God: HIs Sovereignty, Necessity

Without the Sovereignty of God operating in the universe, all that is would cease to exist. How many times a day do we go about our daily routine without consideration for how much God is doing to ensure that we continue to live. Without His gentle and powerful care the universe would quickly degrade into chaos and all life would disappear.

Jesus gave us a few hints regarding the sovereignty of God in the four Gospels:

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?  ~Matthew 6:26-27

We rarely see the birds that are all around us and think about how they are able to live without planting , harvesting, or gathering their food. Jesus reminds us of this seldom considered fact that it is He who cares for and feeds the many birds all over the earth. Then Jesus asks in consideration of this reality, why we worry so much about our own life.

If a creature so small and seldom considered, is cared for every day by God, then we should also consider that each human being is immensely more important to Him than the mere birds. Jesus is making a promise to us who love Him that He will certainly take good care of us. This is the wonderful sovereignty of God at word in a very real and practical way.

The Power Of Silence

When Jesus was brought before Pontius Pilate, He was questioned about the charges that the Jews had made against Him. Although Jesus is the Living God and retained the power to destroy Pilate and every person who falsely accused and condemned Him, He remains silent.

There are two possible reasons for why Jesus said nothing.

First: According to the law, the accused cannot be compelled to incriminate himself.

Today in the United States, a person accused of a crime is protected from self incrimination by the 5th amendment to the Constitution. A similar law was in existence at the time that the High Priest questioned Jesus. It was illegal to compel Jesus to incriminate Himself. The Jews violated this law and then convicted Him because He would not answer.

“No one can bring an accusation against himself. Should a man make confession of guilt before a legally constituted tribunal, such confession is not to be said against him unless properly attested by two witnesses.” -Maimonides

“No attempt can be made to lead a man on to self-incrimination. Moreover, a voluntary confession on his part is not admitted in evidence, and therefore, not competent to convict him, unless a legal number of witnesses minutely corroborate his self-accusation.” -Mendelsohn

Second: It is my personal opinion that when Jesus refused to answer the High Priest and Pilate, that He had done so because He was representing you and I at the trial for our sins. Because we are guilty and can offer no defense for our actions, therefore Jesus said nothing as He represented us.

As we examine Jesus silence from a legal standpoint, we may also conjecture that Jesus did not answer the High Priest because He was aware of the law that He was not required to answer so as to incriminate Himself.

And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, saying, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?”  ~Mark 14:60

Isaiah 53:7 predicts that the Messiah will remain silent before His accusers.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth;  ~Isaiah 53:7

The High Priest continues to press Jesus for an answer. Whatever Jesus said from that point on, should have been inadmissible, because the very judge—who was to impartially examine the evidence, had himself, pressured Jesus to answer him.

But He kept silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” 62 Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”  ~Mark 14:61-62

The Sanhedrin eventually condemns Jesus to death on evidence that was illegally obtained, and was therefore inadmissible.

We Might Take A Similar View Of Jesus’ Silence As He Stands Before Pilate:

Then Pilate asked Him again, saying, “Do You answer nothing? See how many things they testify against You!”  But Jesus still answered nothing, so that Pilate marveled.  ~Mark 15:4-5

When Pilate scolds and threatens Jesus for not answering him, Jesus speaks up and informs this Roman ruler that the only reason He is standing before Pilate at all is because his authority to do so was given to him by God.

Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” 11 Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above.”  ~John 19:10-11

While in His suffering for our sins, Jesus was fully in control of all the circumstances of His life, death, and resurrection. No man really had the ability to take authority over Jesus because He remained the King of the Universe, even as He was assuming the position of a servant to die for the sins of the world.

The mouths of the most powerful men in Judea were shut by Jesus, as He demonstrates that He has power over all the events of history. This remains for us today, a demonstration of the practical applications for how God is sovereign over all the affairs of the earth.

Controlling His Death

Jesus made it clear that no one could take His life; He was freely giving it—in fulfillment of what had been written of the Messiah. The Old Testament is replete with hundreds of scriptures which require the Messiah’s death—in order to remove the sins of the world. Jesus was carefully and methodically completing each of these requirements, precisely as they were required. In order to accomplish this great feat, He would need to be in control of absolutely ever minute detail.

Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”  ~John 10:17-18

Jesus was in control of every tiny detail of the final night and day of His life. As we study the words which David had written in the Psalms, words that he intended as prophetic descriptions of the coming Messiah; we see thatPsalm 31 contains four predictions that Jesus carefully fulfilled. It would be a mistake to assume that Jesus arrest, trial, scourging, and crucifixion were actions dictated solely by the Jewish leadership and the Roman government. Although these men are personally responsible for their actions, the Lord is also moving these events into alignment so that every prophecy spoken for the Messiah is fulfilled by Jesus actions and words.

Into Your hand I commit my spirit…”  ~Psalms 31:5

Luke Describes These Precise Words As Jesus Died

And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ Having said this, He breathed His last.  ~Luke 23:46

Jesus was fully in control of when and where He would make His sacrifice for our sins—both in His death by crucifixion and by His resurrection three days later. Jesus boldly declared before He was crucified that no one had the power to take His life from Him.

Control Over Those Who Were In Control

As the soldiers come to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, He asks these men, Whom are you seeking? When Jesus speaks the words, “I am He,  the soldiers fall backwards onto the ground (John 18:6).

In the original text of this verse, the word “He” does not appear. The translators added this word because they felt that it clarified the verse for the reader. In reality, when Jesus answers the guards, He said “I am.” This is the eternal name  for God, found in Exodus 3:14, where He instructed Moses to call Him by this name. Jesus was telling those who came to arrest Him that He is the eternal God. Jesus confirmed this fact when He spoke to the Pharisees in John, chapter 8.

Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”  ~John 8:58

David, in writing Psalms 40:14 about the Messiah, prophesies that: Those Who seek to destroy my life; Let them be driven backward. These are the exact words of John’s testimony which occurred when Jesus said, “I am He.

When the soldiers come to arrest Jesus at the garden of Gethsemane, He made it clear to those who came to take Him by force that they were not orchestrating His arrest; He was allowing these soldiers to arrest Him. As the soldiers approach Jesus, He assumes a place of authority by questioning them: Whom are you seeking? When the soldiers answer “Jesus of Nazareth,” Jesus answers; “I AM.” The translators later added “He,” but this word was not in the original Greek manuscript of this encounter. By answering “I AM,” Jesus was using the eternal name for God—signifying that it was He who was orchestrating these events that would lead to His death and resurrection.

As Jesus speaks the words, “I AM,” the power of the eternal God bursts forth, causing the soldiers to fall backwards.

Jesus was making a very important statement to demonstrate that He was allowing these soldiers to arrest Him. No one at any time had authority over Jesus. It was He who was surrendering His life, and allowing the soldiers to take Him in order to fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament—so that all those who would believe in Him could be saved.

Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, “Whom are you seeking?” They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. Now when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.  ~John 18:3-6

Jesus Controlled Every Situation

Although Jesus was laying down His life for us as a servant, He was still Lord of the universe and in control over absolutely every event that we read in the four Gospels.

  • The foal of a donkey submits to His authority (Matthew 21:7).
  • The wind and the waves submit to His authority (Mark 4:39).
  • The dead submit to His authority (John 11:43).
  • Death submits to His authority (John 11:25).
  • Sickness and disease, submit to His authority (Luke 18:42).
  • The demons submit to His authority (Luke 4:35).
  • The devil submits to His authority (Matthew 4:10).
  • All History submits to His authority (Matthew 26:56).
  • All the kingdoms of this world will submit to His authority (Matthew 19:28).

One day, every knee will bow to Jesus; every tongue will confess that He is the Lord.

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.   ~Philippians 2:9-11

We have the choice today; to willingly submit our lives to Jesus and be saved, or to have His judgment fall on us later and be crushed. Jesus claimed that every person has a choice: we can come to Jesus willingly, admitting that He is worthy of our devotion and thank Him for all He has done; or we can remain stubborn and refuse. On the day that Jesus appears on the earth again and the people who are alive at that time, realize that He is God, they will submit to His authority. Today, we all live in a great time of grace when God has freely offered us a pardon for all our sin. This time of God’s favor will not last forever. There is an appointed time when Jesus will come again in judgement and then it will be too late. As with all great offers, they have an expiration date.

Then Jesus looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘The stone (Jesus) which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone’? Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”  ~Luke 20:17-18

The Sovereignty of God remains an absolute necessity, for it is by His power that the entire universe is held together at this very moment.

JESUS existed before everything else began, and he holds all creation together.  ~Colossians 1:17

The Power Of God’s Sovereignty

AtomToday scientists understand that everything in the universe is made from atoms. Each atom has, at its center,  positively charged protons with negatively charged electrons circling. The space between the proton and the electrons is several million times greater than the tiny proton and electron. This means that everything that exists is largely made up of empty space.

In assembling all of the atoms that would make up all that exists, the Lord violated His own laws of electricity. Within every atom there are repelling forces. Each atom has a positive charge that causes the proton and electron to repel against each other. This is understood by taking two magnets and placing the positive sides together, they repel and push each other away.

This force exists inside every atom in the universe and by the repelling forces of these atoms, all matter in the universe is trying blow itself apart. Because each atom is largely made up of empty space, as they do come apart the result is an implosion upon itself.

We see the result of this when a nuclear explosion takes place. If we bombard the nucleus of an atom with a slow moving neutron, it upsets the delicate balance within the atom, releasing the energy of positive charges and causes the atom to implode. The result is seen by the catastrophic forces that destroys everything within a certain distance from a nuclear detonation.

The force that is generated by a nuclear explosion is so great when these atoms release their energy, that the sky rolls up and recedes like a scroll.

The incredible fact of a nuclear explosion is that the power that was holding these trillions of atoms together is the same power that is released when it is detonated.

The Book of Colossians tells us what power is holding all of the atoms in the universe together:

 Jesus, existed before everything else began, and he holds all creation together.  ~Colossians 1:17 (RCR)

 Jesus,  being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power…  ~Hebrews 1:3 (RCR)

Peter describes for us what will happen at the end of the universe when the Lord releases His hold on the atoms of the universe. When God determines that the end of the present creation should end, He will simply take His hands off creation and every atom will melt with a fervent heat, both the earth and all else that exist.

 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.  ~2 Peter 3:10

 It is the power and Sovereignty of God that is presently holding the universe together and it is in this illustration that we see just how important God’s power over all creation really us.

Jesus Is The Power That Holds The Universe Together

The Hebrew word used here for Mighty God is Gibbowr: “One who is strong, powerful, the chief, a champion and Almighty.” The literal translation of Gibbowr is Mighty, Almighty or All Conquering God.

John describes Jesus as the Logos (the Word of John 1:1), the literal and Eternal Word of God, who expresses the thoughts of the Father—through the Spirit. When Jesus spoke, the universe formed. As Jesus lives, the universe is held together and sustained. This eternal Word of God came to earth in human flesh and became one of us, but the world that He made did not recognize Him when He arrived.

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.  ~John 1:1-3

He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.  !John 1:10

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.  ~John 1:14

Jesus, the Messiah is the Mighty God who created all things and it is His Sovereignty that allows the universe to exist.

NEXT:

God: His Communication