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Sunday, July 5, 2020

Jesus is Lord

The Gospel message is clear: Jesus saves. But is this the whole message? In our efforts to shorten things down ever smaller from pages to paragraphs and from phrases to Tweets (or bumper-stickers if you prefer), we run the risk of leaving something out. Yes, Jesus saves but what does that really mean?

The opposite problem is also prevalent. It's easy to go on and on about a topic that before you know it, you can forget what it even was we were talking about. There are libraries of books that have been written about Jesus, but unfortunately there are many that say a great deal without saying anything at all.

Our aim is to be somewhere in the middle. Phrases like "Jesus Saves!" or "Christ is Lord!" are jam-packed with meaning. We can risk cutting short the Gospel if we stop after confession, belief, or even baptism. Instead, we press on with the work of salvation. We confess not only that "Jesus is the Son of God" but also that we want Jesus to be the Lord of our life. The Gospel story doesn't end with Jesus's resurrection: Jesus ascends to the throne of God as king! Luke 22:69 reads, "But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God."

Rome feared this teaching of Jesus. For Jesus to be "King of the Jews" (John 19:19) it meant that Jesus was a challenger to the authority and power of the Roman government. In their view, Jesus was a threat that needed to be dealt with permanently. The people should have no ruler but the one the Romans had placed over them. 

Jesus is a king and He says as much in John 18:36 -- "My kingdom is not of this world." It's not. But it is a real power within this world and His reign is a real threat to those who desire to rule in darkness, to oppress the poor, or to abuse people created in the image of God.

Jesus saves. Christ is king. Has the sovereign reign of Jesus broken into your life? Are you ruled by King Jesus? Or do you seek refuge, power, safety, and security in those that can harm your body but do nothing for your soul (Mat. 10:28)?

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