Summary: Our being seated with Christ in heaven is a gift of God’s amazing grace, a present reality, and a declaration of who and whose we are.
WHERE YOU’RE SEATED MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE
1. Friday morning, as I was headed towards the nurse’s station at Swedish Issaquah Emergency Department, I passed a couple of the radiology techs in the hallway who were discussing the one tech’s new pair of individually designed and manufactured shoes.
• I also noticed that he appeared a little taller than I recalled and I remarked on that fact.
• He replied, “Yes, it is amazing what just an extra inch can do. It gives you a whole new perspective on life!”
• WOW! Amazing what just one inch higher can do for you.
2. Well, tomorrow morning at 6am I will take off from Seatac airport and fly to Monterey, California for a United Methodist Chaplain’s Conference and I will get to see the entire Pacific Northwest and northern California from a height of 35,000 feet.
• Now that’s some elevation for you! That vantage point will certainly give me a very different perspective.
3. Last Saturday my daughter, Gabrielle and her husband Scott, who have Seahawks season tickets in the pricy Club area at Qwest Field where they had the very best view of that exciting game, told me that “it certainly makes all the difference where you are seated”.
• Those words stuck with me and have reminded me of the Apostle Paul’s words to the church in Ephesus where he writes in 2:6 that “God raised us from death to life with Christ Jesus, and he has given us a place beside Christ in heaven.”
• Well folks, there ain’t no higher or better vantage point from which to view life than that! It certainly does make all the difference where you are seated and with whom you are seated!
• The vantage point of heaven allows you to see things which you just cannot see from a purely earthly perspective.
• And Christians are those who have the ability and need to discipline themselves – through prayer, meditation on God’s Word, and through worship - in the practice of living in those two dimensions at one and the same time.
• We are those who practice the life and perspective of heaven while we live here on earth.
4. Where you’re seated:
A. IS A GIFT OF GOD’S AMAZING GRACE
1. None of us deserved it and none of us could ever be worthy of it. The fact that we who rebelled and sinned against the Most High God and are deserving only of hell itself, now have the opportunity and privilege to sit with Christ at God’s right hand - the place of heavenly authority and power – is a mystery of unfathomable grace and mercy.
2. We occupy that high and lofty seat with humility, with reverence, and awe.
3. There is no place here for arrogance, for pride, or vanity – it was those very traits that got Lucifer booted out of heaven.
4. So the appropriate awe and amazement is not that someone else might also be seated there that you had wondered about or had questions about – but that YOU are there!
5. You and I are both there because our God loved us and chose us long before He created the world, that we should be included in His family through Christ.
6. And we can occupy that seat because we have responded to His love and received His lavish forgiveness and cleansing through His Son. What an awesome privilege!
B. IS A PRESENT REALITY
1. This seat you have in heaven is not just some far off, distant future offer that awaits you and me in the “sweet bye and bye”. It is a present reality NOW.
2. Just as when Christ died on that cross on Calvary 2000 years ago, He went through that horrendous event on your and my behalf – in your and my place – taking upon Himself the suffering and death that should have been our own.
• So, when He arose from the grave, He overcame death and hell for all humanity and everyone who places their trust in Him already here and now begins to experience some of the benefits of that glorious victory.
• His resurrection and ascension and exaltation to God’s right hand is already an accomplished fact and if you are in Him, then it is an accomplished fact for you as well.
• Time, as you and I know it of years, months, days, hours and seconds, is a measurement that applies strictly to this earthly dimension. And so from earth’s vantage point, that event still lies somewhere in our future. But from God’s and heaven’s eternal perspective it is already a present reality.
• If you are familiar with C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, especially "The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe", you will recall how one minute Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are playing "Hide-and-seek" in the Professor’s mansion out in the English country and away from the bombings on London and the very next they are living their lives from the perspective of Narnia.