But Jesus conquered more than death:
(Col 2:15) And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
We think Christianity is only about being saved from hell. But Paul celebrates the fact that Jesus also saves us from the “powers and authorities”! “Powers and authorities” … these are the same words Paul uses when he describes the end of the world —
(1 Cor 15:24) Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.
And these are the same words found in —
(Titus 3:1) Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good.
God’s master plan for human political systems is that (a) we should be subject to our human rulers, to the extent we can do so without violating God’s will, and (b) they have already been disarmed, embarrassed, and defeated by Jesus, and they will finally be destroyed by Jesus.
And, yet, today we consider earthly power and authority something to crave and to work for. We want the church to be in power, to make the rules, and even to govern society. We want the church to be a power and an authority — the very things that Jesus died to defeat.
Earthly politics cannot be about whether the church will have power. Jesus has power — already. He doesn’t need a vote for that to happen. If we don’t see that it’s already true, then the fault is our weak faith.
(2 Cor 12:9) But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Sometimes I worry that we think that the success of God’s kingdom depends on the outcome of the next election. The politicians would sure like us to think that! But God’s plan is for his power and his love to be shown by his church, by his children — not the government.
We need to let Christ’s power rest in our weakness. Our hope is in Jesus, not ourselves and not our government. And that hope is not just for after we die. It’s about the good news changing who we are and allowing us to be salt and light — changing the world by being like Jesus — in confidence that his power will be enough.