Hey everyone, my name is Cameron Mitchell. I graduated from UK in December of 2022 with a bachelor's degree in architecture. I’ve been involved with BCM since my freshman year in college, and now my wife and I have the opportunity to join full-time staff! Thanks for reading this devotional. I’ll be using the ESV translation for all scripture used.
Today, we will be looking at Christ’s ascension into heaven after his resurrection and how it reflects the psalm of worship king David wrote in Psalms 24.
First, we will read Psalm 24:7-10.
King David wrote this Psalm to commemorate the Ark of the Covenant entering into the Jewish capital city of Jerusalem. The Ark of the Covenant was the primary conduit through which God would interact with his people. God’s presence would physically dwell on earth hovering above the Ark. Simply put, the Ark of the Covenant was God’s throne on earth during the Old Testament era. So, this Psalm is a song of praise and rejoicing over the fact that God, the true king of Israel, was returning to sit on his throne and dwell among his people. Additionally, ancient rabbinical sources reveal that this psalm was always recited on the first day of the week for worship. This is significant because one week before his crucifixion, we also see Jesus entering Jerusalem on the first day of the week. This means that as Jesus was entering the city, the priests at the temple would be reciting this psalm, welcoming in the King of Glory.
Now read Mark 16:19.
This verse takes place after Jesus had been crucified and rose from the dead. He walked earth for forty days after his resurrection, then as we see in this verse, he ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of God. This marks the successful completion of his earthly ministry and his placement on his throne in heaven, establishing Him as the King of Glory over His people.
So what can we gather from these passages? First, we see that in both cases the King of Glory is returning to His throne. In Psalm 24, God’s presence on the Ark, and in Mark 16, Jesus to his throne in heaven, but why is this important? Not only does it display God the Father and Christ taking a place of authority over their people, but also coming to dwell among their people. God the Father came through the Ark to dwell with the Israelites in Jerusalem so that they could be in the presence of God. Jesus claimed his spot on the throne of heaven so that we could receive his Holy Spirit to live inside of us, so that Christ himself would dwell within us. This reveals God’s desire to be in relationship with His people. He desires to be with you. That is why He brought the Ark back to Jerusalem, why He sent Christ to earth, and why He sent His Holy Spirit to dwell within us.
In addition to this, there is also a place of authority given to God the Father and Christ when they enter into the presence of their people. They take their rightful place as king, meaning they have the utmost authority over those who they lead, but we get to rejoice in the fact that a perfect and loving being is the one in authority over us, not a cruel and harsh dictator. We can joyfully submit to and follow His leadership knowing he will rule in a way that benefits us and glorifies Him.
Second, we see that God the Father and Christ are not just king, but the King of Glory. God has always been and always will be committed to upholding His Glory. He desires to receive the rightful praise of His glory from His people. His job is to maintain His glory and our job is to rejoice and rest in his glory and worship Him for it.
Lastly, we see that our response to Christ being the King of Glory is to open up the gates of our hearts and let Him in (Psalm 24:7,9). We should recognize Christ as the King of Glory and gladly open up our hearts to let Him rule and reign over our lives. When we open up our hearts to Him, we have the confidence that he will enter and change our lives. There is no scenario in which the gates would be opened for a king so that a grand procession could parade through the city, but instead the king turns around and walks away. He will always enter in, bringing joy and life along with Him. God says as much in Revelation 3:20
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”
To recap, Christ’s ascension established His rightful place as the King of Glory. This King is mighty and powerful, deserving of authority and praise. And Just as David did in Psalm 24, we get to rejoice in the fact that this King has desired to come and dwell in our presence. We just need to open our gates to receive this King into our hearts and let the procession of his joy march through our lives.
What are some areas in our life you see God being glorious? How can you praise Him for that?
What is an area in our lives we haven’t submitted to God’s authority? How can we better submit to God’s authority in our lives?
What are some ways we can reflect on the beauty of the fact that the King of Glory is dwelling within us? What can we do to experience the joy of that fact?
How can we open up our hearts to let the King of Glory enter?