“Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,
“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
35 until I make your enemies your footstool.”’
36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” – Acts 2:29-36
When Ronald Reagan was shot (March 30, 1981), chaos ensued at the White House. Then Secretary of State Alexander Haig, Jr. asserted himself with his comment, “I’m in charge here.” Perhaps in the moment he was the highest ranking person in the room, so technically he would have been in charge at that moment in that confined space. But he was not next in line in the order of authority. That would have been the Vice President, George H.W. Bush. Haig’s comment is seen today as a PR faux pas. It’s even studied and has it’s own website!
Throughout history many people have taken charge – of fiefdoms, kingdoms, countries, and movements. From Stalin, to Hitler, to Mao, to Kim, Pol Pot, Amin, the list goes on, people have bullied their way onto the world stage. In Jesus’ day the coup was carried off by an unholy alliance between Rome and Jerusalem. High Priests and a Roman governor conspired to undercut God in his proper rule and reign over all things by crucifying the Lord and Christ, Jesus of Nazareth – who is king of all.
But all their efforts came to nothing when on the third day after his crucifixion Jesus rose from the dead and after 40 days Jesus ascended into heaven. Seated at the right hand of God he is Lord and Christ. He is above all powers, authorities, rulers, kings and all people – from the most faithful, meek, and humble to the hardest, most ruthless, evil and godless dictator. One day the enemies of Christ will be a footstool for his feet. He will be exalted over all in the end.
That truth, along with the account of Jesus’ life, suffering, death, and resurrection help us to understand what’s happening all around us today. We are each and all under the rule of Christ. Now it is his rule of grace. In his grace, he causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust alike. In his grace he does not smite the sinner every time he sins. In his grace he is working even the most evil events of life to the good of his purpose and blessing of those who love him.
There is much comfort here, knowing that Jesus rules in the hearts and minds of those who love and believe in him. It is comforting also to know that he desires to have such rule in the heart of every woman and man.
There will be a day when evil will no longer be allowed to reign over the affairs of man. That will be a welcome day for those who seek the rule and reign of Christ each day. But to get there we must deal with these final words of Peter here: “whom you crucified.” Ugh. That calls for repentance. And to that we will turn – as far as this blog is concerned – on Monday. In the mean time we are all called upon to repent each day, believing Jesus’ promises and embracing his forgiveness. In that repentance and faith we can rejoice that Jesus is in charge here. And well he is.