Few knew whom they were dealing with when Jesus of Nazareth stepped onto the public stage, although some knew.
The demons knew. The wind and the sea knew. Disease knew. Even death knew. Only humanity was so slow to understand that it was God Almighty who took on flesh and lived among us. Only humanity wondered, “Who is this who does the impossible?”
When He tied up the strong man and plundered his house called Legion, the demons deferred.
When He commanded the raging storm to be still, the sea and the wind heard and without argument complied.
When she touched the hem of His robe, so much power poured out of Him disease could no longer have its way with her and it fled.
And when He gave His own life over to death, when He surrendered His spirit, death would not have it long for the one who gives life would by His almighty power demand His life back. And death had no choice but to obey.
But He came in power.
Power over nature.
Power over the unseen realm where demons play.
Power over disease and death.
Power to do the impossible.
This is the heart of the gospel: El Shaddai — God Almighty — came in the flesh, and in power, to make possible the impossible, bringing forth something out of nothing, healing out of pain, shalom out of suffering, life out of death.
Death felt His full wrath that day, but there was more. In power He reclaimed all that was lost from the start, seeking even now to resurrect in us the precious pieces of our birthright which death, with such sticky fingers, may still hold in its grasp:
Joy… which may seem long dead.
Hope… which feels buried by the last heartbreak.
Courage… which we may have forfeited long ago to fear.
Purpose… which gets lost when the journey goes south.
Peace… which has been crushed by the weight of our worries.
Healing… which just feels impossible.
And love… the deepest and most desperate need of every heart.
These are ours, though death will tell us they are long gone, too far gone to be reclaimed now, too long in our enemy's clutches to ever be real to us. "It's impossible," death whispers.
But it isn’t so.
It isn’t so because death is a liar and in us lives the Spirit of God Almighty and the resurrection power that makes all things possible. Power to breathe new life into our hearts and to resurrect all that death has touched in us: our relationships and commitments, our ability to trust, our prayer lives gone stagnant with anxiety, unity across the lines of our faith, and the walk of freedom purchased for us at the cross.
It is not impossible to forgive. To heal. To trust. To grow. To rest. To believe. To be free. To love.
"What is impossible with men is possible with God." – Luke 18:27