Today’s sermon by Simon was mindblowing and brutally honest for all listeners. Totally worth listening to if you have not. It is about the use of Power and now Jesus perfectly uses His.
How do we use our power?
If I reflect truthfully and honestly, I frequently use my power and influence in a self-centered manner. I seek to gain progress for myself. Sure, I sometimes appear to use my ability to lift people, but deep down, I make sure I do not lose out while doing so. I see myself in Pilate, who had the power and authority to release Jesus. He affirmed that he has found Jesus not guilty. But yet he decided to use his control to fortify his political position. Deep down, we have this tendency to use our power to “save ourselves.”
The scoffers also encouraged Jesus to use His power in this exact humanly way. Thrice, they exhort Jesus to use His power to “save yourself!” (V35, 37, 39). But yet we see Jesus respond in a countercultural manner, opposite from what we expect.
How does Jesus use his power?
- Powerful love that looks to the interest of Others.
- The human impulse, if we are to be in the place of Jesus, will be to use our power to get ourselves out of the cross
- Jesus did not. He submitted to God’s will, prayed for the very people who persecute Him to be forgiven, and then proceeded to die for them. There was nothing about self-love.
- Powerful love that gives itself in place of its enemies
- It is one thing to die for your friends and comrades; it is another to did for your enemies. Jesus died for his enemies. (Rom 5:10)
- Powerful love that brings sinners into His Kingdom
- According to Heb 9:22, without the shedding of blood, there can be no forgiveness of sin. Out of love, Jesus has shed his own blood for the forgiveness of our sin and to rebirth us into His Kingdom.
How are we responding to Jesus’ power?
It is natural for humans to give our lives to people whom we know have the power to influence our situation. We call this process “networking”. Everyone knows and does this. How much we give our lives to that person depends on how much power we think he has.
Now, knowing the power of Jesus through scripture, we are faced with a choice, of which there are only two options. The two thieves exemplify these options on the cross. Note that both asked Jesus to save them. However, the first wanted Jesus to save him from his temporal pain on the cross. The other went to Jesus with the understanding of a spiritual reality of salvation from eternal condemnation.
If, like the first thief, we come to Christ primarily for circumstantial issues, and do not understand the core of the gospel, then it is to misunderstand Jesus Christ entirely. According to this text, this will lead us to be excluded from His Kingdom. We can do all sorts of things in the name of Christ, but on the last day, Jesus will proclaim that “he does not know us.” (Matthew 7:21-23)
This sermon reminds me that even though I know I am safe and secure in His hands, we are prone to forget what exactly Jesus saved us from. I can be too fixated on getting things right in this world and neglect the greater perspective. This results in me being less grateful to Christ. The solution is to remember the centrality of the gospel and what exactly Jesus has done for us.
Practically the text also mirrors to me how selfish I can be in stewarding my power and influence. I ought to learn to steward them to benefit others, not just in a temporal way but to focus on the spiritual aspect of other’s growth in Christ.
Church: Redemption Hill Church
These notes are a summation of truths taught by the Preacher and my reflections from the sermon. It does not reflect the full message and intention of the Peacher.