Lord of all

A drawing of Jesus against a dark background, wearing a crown of thorns and with eyes closed and head on one side asif on the cross, but with arms at his side. Around his neck, in contrast to the rest of the picture, is a white cross on a chain.

40 Names of Jesus in 40 days of Lent — Day 19

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:9-11 ESVUK

The cross has become a sign of the glory of Jesus Christ.

A friend of mine used to say, “When a passage starts with ‘Therefore’ it is best to see what it is there for. This passage about Jesus being Lord of all comes at the end of a list of things Jesus gave up:

  • He gave up his place in Heaven to come to Earth.
  • Being human he humbled himself to be a servant of other people.
  • He humbled himself further to be obedient to death on a cross, a particularly brutal form of execution.

It was because Jesus had first lowered himself and that higher place is to be at God’s right hand in heaven, where Jesus Christ is now seated. Yes now. It is because Jesus is Lord of all now that every knee will bow to him and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord in the future. Jesus is not only Lord of all who follow him. he is also the Lord of those who follow other lords, of those who say he does not exist and those who are indifferent. Jesus died for all people of all time, his love is available to all and he never turns away any who come to him. The job of Christians is to call all to come to Jesus, not to get in the way of them coming as some in the church seem good at doing. I include myself in this.

That is what this means to Jesus, but what this means to us is in the words that follow:

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,

Philippians 2:12 ESVUK

In the last 16 years, I have questioned every part of my faith. I have tested everything I have been taught to see if it works in practice. A lot has stayed the same, I must have been well taught, but some things, especially my attitude to why people are not healed when prayed for, has changed dramatically since I am now one of those people. I realise what I said in the past was abusive. Sorry.

This asking of hard questions is called theological deconstruction these days, but it has always been around under the name of working out your own salvation in fear and trembling. Leaving room to question and relying on the Holy Spirit can be a way to a stronger deeper faith in Jesus Christ as Lord not just of your own Christian clique, but as Lord of all.

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