Jesus Christ died for the atonement and forgiveness of sins. He was raised for our justification. He was exalted for our redemption, ascending into Heaven for our deliverance from the kingdom of darkness and into the Kingdom of Light – whose capital city is the New, Heavenly Jerusalem.
Therefore, Paul says we are citizens of Heaven. And we look toward that city for a Saviour whose Spirit was poured out upon the earth at Pentecost.
This outpouring of the Spirit has been described as the doctrine of the procession. It is the evidence of the churches power to live, proclaim and be transformed by the power of a risen Lord.
A procession is a cultures source of power and grace made visible. A symbolic display of a cultures faith in a supreme power. Processions are a religious overflow of the culture in which we live. They reveal the direction of a cultures faith.
We see in our own culture a number of processions. Military, Mardi Gras, academic processions, coronations and the simple wedding.
The bible is also filled with these processions. The Israelites through the Red sea, David and the Ark of the Covenant, Joshua at Jericho, Jesus entering Jerusalem riding on a donkey and, the Spirit of God that proceeds from the Father on the Day of Pentecost (John 15:26).
All of these processions are processions of Power and Grace. They either flow from above, where the Lord’s throne is, or they flow from Below and are demonic, earthly and carnal.
As citizens, it matters where you look for power and grace. We look up to heaven, since that is where Jesus is and that is where we anticipate our help.
That is also what marks us as Gods people. The people of this world, by Contrast, look below. For the world, man’s wisdom, his cultural pursuits, art, music, etc, his laws and his redemption will all come from below as they make their evolutionary and humanistic way up the ladder to perfection.
This is what Paul meant in Philippians 3:19 when he said,
“Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.”
The earth is not bad. The earth and all its fullness is a gift from God and is to be received with thanks giving. But, if you are citizens of heaven, then set your hope and your head in Heaven, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God., for it is this Lord that sustains us and the earth we live in and it is this Lord who alone is able to redeem it.
Lessons For little Saints…
- Can you think of two processions in the bible?
- Why do people have processions?
- Where does our power to live the Christian life proceed from?
- What is the name of that Power?