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Jesus & power (2)

What did Jesus do with the power God had given Him?
 
He used it to identify with the weak.
Only those who are strong are able to do this to and Christ did it from the beginning of His ministry when He stood among the penitent waiting to be baptized by John until the end when He was raised up between two criminals. His association was genuine. He wasn't there to have His picture taken with them and move on --- He was there to transform lives.  So complete was his identification that He was looked upon as weak (Luke 7:33-34; 2 Corinthians 13:4). 

There is much for us here because the truth is, the church is never going to win any "who’s hot" awards (and only God knows why some keep trying). Paul reminded the prideful Corinthians that by the world’s way of gauging things, they were losers (1 Corinthians 1:26ff). No, our presence among the poor, the hungry, and the hurting is a sign of the kingdom of God (Luke 4:18ff).

Christ used His power to acknowledge His weakness (dependency upon His Father). Pilate was under the impression that the authority he exercised was uniquely his own, but Jesus let him know that all power came from the Father (John 19:11). He told anyone who would listen things like, "the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing," (John 5:19),and "My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me," (7:16). His prayers were characterized by asking that God's will be done (Matthew 6:10, 26:39,42-43).

There's real power when we come face to face with the fact that we are all in need of God’s grace and strength.  It's a spiritual tipping point when we come to the understanding that the only way we will stand is if we are "strong in the Lord and in His mighty power," (Ephesians 6:10). Little by little we learn to "delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties," (2 Corinthians 12:10), for when we are weak we are strong.

Jesus used His power to embrace suffering and death. This is perhaps the most difficult aspect of kingdom power to grasp. When Jesus began to explain to His disciples that being the Christ meant suffering and dying (and being resurrected --- Matthew 16:21), Peter would have nothing to do with it.  No Messiah he followed would speak in such a way! Even today disicples struggle to understand how kingdom power is compatible with death. But Jesus understood that through death would come life --- not just for Him, but for others as well. 
 
What happened at Calvary was that through the power of love, Jesus embraced the cross.  He did this for His Fahter.  He did it for His disciples.  He did it for us. 
 
However, it's also true that the love of power played a part in the crucifixion.   
It was the envy/self-interest of the Jewish leaders (Matthew 27:18). It was the same with Herod (Luke 23:12) and Pilate (John 19:6ff).  All of them acted in their interests, for their own preservation and advancement rather than doing what was right. All they cared about were themselves.   
 
Of course, the story doesn't end at the cross.  It can't.  It can't because love had the last word and love never fails.  It doesn't matter that all of His disciples have given up in Him.  It doesn't matter that there's a stone, a seal, and soldiers there to guarantee that the body of Jesus remains in the grave.  It doesn't matter that it's the third day since His death.  All that matters is that the power of lover goes up against the love of power and when all is said and done, it is the power of love that triumphs. 
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