Rumination VI – Power Through The Back Door

(Shared on Easter Sunday with the Pleasant Valley Church in Little Rock, Arkansas)

This is a very special time for this body of people. It’s a time when we pause to reflect on the gift that was given us in Jesus Christ. The Lord’s Supper is not a once in a while thing for us – it’s something we do every week. We remember Jesus and His sacrifice for us. We remember the death that He died so that we might live.

Several years ago, Michelle and I had the opportunity to visit Victoria, British Columbia (BC). It’s a beautiful city, in an almost idyllic setting. While Michelle enjoyed the mild sunshine and beautiful flowers outdoors, I toured the BC Parliament Building. It is a magnificent, stately structure with a great deal of rich history.

While on that tour, I learned something very interesting. Only the King or Queen of England, or their representative, may enter the BC Parliament Building through the front door. Everyone else – including the Members of Parliament – enters the building through a side door. It seemed an odd state of affairs to me: Those with the real power enter through the back door, while those who enter through the front door have only ceremonial powers.

Though I’ve never seen it, I expect that the arrival of the British monarch at the BC Parliament Building is greeted with great pomp and circumstance, though Canada is fully independent of Britain. There is likely much less fanfare when those with the real power – the Members of Parliament – arrive through the side doors.

It caused me to reflect on how the Creator of the Universe, when visiting His own creation, didn’t enter in heavenly glory through the gates of Jerusalem, but instead came humbly and lowly through a barn in tiny Bethlehem. The One who deserved all the glory and honor that this earth could muster stepped in through the back door, sidestepping all the fanfare. But for a handful of shepherds, no one noticed His arrival.

Yet Jesus holds the REAL power. The power to create and the power to sustain. The power to heal and the power to save. The power to lay down His life and the power to pick it up again. But He willingly gave up everything for us.

The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 2:

5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Because of His willingness to humble Himself and take a lowly position, God elevated Him back to the highest place of honor: At His right hand.

Of all the powers that Jesus possesses, there’s one that should matter above all the other to us. Jesus holds the power over Death and Hell. Without His intervention, we would be absolutely without hope. Death and Hell are the penalties that I deserve for my rebellion against Him. But He willingly made Himself nothing and endured those things for me. And my life is forever changed because of it.

On this day that we call Easter, Jesus demonstrated the awesome power that He holds. You see, He humbled Himself even to death on a cross. But it doesn’t stop there. You see, the tomb was EMPTY … That’s why we have hope. If not for the empty tomb, it would all be just a cute story.

As you participate in this Lord’s Supper this morning, remember what Jesus gave up for you. He died to set you free. He rose to seal the deal.

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