Dave spoke this morning from Phil 2:5-11, asking us ‘what is the most important statement the church makes?’ From this passage, the answer would be ‘Jesus Christ is Lord.’
Over the years, there have been many disputes and arguments in church circles on matters of doctrine and practice, but this central statement remains the unifying factor in all church life. Jesus, who was Himself God, laid aside His power to become fully man. Born as a baby in Bethlehem, brought up in Nazareth (a village about which it was said that nothing good ever came from there!), living an ordinary life with his family and learning the family trade of being a carpenter, Jesus began to teach and preach and heal people at the age of thirty, having an enormous impact on multitudes. From humble obscurity, his life ended in public shame as He was crucified, but in sacrificing His life for our sins, having lived a sinless life, He demonstrated that He is Lord of all.
Being Lord, He is able to forgive us for all our sins against God and was both the priest and the offering. He made atonement for our sin and is therefore far more than merely a ‘good moral teacher.‘ He is all-powerful, overcoming death, and His resurrection changed the lives not only of his immediate disciples but of millions of people since then. The fact that He is Lord means He is the boss, the chief, the One who is uniquely in chage of lives and to whom we owe absolute love and loyalty.
Jesus is coming back to earth, and one day, every knee will bow to Him. Right will preval; justice will be done; sin will no longer have dominion over anyone and there will be no more tears, sorrow, suffering or pain. We look forward to this ‘arrival’ and anticipate this future, but all of this arises because God has exalted Jesus to the highest place and given Him the name above every other name. Let’s proclaim that Jesus Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, as Handel did so superbly in the ‘Hallelujah Chorus‘ of his ‘Messiah.’