When the apostles walked away from the site of the Ascension, they possessed a certain kernel of knowledge. Having lived with Jesus during the time of his humbling, in which he took on our lowly state, they had now seen Jesus’ exaltation in his resurrection and ascension to the Father. By witnessing this exaltation, they possessed the truth that Jesus is Lord.
This kernel of knowledge is what people call “saving truth.” It’s knowledge that grabs hold of you, carrying you away from everything familiar and bringing you into something entirely new. In this case, that something new is the life of God.
When the Father looks at Jesus, he says, You are my Son; You are, with me, Lord. And when the Son looks at the Father, he responds, You are my Father; You are, with me, Lord. The Holy Spirit is the Breath by which the Father speaks to the Son and by which the Son speaks to the Father. From eternity to eternity that Breath communicates, from the one to the other, You are Lord.
Therefore, when you and I say that Jesus is Lord, we are speaking the language of the Trinity, confessing with the Father, by the Breath that is the Holy Spirit, the identity of the Son.
This is why Paul writes that No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit dwells in us and we see the Son, he breathes the words, Jesus is Lord.
So when the apostles walked away from the Ascension, even though they were still awaiting their own exaltation with Jesus, they were already living the divine life. The Holy Spirit was already speaking the Word of their Heavenly Father in their hearts.
And it is the same with us. When we say that Jesus is Lord, the Breath of the Father is speaking within us and we are in some way already living in the Trinity. And it is now our duty and our privilege to give that Breath to the rest of the world, just as the apostles gave it to us, so that the rest of the world can be taken, with us, into God’s own life.
Image: Christ the King