A Meditation on Ephesians 4:9, 10.

W. Bramwell Dick.

Here is a parenthesis in which we have multum in parvo. It follows, and is a comment upon the quotation from the triumphant sixty-eighth Psalm. There can be no doubt as to whom the eighteenth verse of that Psalm refers, and in his illuminating commentary the inspired Apostle adds lustre to it. He points out that if the Lord Jesus ascended, He must first have descended. Just here we get a flash of the Glory of His Person. Only a divine Person could leave the condition and circumstances in which He was and come into a condition and into circumstances in which he had not been before. We are reminded of Hebrews 1:1-3. The Son; He who made the worlds; the effulgence of God's Glory and the expression of His substance Who upholds all things by the Word of His power, having made by Himself the purification of sins, has set Himself down on the right hand of the Greatness on high (New Trans.). No less a person could descend into the lower parts of the earth and this was a necessity if He has to make purification of sins. When we consider the greatness of the Person and the immensity of the descent we get some little idea of the greatness of the work that He accomplished, and the vastness of the results that flow from it. Now we return to our Scripture. "He that descended to the same also that ascended up far above all Heavens." As man He was "raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father" (Romans 6:4). It is also true, however, that He "rose again" (1 Corinthians 15:4), indicating that He Who became man was a divine Person. He could say, "I lay down My life that I may take it again.... I lay it down of myself. I have authority (the right), to lay it down and I have authority (the right), to take it again." Only a divine Person could say that, yet as Man He adds: "I have received commandment from My Father" (John 10:17, 18; New Trans.). Now we proceed: He has "ascended up far above all Heavens." In face of all opposing forces, for Satan is "the prince of the power of the air" (Ephesians 2:2). He has risen from the domain of death to the highest point in the Glory of God. None but He could have come from such a height, and none but He could have stooped to such a depth, nor could any other than He have ascended to the Throne of God. He came into Manhood; as Man He descended into the lower parts of the earth; as Man He has ascended to the Throne of God; as Man He will fill all things; He will never cease to be God, He ever will be Man. In Ephesians 1:17, 23 we learn what God has done with Him. He has raised Him from the dead; He has exalted Him to the highest place; He has put all things under His feet; and He has given Him the Assembly to be His complement in the coming day of Glory. In Hebrews 2:8, 9, we see Him where He now is the Object for our heart's deep delight, "crowned with glory and honour," and we rejoice that God has given Him His rightful place. It is the only place of which He is worthy, and He is the only Person who is worthy to fill that place. Let us take one more glance at our Scripture as we close. He who has descended and who has also ascended is the One who is going to fill all things. He who is the centre of the Father's affections; the centre of the divine purpose; the centre of the Assembly; will be the centre of the vast system of Glory, and He will be the One to whom all creation shall ascribe worthy praise when everything that hath breath shall praise the Lord. Hallelujah!