At the end of the forty days on earth Jesus ascended back into heaven out of the disciples’ sight. There Jesus received the Holy Spirit from the Father, pouring Him out upon His waiting disciples.
“This Jesus God raised up, of which we are all witnesses.
Therefore, being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. Acts 2”32,33”.
Jesus’s exaltation was the final act of His great work upon earth.
“Therefore God has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the God the Father, Philippians 2:10,11”.
He was incarnated in the womb of the virgin Mary. He lived a perfect life as both God and man. He was crucified at the hands of wicked men. He was raised to life again by the power of the Father. He was exalted to the right hand of God, to the position of greatest honour. He received the promise of the Holy Spirit which He poured out.
Death, resurrection, ascension, exaltation and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. These are the great elements of the work of Christ.
All the writers of the New Testament refer to this great work of Christ. He is the central theme of all. At any one time there might be one theme in view, but each aspect is dependent on, or flows out from, the other. Christ’s work would have been impossible without the virgin birth for example. Christ’s death would have been powerless without the subsequent resurrection. The gift of the Holy Spirit is clearly linked to Christ’s exaltation.
“But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive, for the Holy Spirit was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified, John 7:39”.
All go together forming one great whole; not just as the record of Scripture, but in reality, truth and power.
Finally, in this part, we need to mention briefly the significance of the wonderful third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the Executor of the Godhead. He works out in humanity all that the Son has made possible, and all that the Father has desired. The Father is the Source of everything; the Son fulfils all the Father’s will; the Holy Spirit indwells believers to make everything real on the earth.
We will return to the subject of the Holy Spirit in a later part of our study.