took a walk around a delightful mountain lake. As we walked, I told Nathan that I used to take walks like this with my own father. At that time, my dad had been dead for about ten years. As if he could read my mind, Nathan asked me, "Daddy, do you miss your daddy sometimes?" "Yes," I said, "I do. But I'm very glad my daddy is in Heaven with Jesus." "Well," Nathan replied with great earnestness, "why don't we get a very big ladder so you can climb up to Heaven and see your daddy now?" How I wished that were possible! Yet, I knew that my heavenly reunion with my dad was still a long ways off. Even now, though I'd love to see him, I hope that won't happen for quite a few years yet.

For those of us who believe that Heaven is far away, either spatially, temporally, or both, Ephesians 2:6 can be surprising, even unsettling: "And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus." What? God raised us (past tense) with Christ and seated us (past tense) in the heavenly realms with him? How is this possible? Does this mean we are in Heaven now?

Yes, comes the answer of Ephesians, you are in Heaven now, in a sense. You have not died physically and entered fully into the age to come. But, when you accepted God's grace and put your faith in Jesus Christ, not only were you made alive with Christ, but also you were raised up with him and seated in Heaven with him. That's what the text says, plainly and clearly.

In the next couple of reflections, I want to consider what this means, both theologically and personally. But, for now, I'd like to leave you wondering. I hope you are wondering in both senses of the word: being curious about what all of this means and being amazed by it as well. Indeed, the fact that we have been raised with Christ and sit with him in Heaven should fill us with wonder. It is wonder-full news!

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: What do you think Paul means when he writes that we have been raised with Christ and are seated in Heaven with him? In what ways have you experienced a taste of Heaven in your life? What have been some of the most "heavenly" experiences of your life?

PRAYER: Lord, indeed, I am wondering about what I have just read. How can it be that I have already been raised up with Christ and seated with him in Heaven? I almost always think of these experiences as lying in the future. In what way have they already happened? Help me to understand.

One thing I do know, Lord. In Heaven, I will enjoy an intimate, immediate relationship with you. Now, though our relationship is often confused by my sin, and though I don't yet see you face to face, I do have the privilege of knowing you, speaking with you, listening to you, and delighting in your love. Thank you for this marvelous taste of Heaven! Amen.

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