The Nicene Creed
He Ascended into Heaven
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father
Having just finished the Book of Hebrews, this clause in the Creed sounds very familiar. Upon our Lord’s resurrection—a resurrection in which he arose in the body he carried with him before his crucifixion, but a body now under the dominion of the Spirit rather than the flesh—he appeared before his disciples during a forty-day period thus proving his resurrection and the new life they were now promised. But it was necessary that he go away because: 1) It was obviously improper that he remain as he could never experience death again, and 2) His removal was necessary to make way for the coming and work of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-15).
But our Lord’s removal did not mean that his work was finished; indeed, he simply took up another task for which his work on earth had prepared him. First, there was and is his enthronement at the Father’s Right Hand—the place of honor and power. This act answers his role as King of kings and Lord of lords, the Conqueror of death and hell, the one before whom all angels, principalities, and powers bow. His office of Prophet is answered as the Holy Spirit enlightens men’s minds to the word of God as pastors, elders, and teachers proclaim the word he has taught them.
But it is chiefly his priestly office that concerns us, for it was his priestly role he exercised when he acted as both Sacrifice and the One who offered the sacrifice. And it is his priestly role in which he continues at the Father’s side, making intercession for the saints (Hebrews 7:25). In other words, from there he is our Great High Priest—the one who forgives and through whom we are forgiven. To that place, he has ascended with his risen flesh and human nature so that we have been lifted with him into the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6), for as our sins became his, his resurrection and life are now ours, awaiting that last trumpet when we shall be changed and mortality put on immortality and corruption incorruption (1 Corinthians 15:53-55). It was through his priestly office that he accomplished this for us—washing us clean, sanctifying us through his blood, making us acceptable unto the Father, and securing us a place in the heavenlies.
And from there he yet works—interceding on our behalf, providing us strength, power, and endurance for the journey. And we’ve not far to go; this life is but a breath. And then, eternity with him and the saints in light.