Too many treatments of Jesus’ person and work end half way through the story with the resurrection, but it is the ascension where his work continues through the gift of the Spirit, and the gifts given to persons in the church by his grace (v. 7). Paul saw in Jesus the fulfillment of the messianic promise of Psalm 68:18 (v. 8). It is an act and event that is associated with the heavenly throne, as the Lord of hosts, surrounded by chariots and angels in the thousands of thousands (Ps. 68:17). As he rose, his enemies scattered (v. 1). Smoke and fire attending the throne where there is rejoicing (vv. 2-3). He rides on the clouds, in His holy habitation, he defends the solitary, placing them in families, “but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.” (vv. 5-6) He was the one who went ahead of his people in the exodus, and settled them in the promised land (vv. 7-16).
His many benefits are daily, his salvation, the escape from death, and his foot will crush his enemies in blood (vv. 19-23 cf. Gen. 3:15). Jesus is the king who has proceeded into the sanctuary, accompanied by praises, with instruments of song, in the temple of the new Jerusalem, and before Him all submit (vv. 24-31). Kingdoms praise Him, “who rides on the heaven of heavens,’ sending out His mighty voice (vv. 32-33). “His strength is in the clouds,” and it is “He who gives strength to His people. Blessed be God.” (vv. 34-35). His advent was followed by his ascension (Eph. 4:9). “He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.” (v. 10) Why are there those who say we wait for the second advent for the Christ to rule when He rules now? When he comes with His second advent it will be to judge, and to hand the kingdom back to the Father (I Cor. 15:24-25).