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There’s Only One Throne

Hello Family,I hope you’ve found times of refreshment this week. In the spirit of Psalm 62, my prayer for you has been: “Father, enable us to rest in you. Cause us to find hope in you. You are our rock and our salvation; our fortress. Do not allow us to be shaken.”

Amid the uncertainties of presidential races and hidden terrorist agendas, I heard one person say recently, “Christ is still on his throne.” And that’s not only comforting, but it’s true in ways we tend to forget. It’s even true literally. Jesus Christ is at this moment on his throne. Physically present and active. He even has a body. It is a resurrected body, to be sure, but nevertheless, Christ has a human body.

Sometimes, with our proclivity to over-spiritualize, we tend to think of Jesus as more of a mystical force or a spiritual power than an in-the-flesh ruler. But that’s what Jesus is: A true King with a flesh-and-blood body, who still bears the scars inflicted by those who represented us in the greatest betrayal in human history.

And yet, as pastor and author, Gerrit Dawson, points out: The continuing Incarnation of Jesus has many implications for us in these uneven days. Dawson writes:

“One of the first acts of the enthroned Jesus was to open the treasure trove of his love and bring forth a gem of inestimable value. In his bountiful rule, the King of kings showers a priceless gift from his infinite largesse upon his subjects. He receives the Holy Spirit from the Father and pours him out upon the disciples (Acts 2:33). The Spirit, who gives himself to be so poured, becomes the bond between the still-incarnate Son in heaven and his people still sojourning on earth. By this boon, the physically absent King establishes a living tie between himself and his subjects. The head pours his life-giving energies and constant direction throughout his body (i.e. into his people) through his Spirit. … Jesus himself understood his departure from his disciples as involving entry into a kingdom. …

“The King’s story has placed his people under tension. He is not here for us to see, yet he is always about to return. The church is under pressure, by the breath of his Spirit, both as an updraft and a downdraft. On the one hand, we are pushed upward by the commands of the sovereign to look to him as we enact mission in his name. We surge into the future on the wind of his triumph as we live and proclaim the gospel. But, on the other hand, our work is never finished, never to be seen as complete in itself. We are demonstrating the kingdom on earth but not creating the final realm. So, the church labors under the downward pressure of a future that draws nigh, shaping the church, encouraging her in times of resistance and persecution with the promise that the new heavens and the new earth are on the way.” (HT C.R. Bresson)

If you watched the debates last Sunday night, you might have felt as I did: “What … just … happened?” It was enough to make me scratch my head in disbelief. And yet, the reality of his continued incarnation means that an enthroned Jesus remains in direct relationship to the world and its rulers. “There is a real, human king,” Dawson reminds, “who reigns over the world from heaven. A man who once walked among us is on the throne, and he is not aloof from the affairs of his realm below. All other powers on earth, therefore, are merely temporary and derived.” To that, I say, Hallelujah.

We could say it this way: Jesus watched the debates, too. He saw what happened and what was said. He sees what’s going on in our world. And he’s not scared or worried. In fact, in a way that far exceeds our ability to totally grasp, he is advancing things, by the Spirit, in the direction of his desired end. Trump? Hillary? Kanye? There’s no one who can accomplish one task that is outside of God’s beautiful and sovereign plan, a plan that our presently enthroned King will ultimately and finally carry out, and a plan which is for our good and the glory of the one who scoffed at death and overthrew all the powers of this earthly realm.

It’s going to be ok. Jesus will make sure of it.

In Him,

Pastor John