Westminster Larger Catechism question 53 asks: How was Christ exalted in his ascension? A. Christ was exalted in his ascension, in that having after his resurrection often appeared unto and conversed with his apostles, speaking to them of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God, and giving them commission to preach the gospel to all nations, forty days after his resurrection, he, in our nature, and as our Head, triumphing over enemies, visibly went up into the highest heavens, there to receive gifts for men, to raise up our affections thither, and to prepare a place for us,
where himself is, and shall continue till his second coming at the end of the world.
Notice should be given to three points in Acts 1:1–3 regarding the ascension of Jesus: (1) His ascension took place forty days after His resurrection; (2) During the forty day interim, Jesus conversed with His disciples about the kingdom of God; and (3) At the conclusion of the forty days He gave His disciples the Great
Commission to preach the gospel to all nations. (215)
At His ascension, Jesus Christ left earth and went to Heaven, actually and physically: “He was lifted up while they were looking on.” His ascension consisted in a change of place. In His humanity, He was on earth before it. After it, in His humanity, He is in Heaven, at God’s right hand (Heb. 12:2). It also consisted in a change in the humanity of Christ, which was further exalted into “the fulness
of heavenly glory and was perfectly adapted to the life of heaven.” 187 Berkhof, Systematic Theology, 350. (220)
Christ’s ascension was as historical as His crucifixion and resurrection, all of which are wonders of grace. When we examine Luke 24 and Acts 1, we find that the ascension of Christ was of His person; that it was thoroughly visible; that it was an actual transfer of His person (in His humanity) from one place (earth) to another
(Heaven), which is another sphere of the universe and as equally a definite locality as earth, though far more glorious. (220)
Because of Christ’s ascension, the church of Christ is the recipient of many benefits and responsibilities. Included among them are: (1) The Great Commission to make the world’s nations Christ’s disciples (Matt. 28:19); (2) Victory over all enemies (Eph. 4:8); (3) Spiritual gifts to believers (Eph. 4:8f); (4) Exalted aspirations in believers (Col. 3:1); (5) A prepared place for us (John 14:3). (221)
The ascended Christ bestows His Holy Spirit, and with Him all spiritual blessings and gifts upon His church. ...
Since that time, the Spirit, the third Person in the Trinity, is the agent of the
crucified, exalted Christ by whom Christ continues His prophetic, priestly and kingly ministry in human hearts and human societies. (222)
"The result of the power of the Baptism of the Spirit according to Acts 1:8 is first of all not what men do but what they become. The greatness of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is not that it is an event beyond the joining of a man to the ascended
Christ but that it is precisely this event itself. To be baptized in the Spirit is to become Christ’s." 189 Frederick Dale Bruner, A Theology of the Holy Spirit: The Pentecostal Experience (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.,  1977), 160. (224)
The third phase of Christ’s exaltation is His Session, i.e., His being seated at the right hand of God: “When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High” (Heb. 1:3). (225)
“The right hand of God” is the highest position of authority and honor possible. ...
Christ, being seated at God’s right hand, is therefore the infinitely exalted, victorious Lord, crowned by God as the Mediator- King of all creation to advance all the purposes of redemption (Eph. 1:19f). (226)
Sitting at God’s right hand, Jesus is not only an enthroned King, He is also a seated High Priest. Levitical priests of the Old Testament never finished their work. They were always offering sacrifices for God’s people; but Christ, by His once-for-all sacrifice of Himself securing forever our salvation, is now seated, signifying that His redemptive work is finished, complete and perfect. (227)
However, the session of Christ not only presents us with the continuation of His work as king, and His priestly work of intercession, it also presents us with the continuation of His work as prophet. Through His Holy Spirit and the written Word of God, He leads His church into all truth, so that His church becomes the foundation and pillar of revealed Divine truth. (228)
His ascension brought manifold blessings to His people, it always brought infinite
blessings to Himself as the God-man. (1) It brought Him all fulness of joy. ...(2) It brought Him all fulness of glory. (228)
The very end of the world is called The Day of the Lord. That will be the day when Jesus Christ shall return to earth, physically, personally, visibly, publicly, loudly and gloriously...The Revelation of Christ is the end of the world, the day of the Lord, when Jesus comes back in clouds of glory to judge all people. With this ending will be the perfection of the New Heavens and New Earth, which are the home of righteousness (Rev. 21–22), when the whole creation is purified and recreated, when paradise with God is fully restored to His people in Christ. (231-232)
The Bible uses several terms to describe the Return of Christ. It is called the Parousia, which Greek word means “Presence” or “Coming,” denoting the advent and resulting presence of a king or conqueror. (235)
The Return of Christ is also referred to as the Epiphaneia, which means the “Appearing,” denoting the coming forth and manifestation of rich blessings out of a hidden background. ...
Another term in the New Testament for the return of Christ is Apokalupsis, meaning the unveiling or the revelation, denoting the removal of that which now obstructs our vision of Christ. ...
