Chapter 1, INTRODUCTION
Today, “Jesus Christ is Lord” sounds like a bumper sticker or part of an ancient church liturgy but when Christianity was founded if someone uttered these words it could literally mean death! ’o christos ’o kurios “Christ is Lord” was a risky thing to declare when the only safe thing to declare was ’o kaiser ’o kurios “Caesar is Lord”! Yet it was upon these words that the earliest confession of the Church was founded. For the early Christians, this was not a glib, throw-away line uttered during a church service or something declared with a sticker on the backside of your donkey (or chariot if you were wealthy). It is my thesis that the Lordship of Christ is the most important of all truths. Nothing is truer. It is the truth that has produced the greatest good in the world. Because this truth was revealed to people: (i) the Church was founded and continues to grow and spread despite irrational persecution; (ii) the gospel was preached so that people should be saved; (iii) the divinely inspired New Testament books were written; (iv) hospitals were opened; (v) schools were commenced; (vi) universities were formed; (vii) charities were established; and, (viii) civil governments were constituted — all because: Jesus Christ is Lord! I want to help you move past seeing this truth as a mere bumper sticker/fridge-magnet, to discovering why it has been the most revolutionary revelation!
Jesus the Christ is the almighty King of kings and Lord of lords. Consider the magnitude of these words from the apostle Paul, who, when He encountered the risen-from-the-dead Lord Jesus Christ his immediate response is described in the Book of Acts:
And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him,
“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
And he said, “Who are you, Lord?”
And He said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
From this encounter with the Lord, he wrote to the Ephesian church via his epistle to Timothy:
It is perhaps difficult for us appreciate just how dangerous these words were by the apostle Paul. But ponder them and you soon realise that they were written for a public audience, widely copied, and distributed, before the apostle stood trial before Caesar Nero in AD 64. It may come as no surprise to you then that the Caesar ordered Paul to be taken from his trial in Rome down to the coastal port and beheaded. Many scholars, including this one, believe that there is an honorific reference to Paul’s martyrdom in the closing book of Bible (which was written in AD 65) recorded in Revelation 20:4. The price that many of the early Christians paid for believing and refusing to recant that Jesus Christ was Lord was their martyrdom.
CHRIST REVEALED HIS LORDSHIP IN THE WAY HE SPOKE
As a prophet Jesus never uttered the usual preliminary announcement, Thus says the Lord. Instead in every instance, He prefaced His declarations with divine phrases like, I say unto you… or Truly, truly, I say to you that… which was in essence a statement that what He was stating was inerrant (without error and not possible to be incorrect). Even those in authority who came to hear Jesus were taken back by the purity, truthfulness, and divine inspiration of everything Jesus said:
When Jesus was brought before the Roman Governor, it was the Governor who trembled in the presence of Christ and not the other way around! It seems that Pontius Pilate felt that he was in the presence of a powerful king (Jn. 18:37). This reluctance to treat Jesus unjustly was compounded by his wife receiving a warning in a dream about Jesus being no ordinary man. Tradition has it that his wife’s name was Claudia and that after the resurrection of the Christ she herself became a Christian.
If it hasn’t yet dawned on you that maybe Jesus was who He claimed to be, LORD, in Whom “All authority in heaven and on earth” has been given to Him (Matt. 28:18-20) because He conquered the “last enemy” (1Cor. 15:26), then consider this fact:
No-one in all of history had emphatically declared that his or her words would outlive the universe itself (Matt. 24:35)!!! It was acknowledged by the Dutch theologian Abraham Kuyper, who later became the Prime Minister of Holland, who famously reflected, “There is not a square inch of anywhere in the universe over which Jesus Christ does not declare: ‘Mine!’” But there is something even more inconceivable about this Most glorious King of the Universe: He knows you! (Consider John 4:29.)
Over the next few chapters of this series, I want to delve into this unfathomable truth and give you a glimpse of why the Lordship of Jesus Christ is both the greatest comfort and the greatest terror. I hope to introduce you to the LORD Jesus Christ in a way that brings you to your knees in adoration of Him and fills your heart, mind, and soul with ineffable wonder and ecstasy.
For it is written,“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me,
and every tongue shall confess to God.”
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.
Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.
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