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Have you ever wondered what Christ has been up to the last 2000 years?
Romans 8.34 provides an answer: â..Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who diedâ..more than that, who was raised to lifeâ..is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.â.
Consider the question: Who is he that condemns? Our sins should condemn us in the eyes of God. According to Romans 3.23, â..all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.â. And according to Romans 6.23, â..the wages of sin is death.â. But condemnation is not Godâ..s final word to us. Rather, as Romans 6.23 goes on to say, â..the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.â.
This happens through the great exchange Christ effected on the cross. As Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5.21, â..God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.â. On the cross, Christ exchanged our sin for his righteousness. That is why Paul is able to say in Romans 8.1: â..there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.â. In Christ, we are not only uncondemned, we are uncondemnable.
So, the second half of Romans 8.34 focuses on Christ. His fate is ours, if we put our faith in him. We have already seen that his death rescues us from condemnation. But now we need to see that his resurrection, ascension, and intercession benefit us as well.
First, his life is ours. As Christians, we rightly focus on the central role of Christâ..s death in our salvation. But for Paul, Christâ..s resurrection was even greater than his death. According to Romans 8.34, resurrection counts for â..more thanâ. death. Why? Because Christâ..s death was the means to a greater end, namely, eternal lifeâ..his and ours.
Second, his ascension is ours. After his resurrection, Jesus ministered to his disciples for about forty days, then he was â..taken up into heavenâ. (Luke 24.51, Acts 1.3). Romans 8.34 says he is now â..at the right hand of God.â. Two verses in Ephesians make it clear that that is where we are too, spiritually speaking. According to Ephesians 1.20, God â..raised [Christ] from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.â. And according to Ephesians 2.6, â..God [also] raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.â. In ancient cultures, the right hand is the place of honor, love, and blessing. Because thatâ..s where Christ is, thatâ..s where we are too. As Paul puts it in Colossians 3.3, â..your life is now hidden with Christ in God.â.
Finally, his prayers are for us. What has Christ been up to all these years? Heâ..s been praying to God for people. In the words of Hebrews 7.25: â..he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.â.
Always. For them. For us. For you.