Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Authority of the Christ

Opening picture of "The Storm on the Sea of Galilee" painted in 1633 by Dutch artist, Rembrandt
From the story told in Matthew 8, Mark 4, and Luke 8

3 Unusual Things:
1.  The boat = Christ plus 13 people
2.  One person is looking at us
3.  We know who he is!!!  (the author/painter - Rembrandt himself)

NOTE:  facial expression is more than fear.  Seems to be questioning.  ie:  "Can Christ save ME?"

We know that:
1.  Christ saved the disciples (from the storm)
2.  He exercised authority over many other 'storms' - ie:  healed sick, cured blind and lame, turned water into wine, bread into abundance, cast out demons, raised the dead, walked on water, calmed the sea, etc.
John 20:30, 21:25   And the question is the same for us:  Can He save me, help me, from and through storms of life.

BUT ....then He died!!
He appeared to be helpless before the Sanhedrin, powerless before Rome.
AND finally succumbed, yielded, surrendered ... to that ancient, undefeated enemy of all mankind - DEATH!!!

SO... as good and great and powerful as He was ..... there was one greater!!  (death)

And SO... the disciples were devastated and scattered - Luke 24:21

and SO ... Rembrandt asks "Can He save ME?"

Therefore, you see the importance of the Resurrection, and how we needed it to understand the extent of His power and authority.   Matt. 28:18 - "....all authority.... is given to Me...."
If He hadn't raised, how would we know that He could save us.

Question:   If He was resurrected, what does He have power and authority over?

Answer:  ALL THINGS!! 

Question:  IF He was resurrected, what can I trust Him with?

Answer:  ALL THINGS! 

Note/Observation:  IF He resurrected, there are 3 possible scenarios for a person's life:

A)  Pre-Christian - ie:  self on throne of heart (in control), Christ not in heart at all.
B)  Errant (prodigal) Christian - ie:  self on throne of heart, Christ at the FOOT of the throne.  (Saved but not surrendered to Lordship)
C)  Practicing Christian -  Christ in heart, on throne, and self at the foot following His leadership

IF He is resurrected, there are 3 reasonable responses....
#1.  Pre-Christian - Receive and Surrender - invite him into life (heart) - yield, relinquish, abdicate.  A one time thing.

#2.  Errant Christian - Recognize and RE-surrender - continual need for this.   Re-instate, re-enthrone.  He gives us free will to nudge Him off the throne if we choose to do so.

#3.  Practicing Christian - Continue to surrender (realistically, practically) = daily struggle

Reasonable????   2 Tim. 1:12 - persuaded in all things.

There is much to be said about His power, authority, position.  Let's summarize with a  simple, ancient declaration of faith ....... "Jesus is LORD"

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