And also with Christ, God has raised us up and sat us down in the celestrial realms by Christ Jesus so that within these coming times He has shown, in His kindness, the overwhelming riches of His graciousness over us by Christ Jesus.
Because these devotions are based upon my translation of the text, I discovered that not only was it nearly impossible to keep up with it around Christmas time, but that once I lost track of it, it was difficult to start up again. So, I am sorry that I haven’t been attending to this for a month.
When looking at these verses it is important to remember what came before it, since we are actually in the middle of that action here. It is important to view this section of Ephesians as ‘action’, for the first few verses of chapter 2 set up the context (we are sinners who deserve the wrath of God), but then, in verse 4, God acts through Christ. This action is nothing less than taking these sinners who deserve His wrath and exalting them to glory through transformation (verse 5) and now given authority to rule beside Him.
It is important to remember that part of humanities purpose is to rule over creation with God (Genesis 1). The redemption through Jesus Christ is as much to do with restoring God’s created order as it is about saving us, for God loves all His creation. Here we see God, not only restoring us to be the kinds of people that He intended us to be, but to also restore us to purpose as well.
But I want to emphasize how Christocentric this is! We are sunezoopouesen, sunegeiren, and sunekthisen! Sun- means with, and emphasizes that all these actions (being made alive, being raised up, and being sat down) are not simply down to us, but done with us. We were made alive along side Christ, who was made alive on the third day. We are raised up beside Christ who has ascended. We are sat down into places of authority as Christ has been given full authority. Everything we are given, we are given because it was first given to Christ, and therefore it has been given to us through Christ. We are attached to Him, and are fully dependent on Him for everything.
But all of this glory is meant to be held in contrast to what we deserve, which is nothing. Indeed we deserve His wrath. It is only through recognizing this juxtaposition that we can see the overwhelming riches of His graciousness. This is the fundamental Christian vision of humanity: that we are worthless undeserving sinners who God has designed for great things, and who God has redeemed for His purposes.
View here for comments.