The Might and Majesty of the Risen Savior
At Eastertime, Christians rejoice and give praise for the resurrection of mankind’s Savior.
Words often fall short of communicating the full magnificence of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let me try by offering that he was the most complete package ever to grace this earth. He was the supreme example of both meekness and might – widely different qualities that often are mutually exclusive in a typical human being, but were a divinely natural and necessary combination in the Savior. Indeed, as both Son of God and Son of Man – as both divine and human united in one individuality – Christ Jesus was perfection incarnate, a majestic and unique wonder, the contemplation of which should inspire, awe, and humble us.
The meekness and humility of the Lord are unmistakable in word and deed. He declared, “I can of mine own self do nothing … I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me” (John 5:30) and when he was addressed as “Good Master,” he replied, “Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God” (Mark 10:17-18). In vivid and sublime demonstration of his meekness, he knelt and washed his disciples’ feet (John 13:1-15).
This humblest and most selfless of men was also a man of great courage, power, and dominion.
Jesus’ courage was manifest by the way he repeatedly defied the Pharisees who were looking for a pretext to destroy him, calling them “hypocrites” and “vipers” (Matt. 23) and boldly healing a withered hand in the synagogue on the Sabbath (Luke 6:6-11). He showed magnificent courage by steadfastly insisting on going to Jerusalem, even though he knew that he would be betrayed and condemned to death (Matt. 20:18), going so far as to deliver a stinging rebuke to Peter – “Get thee behind me, Satan!” (Matt. 16:23) – when Peter spoke of protecting the Lord from meeting his destiny.
God’s anointed one repeatedly did things believed to be impossible. The spiritual power he demonstrated exceeds even the most marvelous accomplishments of modern technology. He overcame the laws of physiology, as when he restored sight to the man born blind (John 9:1-7, 32) or instantly healed ten lepers (Luke 17:11-19). He trumped the laws of biology and medicine, when he raised Lazarus from the tomb four days after his death (John 11:1-44). He nullified the laws of physics and meteorology, walking on the water (Matt.14:22-33) and stilling the tempest (Mark 4:35-41). He overruled the laws of botany and agronomy, feeding multitudes on at least two occasions with a few loaves of bread and a few fish (Mark 6:30-44 and 8:1-9).
The Savior proved with irrevocable finality his everlasting dominion through the sequence of events that we commemorate during Holy Week. Throughout the awful drama of his betrayal, arrest, torture, condemnation and hideous execution, he proved that God always reigns supreme. When the men sent by the high priests and Pharisees came to Gethsemane, an invisible force knocked them backwards onto the ground (John 18:6). His disciples should have taken that as a sign: God was in control, no matter how bleak the picture looked. And so it proved. Jesus permitted the crucifixion to take place. Basically, he challenged his enemies to take their best shot at trying to obliterate his life. They failed; it was beyond their power. On the following Sunday morning – that first Easter – the Savior proved his dominion over death and the tomb. He reappeared in resurrection glory, thereby comforting, strengthening, and redeeming humanity with the priceless promise and gift of eternal life.
What was the key to Jesus’ resurrection? Was it not revealed in his prayer in Gethsemane? There he subdued human will and submitted to the Divine Plan: “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). What a great lesson for us all: In meekness there is might.
Let us celebrate the might and majesty of our Lord Jesus Christ, not just at Easter, but every day. Praise be to the risen Savior!
Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson is an adjunct faculty member, economist, and fellow for economic and social policy with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College.