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The Profession of Faith

173

662

“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all

men to myself.”

542

The lifting up of Jesus on the cross signifies and

announces his lifting up by his Ascension into heaven, and indeed

begins it. Jesus Christ, the one priest of the new and eternal Cove-

nant, “entered, not into a sanctuary made by human hands . . . but

into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our

behalf.”

543

There Christ permanently exercises his priesthood, for

he “always lives to make intercession” for “those who draw near

to God through him.”

544

As “high priest of the good things to

come” he is the center and the principal actor of the liturgy that

honors the Father in heaven.

545

663

Henceforth Christ is

seated at the right hand of the Father:

“By

‘the Father’s right hand’ we understand the glory and honor of

divinity, where he who exists as Son of God before all ages, indeed

as God, of one being with the Father, is seated bodily after he

became incarnate and his flesh was glorified.”

546

664

Being seated at the Father’s right hand signifies the inaugu­

ration of the Messiah’s kingdom, the fulfillment of the prophet

Daniel’s vision concerning the Son of man: “To him was given

dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and

languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting domin-

ion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not

be destroyed.”

547

After this event the apostles became witnesses of

the “kingdom [that] will have no end.”

548

IN BRIEF

665

Christ’s ascension marks the definitive entrance of

Jesus’ humanity into God’s heavenly domain, whence

he will come again (cf.

Acts

1:11); this humanity in the

meantime hides him from the eyes of men (cf.

Col

3:3).

666

Jesus Christ, the head of the Church, precedes us into

the Father’s glorious kingdom so that we, the members

542

Jn

12:32.

543

Heb

9:24.

544

Heb

7:25.

545

Heb

9:11; cf.

Rev

4:6-11.

546 St. John Damascene,

De fide orth.,

4, 2: PG 94, 1104C.

547

Dan

7:14.

548 Nicene Creed.

1545

1137

648

541