Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Supremacy of Christ: Power, Purity and Promise


The Supremacy of Christ


He is the greatest man to ever walk the earth. He was perfect in his morality. He was unsurpassed in his purity. He was ultimately compassionate and just. His justice stirred him to clear the temple of those who would desecrate it. His compassion was revealed when he wept at the news of the death of a friend. His humility was displayed when he threw the towel over his shoulder and washed the feet of his disciples. His thirty-three years on this earth were brief. His three year ministry is just a microscopic spec on the timeline of eternity. Yet, his words and his actions profoundly changed the world forever. Jesus is the true author of genuine hope and change and he bought that possibility for all of mankind by submitting to a brutal death on a cross protruding from a small piece of earth called Golgotha.

1. He is supreme in his power. He could awaken or paralyze a storm by the mere sound of his spoken word. His power was such that the mere touch of his hand could bring the dead back to life. The power that emanated from him was capable of healing those who could reach the hem of his garment. He amazed his followers by turning water into wine, feeding five thousand people with a few fish and loaves and cleansing the leper by the mere touch of his hand. Never has any living man been able to demonstrate power like Jesus did.

He often chose NOT to reveal his power. He once looked out over the hills of a sinful city, Jerusalem, and instead of calling down deserved destruction as was done at Sodom and Gomorrah, he was overcome with compassion and cried out, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:37) He didn’t prevent the brutal death of John the Baptist, he could have. He could have resisted his arrest by the Roman soldiers, he chose rather to accept the will of the Father.

They hung him on the cross. They mocked him and tortured him and in their arrogance they challenged him, if he was indeed the Son of God, “come down from the cross and save yourself!" (Mark 15:30) They laughed and slapped each other on the back as they invented new ways to humiliate Jesus. But then their laughing stopped. It was the power of Jesus hanging on the cross that caused the earth to shake. By his power the skies turned dark. It was the incomprehensible power of Jesus that ripped the veil of the temple in half from top to bottom. And in his mercy he checked his own power but please know:

He could have called ten thousand angels

To destroy the world and set Him free.

He could have called ten thousand angels,

But He died alone, for you and me.

2. He is supreme in his purity. Jesus never sinned. Some would argue that he was the Son of God, it was not possible for him to sin. I would beg to differ. Scripture tells us that “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)

There has never walked on upon this earth one who was sinless and pure like Jesus. We must know Him in his purity because his holiness qualifies him to be our Savior. If Jesus was not sinless the lamb slain upon the cross is weak and helpless to save us from our sin.

Satan knew that the purity of Christ would save the souls of the lost. So he led him out into the wilderness for forty days of temptation. Satan did everything in his power to steal away the innocence of the Lamb. He took him to a high spot and offered him the kingdoms of the world as if they were his to offer. But Jesus refused to take the easy way and instead he chose to purchase his kingdom with his own blood and the purity of Jesus was preserved and we should praise him and worship him because of the supremacy of his purity.

3. He is supreme in his promise. We are so careless to break promises. 50% of Americans marry and promise their spouse everlasting love and then break that promise. We find ourselves in serious trouble financially or relationally or emotionally and we make promises to God, “If only you will get me out of this mess.” And when we feel comfortable again we forget our promises to him.

Please know this: Jesus never broke a promise. “He has given us great and precious promises….that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.” (2 Peter 1:4)

a. Do you question where you are going? He promises to give direction to our lives. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

b. Are you tired? Do the hardships in your life make you feel weary? Do you feel like throwing in the towel? “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

c. Do you feel weak? Is the road too hard? Is the task too overwhelming? Is the mountain too steep? Have the dark clouds rolled in and taken away your joy? Do you feel like the little five year old boy I heard recently who said, “I’ve lost my happy.” “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:29-31)

We must know him in the supremacy of his promises because he has said that “he will supply all our needs according to his riches in glory.” (Philippians 4:19) He has promised us that “Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” (Romans 8:37-39)

We must know the supremacy of his promise because it is by this promise that we are saved. If we grasp and act on this promise we will live with Christ for all of eternity. “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

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