Ephesians 1:18-2318I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and His incomparably great power for us who believe.
That power is like the working of His mighty strength, 20which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, (the Message version says: in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments. )
22And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be Head over everything for the church, 23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.
18I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you… Hmm. “The eyes of your heart?” It doesn’t just say – “that your eyes may be enlightened.” But, “the eyes of your heart.” What does this mean? Hmm…
Here is where my mind went… My “real” eyes see a world full of evil, darkness, hate, injustice, hopelessness. My "real" eyes may be clouded with fear and worry about the future, politics, war, taxes, the national debt, etc. But because I am a child of God, the “eyes of my heart” can see the Hope to which He has called me – above and beyond the circumstances of this world. Yes - the world will always be a place of evil, and darkness, but He overcame the world – He defeated death – which now gives me enlightened eyes.
In a world of political leaders who think they have all the power; wealthy people who think they have all the money to buy power; and bullies who think they have all the power through force and might; this passage gives me great satisfaction. Let them think they have the power! Let them think they rule the world! Let them think their money is all they need. But we know Who really has all of the power and authority! And His Name is Jesus, Whom God raised from the dead,
and seated Him at His right Hand! far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments.) And God placed all things under His feet!
As I watched the movie “The Passion of the Christ” on Good Friday, I could barely watch the scenes of endless whipping and torture – and fell apart when they mocked and spat in His face. He struggled to drag His cross up and down the narrow streets while the soldiers continued to berate Him, whip Him, punch Him and laugh at Him. Just when it seems He cannot possibly take another step, the final steep hill looms ahead of Him. “No way can He possibly make it up there!” Yet, the beating continues. And He does not give up! At the top, the torture continues as they nail Him to the cross. I realize this was Hollywood’s rendition – but I think they really gave an actual portrayal of how hideous the crucifixion of Christ truly was. Merciless. Barbaric. Torturous.
I remember weeping and moaning, “Please, no more! Just let it be over!” I remember feeling such relief when Jesus finally died because they could not hurt “my Savior” anymore.
“And then, the eyes of my heart saw” that Jesus GAVE His life. The people didn’t TAKE His life – HE gave it – when He was ready. He endured all of that until that final moment when He gave up His last breath. So, even in His dying – He held all the power – they did not!
On the night the soldiers seized Him, He was the one in complete power and control. He said, "Put your sword back into it's place...do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matthew 26:52-53)
Pilate thought he had power over Jesus... "Pilate said to Him, 'You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?' Jesus answered, 'You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above'..." (John 19:10-11)
No one else in all eternity did what He did – endured what He endured – or paid the price that He paid on that Good Friday. So how fitting that no one else in all eternity would receive the Honor and Glory and Power that He received! Jesus Christ is the most Powerful Ruler and King over all the Universe!
God seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be Head over everything for the church, 23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.
“Thank You, Jesus – for GIVING up your life for me. No one holds the power of the Universe except You. And in that fact, I rejoice and the ‘eyes of my heart’ have been enlightened in order that I may know the Hope found only in You.”