“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’” – Matthew 28:18
Many people found themselves celebrating this Resurrection Sunday in ways they never thought they would. From parking lot services to social media livestreams, to Zoom video calls, even, believers around the world got creative to avoid the “bedside Baptist”, i.e., not doing anything. (I grew up Baptist so I feel I can make that little joke. 😉) Yes, we got creative, and have been since shelter-in-place orders were issued. And to be truthful, church services have been AMAZING every week. The Holy Spirit has been showing up and showing out in households, reminding God’s people that there is no distancing from Him. He is everywhere and makes His presence known when we need it most, to encourage us that this too will pass, to provide for our needs when it looks like we’re running out.
Now it is easy to remember this when you are experiencing the joy and elation of remembering what Jesus Christ did over 2000 years ago. The challenge, though, is to remember this after the joy, after the elation. Because in case you haven’t noticed, the Enemy seems to work harder with introducing — or reintroducing– things, people, or situations to shift our mindset and heart set away from the fact presented in Matthew chapter 28, verse 18. We must keep in mind that praising and worshipping God and sharing the good news of his truth is what the Enemy detests. He would rather our focus be on any and everything but the One who has already defeated him. And through the years he has gotten really good at these disruptions and distractions.
But, Jesus got up.
This is the one fact that the devil can never change, never erase. After all this time one would think he would have learned the lesson. He is determined to steal, kill, and destroy all who choose a relationship with God over him. I’ve heard him described as that jealous ex-boyfriend or girlfriend who doesn’t want you to move on to something better if it’s not with him or her. He may not key our cars or slash our tires, but he can sure raise “h-e-double hockey sticks”. Sounds about right, huh?
But, Jesus got up. And He did so with all authority in heaven and earth, given to Him by God the Father. That means life, death, health, hunger, sickness, every part of the physical and spiritual realms – things which the Son of God had demonstrated in His 3-year ministry:
- Bringing people back to life (Matthew 9:18-26; Luke 7:11-18; John 11:1-46)
- Healing people of leprosy (Mark 1:40-45; Luke 17:11-19)
- Healing the sick (John 4:46-47; Luke 8:43-48)
- Feeding multitudes of people (Matthew 14:15-21; 15:32-39)
- Delivering people from demon possession (Matthew 8:28-34; 12:22; 17:14-21)
- Controlling nature (Matthew 8:23-27; Luke 5:1-11)
There is no aspect of the universe that is not covered by the authority of Jesus Christ, regardless of what we see, hear, or experience. We who are part of the family of God, who claim Jesus as our Elder Brother, should stand tall and firm against the disruptions and attempts to throw us out of focus with God and confidently declare: “But He got up.”
We are not defeated by this pandemic and its ramifications, because Jesus Christ got up.
Pay or hour reductions at our jobs will not stop us from praising, worshipping, and serving the Lord, because Jesus our Savior got up.
Extended quarantine orders will not stop us from praying, fasting, and studying God’s Word to become better people, because Jesus our Messiah got up.
Extended quarantine orders will not stop us from using safe, alternate means of worship and fellowship, because Jesus our Lord got up.
I know this is repetitive, but it’s true. Because Jesus Christ rose from what was a certain end, Fam please believe that we will, too.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the Gift that took on the sins of the entire world, so that we may be reconciled to You. Thank You for the Gift that rose with all power of heaven and earth in His hands. Let us never forget this, never let us fall into despair or disarray. Remind us daily that Jesus got up, and we can, too. Amen.