– Matthew 28:20
The Head and the Body
Just before Jesus ascended back to heaven and back to the Father, He told the disciples, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:19-20). Jesus could give His disciples the imperative command of the Great Commission because He is the Head of the Church, and if you are abiding in Christ (John 15), then He is abiding in you. He is always with the church since He is the Head and the church is the Body of Christ, so in this way, He is always attached to the church–always!
Being in Christ
The phrase “in Christ” appears dozens of times in the New Testament and typically refers to the believer’s standing in Christ or being hidden in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21). Once we repent and trust in Christ, we are born again, and as new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17), we “must also consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 6:11). “The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23b) so that there is “now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1).
Christ With Us
The Apostle John writes about Christ as being the Word of God and wrote from observation that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth”(John 1:14). The reason John wrote about the Word becoming flesh and dwelling (tabernacle with us) was so “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). Jesus’ name in the Old Testament was Immanuel, and even that means “God with us” (Isaiah 7:10, 14; 8:8).
Hidden in Christ
Paul writes about being hidden in Christ, but what does that mean? Paul writes, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above” (Col. 3:1) since “you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:3). If you are hidden in Christ, then He is your refuge, your strong tower, and your rock, from which none can take you (John 6:27; 10:29-29) and from which nothing can separate you (Rom. 8:31-39).
In Paul’s very last letter, 2 Timothy, he writes some heartbreaking things to Timothy, knowing he’s about to die. He writes at “my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me” (2 Tim. 4:16a), but he still prayed, “May it not be charged against them” (2 Tim. 4:16b). Even though all had abandoned him, he said, “The Lord stood by me and strengthened me” (2 Tim. 4:17). Paul rested in the knowledge that the Lord was still with him at this late hour and that “the Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:19).