The Lordship of Jesus Christ is essential to our Christian life, as we have seen on our meander through Roman 14:7-9 over the past few months.
We are, as believers, in the process of being sanctified (set apart from sin to serve Christ). This process is never finished in this life, even in the most outwardly holy believer. How does Christ’s presence in our lives as Lord and Savior affect us if it doesn’t render us sinless in this life? Maybe an analogy from WWII might assist us.
I think of a story I read about Gen. Douglas MacArthur, in his biography, American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880 – 1964, by William Manchester, pp. 442-445.
The photograph above is of MacArthur, without side arm, as he steps from his Douglas C-54 Skymaster Bataan II in Tokyo. He later earned praise for his role in rebuilding Japan as its postwar civil administrator. (AKG-Images).
MacArthur as New Ruler—but not a god—over Japan
In 1945 after the two A-Bombs had fallen on Japan, the Japanese signaled to General MacArthur that they wanted to sign an unconditional surrender. He immediately decided to fly to Tokyo with a few aides to take up residence in a hotel as Supreme Allied Commander.
His advisors protested that Japan was still armed and he would likely be killed. They advised him to wait for occupation troops to take up residence and disarm the 300,000 battle ready army near the airport where he planned to land. MacArthur said, “No, they surrendered and they meant it. I’m going.”
He flew with his aides to Tokyo. As they prepared to deplane, his aides strapped their side arms on. MacArthur said to take them off because against 300,000 they would be useless anyway. A Marine by the door, reached for his rifle as was custom. MacArthur quipped, “Son, you’re in the wrong army,” as he chuckled. “Sorry, Sir,” the soldier replied as he replaced the rifle.
The hotel was 15 miles away from the airport. Thirty thousand armed Japanese soldiers lined the motor route with their backs turned to him. This was a sign of deep respect usually afforded only to the Emperor.
The symbolism of this parade from the airport to the central hotel where MacArthur would now enforce allied rule over the Empire was not lost on the Japanese people. From this place of central authority MacArthur would begin to enforce the implications of their surrender. MacArthur eventually forced the Emperor to visit him at his hotel. Before this photograph was printed most Japanese had never seen the Emperor’s face.
“Many Japanese were extremely offended by this picture because of how casual MacArthur is looking and standing while next to the Emperor, who was supposed to be a god.” https://rarehistoricalphotos.com/hirohito-macarthur-1945/
However, they did not mistake the implication that MacArthur was their new ruler and he was not a god nor was Hirohito any longer.
An Analogy to Christ’s Rule over Us
On a Biblical level, Jesus does the same when each person receives him as Savior and Lord! He enters that person’s life and takes up residence in the citadel of his being—their heart. He begins to extend his rule over him/her throughout this earthly life and only perfects her/him in eternity when each sees him face-to-face.
I John 3:1-2 states this so clearly—
1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
Lord over life and death,
I embrace You as my Lord!
I want you to speak to me through Your Word and by Your Spirit.
I want You to transform my mind and life by subduing me to Yourself and Your ways.
I know this will not be complete in this life, but
I look forward to being in Your presence,
seeing You face-to-face, where it will then be complete.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.
© 2018 C. Richard Barbare All Rights Reserved