Where am I?

The angels climb Jacob's Ladder on the west front of Bath Abbey.

I have found myself over the last few days wondering “where am I?” I was on my way to church a week or so ago when suddenly I had the realisation that I was in two places at once. Not only was I on my bike, peddling along on the outer ring road, but I was seated with Christ in heavenly places. I was on earth and in heaven at the same time. I know Jesus is the fulfilment of Jacob’s ladder but if my thought was correct I too was a sort of conduit between heaven and earth. Christians are the conducting material by which heaven’s power is released on earth to extend God’s kingdom. My prayers are heard in heaven because they are voiced in heaven. My earthly actions have heavenly effect. I am like one of those worker ants that pull two leaves together, joining two separated spaces and making them one. One day heaven will overlap earth and the two will exist together.

This Sunday (the Sunday after the one I mentioned above, I am never sure how “this” and “last” and “next” work)  as I peddled to church again I found myself having another apparent revelation. I had been pondering the amazing truth that my sins had all been removed from me and placed on Jesus. How was it possible that they could be taken off me and placed on Him? The picture that came into my mind was of two transparent OHP sheets (remember those?) being placed on top of each other. One with a picture of me on it was picked up and placed over another with a picture of Jesus on it.

The penny that dropped was that it was not so much my sin that moved, but me and that the method of transference was to do with unity. I had been placed on, or rather in, Christ and in that mysterious but real unity my sins had been seen as belonging to Jesus. Sin cannot be transferred without an intimate unity. The nearest example I can think of is the shame a whole family feels due to the conduct of one of its members. The intimacy and unity of the family means that the sin of one has a tangible effect on the others. It is not beyond comprehension that the head of the family might find himself apologising for the behaviour of one of his own. It’s only a faint ripple of the mysterious dynamic that took place on Calvary but I think it’s detectable. The main thing I took out of the experience was that the removing of my sin was inseparable from my unity with Christ. I can’t have one without the other. This unity with Christ means that he is here with me now.

Where am I? I am in my study but I am also in heavenly places and the most accurate description for my location is “in Christ”. I am united with him in his death and resurrection, and active with him in his heavenly and earthly ministry. He is with me here in my study and I am with him here in heaven.


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