Here is my commentary on Ephesians 1:20. I am publishing these once or twice a week, but you can read all of the available articles at our web-site.
[… The working of His great strength] which he exerted in Christ when he raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms.
Verse 19 was a continuation of Paul’s prayer that our eyes would be enlightened to see God’s great power for us who believe.
He now goes on to say this mighty power that God has placed in us is like the power that he exerted In Christ when he raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms.
God has placed in us the same power that raised Christ from the dead.
The resurrection was an incomparable event in the history of the world. There has never been anything like it.
Jesus was beaten, scourged, and crucified. He was dead, and His body was thoroughly broken. Yet in the space of 36 hours, he came back to life- not just reanimated in the old body that had died on the cross, but with a new body that was strong and healthy.
Whether we think of God’s power in the physical sense or as a spiritual force pressing into the natural realm, this is mighty strength.
Bur this is nothing to the God who created the world with a few words. God’s power is strong and mighty beyond our ability to imagine.
Some people try to explain away the resurrection in various ways. To do this is to miss the point. Nothing is too hard for God, not even death itself.
The resurrection was not just a physical miracle, impressive as that is. Jesus died because of our sin. The cross could not kill Him, but when he took the weight of our sins, the death penalty for everyone, that was the cause of death.
The resurrection stripped away the burden of sin and death, and made them of no effect. satan sought to hold Christ captive, but he was no match for the Lord.
Resurrection power was God’s strength to destroy both sin and death.
Having raised Jesus from the dead, God executed a different kind of power when he lifted Jesus to Heaven. Forty days after the resurrection, Jesus ascended to Heaven.
Physically, the ascension was not a great deal to the Father. It was just a transportation issue.
The ascension of Jesus to heaven and His sitting at the right hand of the Father is a massive spiritual victory.
Firstly, it represents satan’s total defeat. satan sought to take for himself the place of highest honour. Denied that, he took the role of accuser. Now he is just a thief and destroyer.
Jesus overcame satan at every turn. When satan tempted Him in the wilderness, Jesus won by the word. When tempted in the garden of Gethsemane to pull back from the cross, He persevered faithfully.
Having been faithful to the cross, God raised Him to the highest place so that every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:8-11).
Jesus reigns over the world, especially the church. He will remain in this place of authority until the last enemy is conquered, and He will give it all back to the Father.
The power of the ascension, then, is a spiritual power and authority of cosmic governance in which satan is put in his rightful place forever.
The power of the resurrection and ascension dwell in us who believe. As stated previously, it is not a power for personal use alone, but a representative power to be used on behalf of, and in subjection to, Christ.
This power is given to us to enable us to
- Preach the gospel
- Heal the sick
- Raise the dead
- Decree spiritual truth
- Pull down strongholds
- Do all that Christ has commanded us to
This power, mediated by the Holy Spirit, gives us all the power, grace, and authority we need to live in God’s kingdom and to extend the light into the darkness of satan’s strongholds.
Key points in this verse
- God has placed the power of the resurrection in us
- The resurrection is a sign of Christ’s victory over our sin
- Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father in the heavenly realm
- satan’s attempt to usurp the throne of Christ has been defeated
- The power that is in us enables us to fully obey Christ commands