I was speaking at West Smethwick Congregational Church last Sunday. WSCC is a church we built connections with when they sought help with revitalisation and replanting. A few years back they were down to half a dozen people. So, it was good to visit them and see such a change. They have a pastor and elders and there was a mix of generations, children, younger adults, middle aged and elderly. There was also a wonderful mix of backgrounds as well, Nigerian, French, Iranian, Indian. It is wonderful to see what God is doing.
Over the past year they’ve been doing a lot of work on the building and modernising it but some elements of the past remain. There are three large ornate wooden chairs on the platform where I presume that the minister and deacons would have sat.
As I was preaching on Ephesians 2:1-10 I came to this verse:
5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,”
I was really struck by the throne like imagery of the seats behind me and the link to the imagery here.
In Hebrews we are told that Christ having completed his work of redemption, which we’ve just been thinking about has sat down at the Father’s right hand (Hebrews 10:11-14). The imagery of him sitting down at the Father’s right hand speaks of authority. It also makes the point that he has completed his work. He is the one who sits down to survey all he has done. In other words, for Jesus to be seated on his throne points to his effortless reign.
Now, here is the beautiful thing that Ephesians 2:6 tells us. Not only has Jesus sat down on his throne but we are seated with him. Our king, Jesus invites us to come and sit with him. This reminds us that:
- He invites us to find rest in him. His work of redemption is finished and there is nothing we need to add.
- We reign with him. Humanity in Christ is restored to its intended position.
So this reminds us that there is intimacy and closeness to Christ. We are brought near. It reminds us that in him we are restored, lifted up from the pit. There is comfort, security and identity in Christ. We are invited to a place that is safe and secure. We are welcomed to a place of rest and peace.
Jesus my king says “Come and sit with me.”