For The Kingdom: Joy-Filled Living In Difficult Days | Day 30
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11
Fake News. Nobody rises from the dead. For first-century Jews, the claim that the Rabbi from Nazareth who had been executed on a Friday and walked out of His tomb on a Sunday was preposterous. For the Sadducees, this was more than a defiance of science, it would completely unravel their understanding of Scripture. So, the New Testament writers are diligent in recording the various ways that Jesus proved Himself alive after His resurrection. Not only do each of the four Gospel writers present their own historical accounts, but Luke writes in Acts that “For 40 days after Jesus had suffered and died, he proved in many ways that he had been raised from death. He appeared to his apostles and spoke to them about God’s kingdom.” Acts 1:3
The Apostle Paul, who was the fiercest opponent of the resurrection until his Damascus road conversion recounts that Jesus was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive… Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-8
When it comes to carrying the weight of the burden of proof, the historicity of the resurrection is among the most verifiable historical claims you will find. If Jesus had not risen from the dead, neither Paul nor any of the other New Testament writers would have dared to say that there were hundreds of witnesses available to corroborate this unbelievable account, if it were not true. Certainly, the Apostles and even the thousands of new believers who made up the early church would not have continued to propogate a lie in the midst of fierce persecution and execution.
After forty days of proving Himself to the disciples and speaking to them about the Kingdom of God, the disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom of Israel?” They still did not fully understand the mission Jesus had come to accomplish and the Kingdom He had come to establish. Jesus responds that it is not for them to know the timing and plan of God, going on to say, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Acts 1:8-11
Jesus, the servant King has risen from the grave, He has ushered in a new Kingdom, He has ascended into heaven and He now sits firmly established on the throne once again as the Sovereign King of all Kings. Paul describes the Sovereign rule of Jesus in Philippians 2:9-11… “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Since Jesus left heaven to become one of us, we should celebrate Him as the Servant King. Since Jesus rose from the grave and ascended into Heaven, we must honor Him as the Sovereign King. The supreme servant of all is also the ruler of all things. Every knee. Every tongue. Jesus Christ is Lord. That’s My King!