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The transition of power that Jesus brought about
With Jesus came a change of power that shook heaven and earth. Who had the power before, and who has the power now?
When we think of Jesus’ coming to earth, we understand that it was to create an upheaval – a transition of power. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” was His message from the very beginning (Matthew 4:17). When Jesus was born, the land was occupied by the Roman empire. The Emmaus pilgrims who spoke to Jesus on the road after His resurrection told Him that they hoped that Jesus would be the one to redeem Israel (Luke 24:21). They were thinking of an external political upheaval, in which Israel was freed from the yoke of the Romans. It took time for the disciples to realize that it was a completely different kind of transition of power that Jesus brought about. It was the dominion of the throne of the heart that was at stake. For the life of a person proceeds from the heart (Proverbs 4:23).
No longer living for yourself
“For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh …” Romans 8:3. It was sin in the flesh that prevailed. Even the law of Moses was powerless before it. The law had a morally limiting and restraining effect, but could not completely liberate people. Mankind and the creation were enslaved and groaning under the bondage of the flesh, sin, and futility (Romans 8: 19-21; Romans 6:14).
“Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. ... Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed,” says Jesus in John 8:34,36. Jesus’ death was not only a death to free us from the guilt of sin, but also a death to free us from the power of sin.
“For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” 2 Corinthians 5:14-15.
The starting point for all people is that those who live, live for themselves. Living for yourself is the basis of all sin. The ego is the center of existence. It is all about yourself, to preserve your good name and reputation and satisfy your own desires – or, as it is often said: to “find fulfillment.” If you do something bad or wrong, you deny it, and may even use lies so as not to “lose face.” If you does something good, it is essential to tell people or brag about it. In both cases, it is the ego that is at the center and the governing impulse in life.
The very purpose of Jesus dying for all, we read, was that those who live should no longer live for themselves. Instead of myself – my ego – being at the center, Christ will be my center. Then, what He wants, I want too. What I am interested in is His will, His good pleasure, His words, His cause, His kingdom and His body – which is the church.
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A transition of power
“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.” Colossians 1:13. A life in sin – in which you live for yourself – shows that you are a prisoner of the “power of darkness” and live in the realm of darkness. Then imagine experiencing liberation from the power of darkness and being transferred to the kingdom of light – the kingdom of God’s beloved Son! The apostle John speaks of passing from death to life. Truly a transition of power. But this can only happen by faith – and with your voluntary consent. You get a new mind, you turn around, and experience new “times of refreshing” and consolation (Acts 3:19). The old man is put off, and you put on the new man – Christ (Ephesians 4:22-24; Romans 13:14). The ego is put off by faith, and Christ is installed as King and Lord on the throne of the heart (Colossians 2: 6).
The apostle Paul experienced this transition of power. That is why he writes: “For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:19-20.
A life of faith in the Son of God leads to the crucifixion of the ego and thereby to the life of the Son being revealed in our bodies. In this way, the transition of power becomes visible to everyone.
[Emphasis in the quoted scriptures has been added by the author - editor’s note]
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.