Scripture Reading:

Psalm 2:1-6

“I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.”

Psalm 2:6

Are you in a position of authority? Don’t let it go to your head! God wants people to use whatever authority they have for good purposes, not to make a name for themselves or to become a law unto themselves. If only we would honor God’s intentions.

In the New Testament story of Jesus, powerful people see Jesus as a threat. Following a pattern described by Psalm 2, they “band together” (v. 2) to get rid of Jesus. To them, God’s authority amounts to “chains” and “shackles” (v. 3). So they crucify Jesus, who is the Lord’s “anointed” (v. 2), the “king” (v. 6).

In Psalm 2:6, God says, “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.” In a perverse parody of this statement, those powerful people install Jesus on a cross and plant it on a hill outside Jerusalem. But God exalts that hill. And the cross turns out to be a throne. Because on the cross Jesus shows what genuine authority looks like.

Powerful people may have nailed Jesus to a cross, but Jesus laid his life down by his own authority. And he did it in obedience to God the Father (see John 10:18). Jesus laid down his life for the sake of God’s good purpose of saving the world. That’s what real authority looks like.

Lord Jesus, you had no interest in making a name for yourself. Instead you laid down your life to save the world. And now you have the name that is above every name! Amen.

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