79. Is it in bodily presence that He remains with us?
No, for it is one thing to speak of His body which was taken up into heaven, and another to speak of His power, which is spread abroad everywhere (Luke 24:51; Acts 2:33).
There seems to be a contradiction in our understanding of Christ’s current location. We say that Christ sits at the right hand of God, yet we also say that Christ is with us, “even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). Which one is it? Is he here or is he with the Father? This is made even more complicated for those of us who rightly believe in a bodily resurrection. How can he be in two places at one time?
Calvin correctly understands that there is not a contradiction here to say that Christ is with us and at the same time that Christ is at the Father’s right hand. When we say that Christ is at the right hand of the Father, we say that he is bodily present with the Father (Luke 24:51). He sits there as our Great High Priest, always making intercession for his people.
When we say that Christ is with us, we are referring to his power working in us through his Spirit. This can be drawn from Jesus’ own words. Notice the parallels “the promise of my Father”, a reference to the Spirit, and “clothed with power” in Luke 24:49. Notice the link between the Spirit and power in Acts 1:8. So the way that Jesus is still with us today is by flowing his power in us through the Spirit.
Have you ever overcome temptation to sin? Have you ever experienced boldness to share the gospel? Have you ever experienced strength to persevere in godliness? Do not boast in yourselves. Rather, boast in Christ who lives in you, flowing his power in you through his Holy Spirit.