Tag Archives: Resurrection

Who’s in Charge?

“Take me to your leader!”  That line conjures up the old, jittery, black and white, alien invasion movies of my youth.  If aliens did land on earth and asked that question today, depending on where they put down, they’d get very different answers.  Imagine if they landed in Iraq, or Yemen, or even Washington D.C.   Who’s in charge here?  Because that question is not clearly answered, because people don’t agree about who is in charge, it’s chaos down here on Earth.  The nations are engaged in a constant struggle to answer that basic question.

According to Matthew, one of the first things Jesus told His disciples after His resurrection was this:

“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:18)

Think about the full meaning of those words.  His authority has no limit.  It extends even to the farthest reaches of Heaven!  And on Earth.  So then, why do we have such global strife?

Think about the movie, “Hoosiers.”  (If you haven’t watched it or can’t remember it, do it today!  That’s your assignment!)  After Gene Hackman takes over as the new coach, he has been given “all authority.”  Trouble is, the members of the team haven’t submitted yet to that authority.  And neither have many of the people in town.  But gradually, firmly, as the story progresses, his authority begins to be established – the authority he already had from the beginning by title.  Jesus has been given (by God the Father) “all authority.”  His authority is gradually being revealed and established, as more and more people have their eyes and hearts opened to it and submit to it.  That was always God’s plan of how to do it.  As He inspired David to write, 3000 years ago,

“The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” The Lord will extend your mighty scepter from Zion; you will rule in the midst of your enemies.” (Psalm 110:1-2)

But one day, there will no longer be anything gradual about how the full authority of Jesus is accomplished.  Don’t wait until that day to get it straight in your mind about Who is in charge.

Quotes:  The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Ancient Wisdom

I found a 110 year-old book, “The New Idea,” that summarizes everything known in 1904.  It’s a fun read.  We’ve learned a bit more since that book was published.

What is the oldest book you have ever seen? The most ancient book in the Bible may well be Job not Genesis.  Genesis, the first book in the Bible, was written by Moses.  The folks that study these things tend to believe Job came before Moses, probably even before God called Abraham.  If so, then Job’s understanding of Who God is, and what God is like, is as early as it gets.  Was Job’s God the same as the God of Jesus?

Consider what Job said:

“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:25-27)

Whoa…   When I grapple with these words and ideas, the small hairs on the back of my neck stand to attention!  Not only did Job know God, but He knew God’s future plan:

–  He would send a Redeemer (One Who would purchase us from slavery)

–  This Redeemer was already alive in Job’s time and would still be alive “in the end.”

–  Job’s Redeemer is God.

–  Job knows that, after he has died, after his body has decayed, he will see his Redeemer.

–  Job knows his “seeing” will be a physical reality – that he will see him with the eyes a restored body.

– In the midst of his worldly trials, he yearns for this future certainty.

All those assertions, convictions of this most ancient witness, are truths taught by Jesus in the New Testament.  Ponder how long-lasting and unchanged those ancient concepts of God have been!  Job must have had a sense, when he uttered those words, that he had tapped into a deep, eternal truth.  Because he preceded them with this urgent appeal:

““Oh, that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll, that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead, or engraved in rock forever!” (Job 19:23-24)

He got that right, too…

Hope for Life

Imagine the crew that Ernest Shackleton left behind, hopelessly stuck in Antarctic ice, facing a certain, slow, agonizing death by freezing, as he attempted to go for help. If you are not familiar with how far he needed to hike and then sail to find rescue, look it up. It’s one of the most astounding adventures of all time. But the guys left behind, huddled together, day after frozen day, with death circling like a wolf: how deep their despair must have been.

And how great their joy when one day, a speck on the horizon appeared, to let them know that Shackleton had returned, that he was not dead and that they were about to become the benefactors of a most improbable rescue! If you can grasp a sliver of their amazement, their blinking wonder and joy, then perhaps you can glimpse a portion of the disciples’ joy when they saw and touched Jesus after His resurrection.

Later, Peter wrote these words:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…” (1 Peter 1:3)

As each person discovers that “speck on the horizon” and recognizes Jesus coming for them, they catch the full glow of Peter’s words. Not many of us can write music like Handel, but we can all jump up and sing “Hallelujiah!”