Friday, May 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Israel! (& Christendom's Oldest Oath of Allegiance)

Today is the nation of Israel's birthday. It is also, for that reason, my fictional hero's birthday. He was born the day Israel was restored as a nation: May 15th, 1948. I'll tell you more about him later.

But as I walked into Wheaton College's library this morning, after being mildly shocked how empty the campus was, the strangest thing and most wonderful thing was written on the library's announcement dry-erase board:

"Jesus is Lord."

What is truly spooky, is that I wrote the remainder of this blog two days ago on Wednesday, May 13th.

I'm not stupid. God wants me to know something and is hammering it in. So without further ado, here's what I wrote and saved as a draft and now publish:
_______________________________________________________________

If you were like me, sitting in Sunday school, thinking that meant next to nothing, think again.

Christians in the first century said this as a counter-cultural Oath of Allegiance. You see, Caesar was considered divine as he sat in power over the Roman Empire; it was known and repeated "Kaisar Kurios!" i.e. "Caesar is Lord!"

Christians who said "Christos Kurios!" were not just saying that Jesus was divine, but present and powerful and the True Ruler of the world.

By saying it, they were defying the power of Rome, and by implication, all who paid homage to Caesar.

Paul wrote: "No one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the power of the Holy Spirit." [I Cor. 12:3]

They were a bit radical, but since many had seen or knew someone who had seen the resurrected Christ, it was understandable. Once that happened, they were pretty certain Caesar was just an imposter king.

"Jesus is Lord."

That means He wins, no matter what. It also means we speak up for Christ, no matter what. Jesus expects us to stand true to Him in the political arena, and this blogger reminded me of that.

"Jesus is Lord."

Well, frankly folks, He is.

We either obey Him as such or not. As one said "Jesus is Lord of All, or He is not Lord at all."

That's right.

Amen.

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