Saturday, March 01, 2014

Precious last words

One of the last things Jesus said to His disciples before He went back to heaven was something of tremendous import.

"All authority," He said, "has been given to me in heaven and on earth" (Matt 28:18).

When God created the earth, He made man to have dominion over it. "God said, 'Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth'" (Gen 1:26).

God didn't intend to rule over the earth. He intended man to rule over it on His behalf.

Satan, who had already fallen from his position in heaven as "the anointed cherub who covers" (Ezek 28:14), tempted Adam to disobey in the Garden of Eden. Adam fell, and lost his position of authority. Satan became "the god of this age" (2 Cor 4:4).

 When Jesus came, He provided us with redemption through His blood by His death and resurrection, delivering us from the power of darkness and translating us into His own dear kingdom. But that's not all. He disarmed principalities and powers, making a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it (Col 1:13, 14; 2:15). Satan has lost his authority. The only weapon he has left is deceit.

Jesus was now able to say to His disciples "All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore" - because of this, because all authority has been given to Him in heaven and on earth - "and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you" (Matt 28:18 - 20).

That's not an option. That's a command. Having departed physically, He has left us in command again, with His authority to do what He would do if He were here. And we have this promise: "and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (v20).

How are we doing?

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