Monday, 20 June 2016

How Jesus overcomes Orlando

“My kingdom is not of this world,” Jesus said.

Christ rules by His Word.  Teaching.  Not by bodily force, nor the State. 

Christ commanded His apostles to teach, to proclaim forgiveness.  He did not give them the power of the sword, the right to establish, occupy or bestow kingdoms of the world.

“The weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh,” Paul wrote.  No, of course not – they are - and always will be - the declaration of Christ’s saving work on the cross for the sake of all people.

The recent shootings in Orlando revive in our minds the dangerous and evil structure of false religions: the mixing of Religion and State.  Whenever Religion takes up the power of the sword, or attempts to establish control with anything other than humble teaching, it lies squarely in the realm of the Evil One.  Oh, it is a great temptation to reach for that power – no doubt – but Christ resisted even this.

Think about it.  Christ comes gently, humbly – by entreating people to see what He has already accomplished for us in His battle on the cross.  And His battle was not one of force the way we think of force – but true, undeniable victory – “dying” our violence, taking it in, absorbing it fully into Himself, that His Word of forgiveness might control all things.  This is love.  He has overcome all evil power structures in His death.  He has remade humanity in Himself.  Christ is the new humanity, and everyone who hears this and believes it shall enjoy His new kingdom forever. 

The devil wants to scare you so you put your trust in some kingdom of the world.  But these kingdoms will all let you down.  They will never save you.  Only Jesus will, who comes to you humbly, gently, mercifully by His Word alone.  Thanks be to God that His care for us is by Word and not force.