“Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come,
for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.”
When I read this verse this morning, the phrase “the authority of His Christ” began to resonate in my heart. I started contemplating the authority of Christ and what impact this should have on our lives.
How does the authority of Christ affect our day-to-day?
How does it affect our relationships?
How does it affect us in difficulty?
How does it affect how we view the world and its events?
Because the reality is, all authority belongs to our God. Nothing slips past Him unseen. No one can undermine His authority or His will, or stop Him from working everything for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
Hebrews 1:3 states that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, “upholds the universe by the word of his power.” The mere word of His power upholds the entire universe. Taking it slightly further, Colossians 1:17 tells us, “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” So not only does He uphold everything by the word of His power, He is within it all, holding all things together as well. As we try to process the magnitude of that thought, let me bring another in:
“When I thought, ‘My foot slips,’ your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up.”
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
“He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted…to comfort all who mourn…
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning”
Jesus Christ upholds the universe—and He holds you up as well. He holds all things together, including you. When it feels like you’re slipping, underneath you are the everlasting arms of God your Savior. When your world seems to be falling apart or your heart feels broken beyond repair, He is near enough to hold you together. In perfect love and power, He will bind up your wounds, and as impossible as it may seem, healing will come.
The authority and power of Christ reach into every space.
On a universal, global, and very personal scale.
So, looking back to our questions—what does this mean in our day-to-day? If we truly recognize the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, how does it change our moments? I suppose grasping this means really knowing how He calls us to live—studying His Word and His life, learning to recognize His voice. If we are Christ’s, we are to follow Him and obey His commands. Our lives, including the smallest moments of our days, are to display the characteristics He exemplified for us. Love. Forgiveness. Compassion. Patience (also called long-suffering, which may better capture the meaning). Kindness. Righteousness. Holiness (being set apart for God). And here’s a thought—in Christ’s ministry on earth, we see a great emphasis on prayer. So, under His authority, our lives should reflect this same emphasis. Yet how often does our day-to-day sadly let this fall to the side?
Moving to relationships…The authority of Christ should really help our perspective here. Because one major thing about relationships—they involve more than just one person. We can’t control the other person’s side of things. So even if we were to do everything right on our end (unlikely in and of itself), the relationship could still remain entirely broken. But Jesus Christ has authority, even here. God can still do the “impossible.” He is powerful enough to restore the un-restorable. To repair an irreparable breach. To soften the hardest heart, bring light to the darkest places, and sight to the most blinded eyes. The authority of Christ stands. So we do all we can to walk in His authority, and we trust Him with the rest—including our past failures. We hope, because He reigns.
In difficulty, as well as in the world and the events around us, the authority of Christ is where we fix our eyes to remain grounded as everything else is shaken. Faced with circumstances we may have never saw coming and can’t remotely control, we have firm ground to stand on. Something—Someone—unchanging. We can always count on Him. He will not fail us. And He is not acting in response to a situation. No, He is in control of it all. I saw a post online today that said, “Only God was already in your tomorrow…not hell, not fear, not any other force or power. Only God is already where you’re going. He’s there and He loves you. He’s there and He knows what you need.” As Isaiah 52:12 says, “the LORD will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.”
The authority of Christ stands, even over the most devastating of news, the most appalling act of terror or wickedness, and the most monumental of governmental shifts. We can trust Him, and we continue to look to the day when, finally, all wrongs will be made right, all evil will be crushed, and all tears and sickness and strife and death will be gone. This world, ultimately, is temporary. Christ—and His authority—is eternal. This world is also lost without Him, so we must pray for laborers in His harvest, and be willing to be those laborers ourselves, until the last of His chosen are brought into the fold.
This is kind of a lot to wrap our minds around. But my prayer is that God will weave this truth into the heart and mindset of one each of us: Jesus Christ has all authority. In and around us. This stands as both a challenge and a hope. So let us rise to the challenge and stand firmly in the hope that God our Savior reigns. Earlier I quoted a portion of Hebrews 1:3. The verse goes on to say, “After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” After Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, the sacrifice that cleanses us from sin and reconciles us to the Most High and Holy God, He sat down at God’s right hand and took the place of supreme authority. And it is in this authority that we rejoice, for Jesus has silenced our accuser. Our Savior, the King of kings, has won the day. Once we are in Him, we will never be lost, and we will never be without hope.