“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18–20)
The last chapter of Matthew is a window that opens onto the sunrise glory of the risen Christ. Through it you can see at least three massive peaks in the mountain range of Christ’s character: the peak of his power; the peak of his kindness; and the peak of his purposefulness.
And we all know in our hearts that if the risen Christ is going to satisfy our desire to admire greatness, that is the way he has to be.
People who are too weak to accomplish their purposes can’t satisfy our desire to admire greatness. We admire people even less who have no purpose in life. And still less those whose purposes are merely selfish and unkind.
What we long to see and know is a Person whose power is unlimited, whose kindness is tender, and whose purpose is single and unflinching.
Novelists and poets and movie-makers and TV writers now and then create a shadow of this Person. But they can no more fill our longing to worship than this month’s National Geographic can satisfy my longing for the Grand Canyon.
We must have the real thing. We must see the Original of all power and kindness and purposefulness. We must see and worship the risen Christ.
They who read Solid Joys – I mean really read the devotionals through its website, its iOS / Android applications, or email subscriptions – not only through this blog – should have noticed that after John Piper took materials from his book “Future Grace”, he has been using his sermons and articles in Desiring God for the devotionals. And these days’ theme is about Jesus and resurrection.
Today’s devotional is an answer for a big issue of our life: “Why do heroes from the medias impress us a lot?”
As a young-adult (I have not reached adolescence time yet) and an avid reader, I always like heroes from the fantasy narratives. You should have also noticed that most of young adult fiction books nowadays have many fans that make them best-seller all over the world. And have you ever thought why most of them always get a place in the best-seller list?
John Piper answered this: that they “create a shadow of this Person.”
As humanity is from God and came into being by His command, I think it’s only logical that we, consciously or unconsciously, desire for Jesus that we create “shadows” of Him, who have “power is unlimited, whose kindness is tender, and whose purpose is single and unflinching” in our dreams and fantasies. We would be like a child who, after the death of someone important, tries his best to replace or find someone else who is similar to the dead one.
But, as people who have been introduced to Jesus – and even know Him very well – why do we easily forget Him and turn to His “shadows”?
Because we often forget about His promise of returning for us; because of the sinful world that has lost connection to God. But once again, we are reminded that He is always with us to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).
In the end, all I could say is that Jesus is who we are looking for. He is here with us, and His “shadows” will not able to replace Him – ever.