‘Normal’ Is Not an Option
Jesus says in Matthew 28 that “all authority in heaven and on earth” has been given to him, and when he says “all authority” he means authority not just over stuff, but over people. Jesus is the sovereign king seated on the throne of the universe, reigning over everything; and for those who embrace him by faith, Jesus is the sovereign king seated on the throne of our hearts, reigning over us. That’s what it means for Jesus to be our Lord.
And there’s more. Jesus is also the Savior who saves us. Jesus rescues us from ourselves, and from sin, and from God’s wrath against our sin, and from Satan. That’s what Jesus was doing when he died on the cross in our place and was raised from the dead on the third day. He was saving us from the judgment we deserved and from our enemies. Jesus is our Savior.
And also, Jesus didn’t just save us from something, but he saved us for something. And that for something is namely himself. Jesus saved us so that we would have a relationship with him, so that w’d be invited into the fellowship that he has with the Father by the Holy Spirit, and that is the greatest of all gifts.
That is the most valuable, wonderful reality there is: that we would have fellowship with Jesus, that we would know him and love him and treasure him for the treasure he is — which is important. Jesus doesn’t save people to be bored with him. Jesus saves us to treasure him above everything else, counting everything else as loss compared to the surpassing worth of who he is.
All Together Then
And so if we put these together: Jesus is our Lord, our Savior, and our Treasure — that is who he is meant to be in our lives. He comes into our lives as our Lord, Savior, and Treasure, and he takes over. We surrender all to him. I love the way the apostle Paul says this in Galatians 2:20. Paul says there,
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
That’s what it means for Jesus to take over: we don’t live anymore, Jesus is living in us. Jesus — our Lord, Savior, and Treasure — is alive and at work in us and through us.
This is the basic truth of what it means to be a Christian (and I know we get this), but then there are implications — because this is true there are important implications and one of those implications is that: if Jesus is our Lord, Savior, and Treasure, then us living a nominal, normal, non-sacrificial life is not an option.
If Jesus is our Lord, Savior, and Treasure, then we will look differently from everybody else in the world. We will think differently, and talk differently, and value things differently, and make decisions differently. And of course we will! Jesus is our Lord, Savior, and Treasure. We’re going to look more like him than we do the world. Or at least we should. Which reminds us now, right here in this moment, of our need to confess our sins.
Prayer of Confession
Father, we confess in this moment that too often we are far away from Jesus. Rather than he be our Lord, we have wanted to be our own kings. Rather than he be our Savior, we have looked for security in our comfort. Rather than he be our Treasure, we have chased after cheap thrills. And therefore, though we bear his name, our everyday lives can feel so absent of his power, and that is our fault. Have mercy on us, Father, and forgive us.
Forgive us for how dimly we reflect his character. Forgive us for how disinterested we can be to the wonder of his glory. Forgive us for living like he’s not really who he says he is. We ask that you forgive us, Father, because this is a great evil, and we know that if we in the church regard sin in our own midst, our prayers will be ineffectual. And so now, in this moment, we confess our individual sins to you. . . .
Now, Father, we thank you for Jesus who is greater and better than all else, and we thank you that your grace toward us is immeasurable, and that your love is unending, and that now in this time of confession the gospel anthem rings true: we are not dead, but alive; we are not lost, but found; we are not your enemies, we are your people — all because of the death and resurrection of Jesus. In his name we pray, amen.
Assurance of Pardon
Church, you have confessed your sins. Now, hear the good news!
When we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
Therefore, to all who humbly seek the mercy of God I say, in Jesus Christ your sins are forgiven.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!