But God who is rich in mercy because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4–6)
Three times in this passage Paul repeats the word “together.” God has “made us alive together with Christ.” He has “raised us up together.” He has “made us to sit together in the heavenly place in Christ Jesus.” “Together.” “Together.” “Together.” The bond is sealed tight. There is no separation; we are one in Christ.
God’s purpose was not just to create us. It was not just to help us live a better life on earth. It was not just to welcome us to heaven when we died. It was not just to give us a glimpse of the Trinity’s glory. His purpose was to unite us with Christ so that we are together with Him in the intimate, vibrant, eternal life the Trinity enjoy.
But how could God accomplish this? We were dead in our sin. We had completely missed the mark of living in unity with Him. In the fall we had sunk into the trap of doing our own thing apart from God. We had lost sight of who God was. And the Old Covenant was proof that we couldn’t obey our way out of it, work our way out of it or earn our way out of it.
So, the Father sent His Son. In the form of a person like us. Jesus came down from the light of heaven and descended into our darkness. He took our sin; He took our blindness of not seeing God’s goodness and our messed-up thinking (that we were fine without Him). Jesus entered into our human nature; He was tempted as we are—with sin and unbelief.
Jesus became one with us. When He died on the cross, all of our sin—all of our blindness, unbelief, and disunity with God—died too. Jesus took our Adam-nature—our old way of thinking and being—to the grave.
But He didn’t stop there. Jesus rose in resurrection life! He ascended to the Father and when He did, He carried us with Him! When He rose, we rose—to “sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Jesus’ oneness with His Father became ours.
Two thousand years ago, Jesus accomplished this for us. It is done. Today we get to live knowing and believing the truth: we get to live and knowing and believing Jesus.
But what compelled Jesus to do what He did? Why did He do it? What is His heart for us? How does He really feel about you?
This Scripture makes clear the answer to these questions. God is “rich in mercy.” He made us alive together in Christ “because of His great love with which He loved us.”
Jesus did what He did because He loves you and me. He treasures you. He values you. He doesn’t just love you because He is good and that is what He is supposed to do. He doesn’t love you grudgingly out of duty. God adores you extravagantly. He actually enjoys you and wants to be with you. He delights in you like a good father delights in his child.
And His love is backed by action. He doesn’t just say what you want to hear. He would do anything to help you become your very best—your true self as He created you to be.
Jesus carried you all the way into the Father’s embrace. The cross isn’t just about your sins being forgiven so you can go to heaven when you die; the cross is also about living in oneness with Jesus—in the acceptance and adoration of the Trinity—surrounded and infused with the relational rightness your soul craves.
In Christ, you are alive together, raised up together, seated together. You are eternally together with Christ “because of His great love with which He loved us.”
Ponder for a Moment
What thoughts or feelings of God’s great love come to mind when you think of yourself as “together with Christ”?