If, therefore, you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is, sitting at the right [hand] of God.
This passage comes as part of Paul’s exhortation to the Colossian church to walk the Christian walk. If they have truly died with Christ–if they really are Christians, under the lordship of Jesus–why do they still submit to worldly commands and worldly expectations which seem reasonable on the outside, but are of no spiritual benefit (2:20-23)?
Indeed, those who are truly Christ’s will desire above all to follow in their Master’s footsteps, and obey his commands. Paul puts this in picturesque language here in the first verse of chapter three. I don’t for a moment presume Paul believed Christ was literally sitting on a cloud somewhere. While the ascension account in Acts 1 shows Christ rising into the heavens, there is nothing in Scripture that says Christ continues to abide somewhere in the sky. However, I do believe Paul is using that picture of ascension to illustrate his point. Just as Christ rose from the mundane to be in the divine presence, so should our thoughts and our aspirations rise with him. As his people, we have died to this world and its thought patterns. We are no longer captive to the futile thinking and sinful desires that ensnare so many. Instead, we are free to think and do according to the mind and will of the Lord. The only reason we find ourselves caught up in worldly rationality is because we allow it; it’s certainly not because we can’t help it. Christ has severed the bonds of sin. In him we are truly free. If this were not the case, Paul’s command here would be in vain.
This week, may we be careful to seek the things above, that we honor Christ with our thoughts and desires. The world may not understand us; in fact, the world may very well mock or take offense. But where our Lord is, there also should be our hearts.
Have a great week!