Tuesday, January 14

Disarming the powers and authorities!! Turn your eyes upon Jesus

Colossians 2:11-15

The Message (MSG)
11-15 Entering into this fullness is not omething you figure out or achieve. It’s not a matter of being circumcised or keeping a long list of laws. No, you’re already in—insiders—not through some secretive initiation rite but rather through what Christ has already gone through for you, destroying the power of sin. If it’s an initiation ritual you’re after, you’ve already been through it by submitting to baptism. Going under the water was a burial of your old life; coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising you from the dead as he did Christ. When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s cross. He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.

Today we had the second sermon in our sermon series, and Pastor Dave spoke again today.  Once again, I was struck by something that was not new, however the simplicity of it spoke to me once again.  It began first of all with Dave talking about offering up a "new habit" this year - afterall - a new year = new habits right?  Well, he encouraged us to start a "habit of thankfulness" because that will change us, and thanksgiving has a way of "disarming us", "refocuses us" and helps us gain a "new perspective".  Not only that, but Dave reminded us that thanksgiving marks a Christ follower.  (hmmm when have I thanked God lately?) This in itself reminds me of a saying I saw on a pillow that sad something like this "Imagine if tomorrow you got only what you thanked God for today".   I think we would all be quite surprised.

The other thing that spoke loudly to me today was when Dave talked about being IN Christ.  About him being the focus!  Rather than us just ranting and raving to him about things, and wanting him to figure out our junk, but instead "losing your life in Christ".  

Dave then talked about Paul using the words from Colossians 2: 15 

This is the second time within a week that I have heard that verse - about Jesus "disarming the rulers and authorities.  Dave explained how in those days - when a nation was victoriaous in battle, they would parade through the street with great fanfare - parading the goods, riches that they were not brining back, and then parading any captives, and sometimes, brining the defeated and captured King through the streets, beaten, tied or chained, and then put him in the centre court and usually kill him.  Those who won the battle knew how to "disarm" the defeated, and made great deal of it.  

Here was Jesus.  Jesus and the CROSS.  The cross, a symbol that is not at all glorious but instead a symbol of torture and death.  And yet, Jesus conquered the cross - and  as the Scripture says again, 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.[e]

He disarmed them alright (BIG UNDERSTATEMENT!!) He made the cross VICTORIOUS because He died on it for our sins, but He conquered the cross, death and the grave and rose triumphant - and lives forever more.  And because of this - what He did for US (you and I, regardless of our sin) WE CAN BE VICTORIOUS IN HIM!! As the Message said you are already IN because of what He did for us.  I guess my question to you is this - are you IN Christ?  Have you given your life to him?  So simple - but something Jesus does not push on us - but waits for us to turn our eyes and our hearts to him, and invite him in. 

Dave ended with a song that I often sing when I am alone.  It is a song I grew up with - kind of like a "staple" you know!!  It is called TURN YOUR EYES UPON JESUS.  

Listen to it.  Simple, but profound.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus/Look full in his wonderful face/ and the things of earth will grow strangely dim/In the light of His glory and grace!

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