These terms, (Parousia, Epiphaneia, Apokalupsis) are all descriptions of one and the same event. Some, however, try to interpret them as describing separate and successive events or comings....First, the Bible does not speak of the returns of Christ at the end. Instead it equates the Parousia, Epiphaneia, Apokalupsis and the Telos, meaning “the end,” all referring to the same event. (236)
The victory commenced at Calvary, is advanced by the Gospel of the Kingdom and is concluded in the climax of the victory at the return of Christ (Heb. 2:14; Rev. 20:10). (237)
This privilege of judging the world is the crowning honor of his exalted lordship rewarded Him by God for His humiliation. It is the capstone of His exaltation. He will judge those who so unjustly judged Him. He shall have the last word of judgment! (238)
What is the purpose of this climactic event called the Second Coming of Christ or Judgment Day? It is for the purpose of glorious revelation....First, God’s holy and righteous character will be fully revealed and vindicated...Second, the majesty of Jesus Christ will be fully revealed: “so that at the name of Jesus ‘every knee will bow,’ of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:10f)....Third, the glory of God’s grace in the eternal salvation of His elect will be displayed...Fourth, the glory of God’s justice in the damnation of the wicked will be manifested...Fifth, the true and glorious state of the sons of God will be revealed to all: “For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God” (Rom. 8:19). Sixth, the utter sinfulness of the wicked will be revealed
to all... (239)
First, THE RELATION OF CHRIST’S REDEMPTIVE WORK AND HIS JUDGING WORK. It is one work; and Christians have a joyful interest in both aspects. It is only when Christ comes as Judge that our redemption is completed, justification finally proclaimed, victory consummated, and the last consequences of sin obliterated from the universe....We would be unable to justify ourselves, but when we see our Almighty Friend and Substitute on that judgment seat, we will rejoice, for our sentence of condemnation was passed in Him forever: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). ...
Second, THE IDENTITY OF THOSE WHO WILL STAND BEFORE CHRIST’S TRIBUNAL. ...
The point is that, contrary to the teaching of Dispensationalism, every person who has ever lived and all wicked angels will be summoned before the great Judgment Throne of Christ. All wicked angels will be there, according to Jude 4. All human beings without exception will be there according to Eccl. 12:14; Ps. 50:4; 2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 2:5f; Rom. 14:10; Matt. 12:36–37; Rev. 20:12; Matt. 8:29; 1 Cor. 6:3; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6. ...
Third, THE NATURE OF THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED BEFORE CHRIST’S TRIBUNAL ON THAT DAY. Judgment Day will be a day in which all those who stand before Christ will render account of all their thoughts, words and deeds throughout their lives...
Fourth, THE STANDARD BY WHICH CHRIST WILL DISPENSE HIS JUDGMENT ON THAT DAY. The Standard on that Day will be nothing less than the revealed will of God! The people who have never heard the gospel will be judged according to the Law of God written on their hearts and consciences...
Fifth, THE NATURE OF THE JUDGMENT RENDERED BY CHRIST ON THAT DAY. The judgment rendered by Christ on that Day will be according to the works we have done and the kind of life we have lived. (240-244)
Christ’s blessed voice on that Day will bring incomparable joy to all true believers and indescribable horror to all unbelievers! Belief in the certainty of the Day of Judgment in believers should stir up evangelistic zeal (2 Cor. 5:10–11); produce perseverance under mistreatment and persecution (Rom. 12:9); motivate diligence in living holy lives (2 Pet. 3:11–14); excite watchfulness and constancy (Matt. 24:42–44); and produce comfort, hope, optimism, and assurance of victory in Christ (2 Thes. 1:5–9). (247)
Here, in this cross and crown, is your salvation, comfort, hope and dignity, as a Christian person. (249)
It must be carefully noted that Christ suffered before He was exalted. His cross came before His crown. So it is with Christ’s disciples: suffering for Christ precedes exaltation..."The world looks upon humility as that which will make contemptible,
but it is the ready way to honour; the way to rise is to fall; the way to ascend is to descend. Humility exalts us in the esteem of men, and it exalts us to a higher throne in heaven." 210 Watson, Body of Divinity, 144. (250)
All attempts of man to exalt himself without Christ lead to his humiliation, for, as the Bible says, pride always comes before destruction, and arrogance and self-trust before a fall. Man’s exaltation is only in Christ, who was humiliated to save us from that humiliation and all the other consequences of our sin. Only a society built on the truth of the humiliation and exaltation of Christ, and of believers in Him, can stand....A humanistic culture is a humiliated and humiliating culture. A Christian culture is an highly exalted and advanced civilization. A culture cannot advance without Christ; and a apostate culture can only lead to decline. (251)
If you are resting in a humiliated Christ and submitting to an exalted Christ for salvation, then live completely for Christ, as Christ lived, died and arose entirely for you. Greater things are expected from you than from other people. (252)