By John Webster
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Extra resources for The Domain of the Word: Scripture and Theological Reason
The risen one suffers no hindrance. His location as the enthroned Lord is ‘the heavenly places’ (Eph. 20) in which he is free from spatial or temporal circumscription. All spatial and temporal realities are relative to him, but he is himself relativized by none. Time and space are ‘under his feet’ (Eph. 22), because his divine life is unconditioned. This is part of why the event of the resurrection is necessarily followed by the event of the ascension: because the risen one shares the infinite life of God, his existence after Easter is not his return, prolonging his earthly human presence indefinitely.
Ps. 28, 30). This appeal to God in prayer is not simply the remote background to the intellectual activity of reading the Bible; it is that in which that activity consists, and that by which it is undertaken. To read well is to be given understanding of the divine precepts, to meditate on the works of God, to be separated from falsehood and taught by divine grace. These happenings are not a penumbra of virtue surrounding reason, but reason itself about its appointed task; they are what takes place when intelligence makes its approach to the intelligible divine Word present in its human signs.
Demonstrating in this way the original divine life of the Son, the resurrection is his exaltation. Resurrection, ascension and heavenly session together constitute the declaration or manifestation of the lordship of Jesus Christ. Risen from the dead, he is not contingent but absolute, transcending and comprehending all creaturely reality, and attracting to himself the worship which is due to God alone. The enthronement sequence is not, of course, to be construed as the Son’s acquisition of a status not previously possessed or exercised, but as the definitive – irrefutable – declaration of his inherent dignity.