Friday, May 21, 2010

Prayer and Authority (4) Jesus

God could not go back on his word, but had another solution. Only a human has authority to sort out the problems on earth. So God sent his son Jesus to earth as a man. Because Jesus never submitted to Satan, he did not come under the authority of evil. Because he was truly man, he was able to take back the authority that God had given to Adam and Eve that they had given to Satan. His ministry and death destroyed the authority of the devil.

He too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil (Heb 2:14).
Jesus had to share our humanity, because that gave him authority to defeat the devil. The power of the devil came through human disobedience and sin. By paying the penalty for sin, Jesus destroyed his authority.
He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the written code…that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross (Col 2:13-15).
Forgiveness of sin translated into defeat of evil powers and authorities. Therefore, when Jesus had risen from the dead, he was able to say,
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me (Matt 28:18).
Jesus always had authority in heaven. He now had authority on earth. He had completed his main task, by recovering the authority that God had given to mankind and evil had stolen.

Jesus did not give this authority back to God. He gave it to those who would choose to follow him (Dan 7:27). But that is another story.

Authority is important. Jesus died on the cross to recover stolen authority for the people of God. Once we understand the importance of authority, we will know why prayer is important.

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