Power, Purpose, and Priorities

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They have just witnessed the most incredible of miracles. Three years of walking with him—with Him—witnessing miracle after miracle; of seeing lame men walk, dead girls rise, blind men see. And now this: the Man they’d watched beaten to a bloody, unrecognizable pulp; the Man whose ribs had been laid bare by the whips; the Man whom they had seen die a horrendous, agonizing death…is alive.

If you have seen The Princess Bride then you know that Westley was only “mostly dead, and mostly dead is a little alive.” And you know that Miracle Max’s chocolate-covered miracle pill took at least 15 minutes for full effect, and even then, Westley could only manage a weak nod and a stumbling step. But his was no resurrection, it was at best a resuscitation.

What the disciples had seen was a resurrection—not from mostly dead, but from all dead. Even—according to some traditions’ understanding of Peter’s words—so dead that “He descended into hell.” And now He is all alive.

Still, they didn’t get it. Somehow, they still didn’t understand the purpose and the power of this resurrection. And now, as He promises them that same power, their own priorities take over. “Now does Israel win?” Jesus has just been raised from the dead and they’re concerned about who’s going to run the country. Satan’s eternal grip has been broken and they’re asking Jesus who he’s voting for in the next election.

Speaking of which, you may have noticed that we’re last than two weeks away from election day. The highways, byways, and airways; front yards and side streets are nauseatingly plastered with signs telling us who we need to vote for in order to turn around our country, state, or community. Vote Yes on this, No on that. And if you hang around with Christians, you can be sure to hear how your vote will make an eternal difference for our nation; who will lead us to hell and who is the next Moses or Joshua or (dare we say) Messiah.

Whatever you do, whoever you vote for, don’t get sucked into the lie of political salvation. Remember Jesus’ words: “My kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:36) His power is greater, his purpose is grander, and his priorities are higher than anything we will fully comprehend. Like ancient Israel living in exile in Babylon, we ought to “seek the welfare of the city” where God has sent us (Jeremiah 29:7); but our great hope is for a new heaven and a new earth, not merely a new president and new Congress.

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