This month, I want to talk to you about the resurrection and exaltation of Jesus Christ and what that means to you and me. In the midst of current difficult, trying times in the world, the message of Christ’s victory over Satan and the kingdom of darkness — in our stead and on our behalf — is a message we need to hear and hear again!
Not only is the Church worldwide celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ this month, this month also marks the 30-year anniversary of the first legal celebration in decades of Easter in the former USSR. And the Renner family was right there for the reviving of that holiday celebration! We moved to the former Soviet Union 30 years ago, and on Sunday, April 26, 1992 — in Latvia, where we lived at that time — the first LEGAL EASTER in approximately five decades was celebrated in that nation!
Can you imagine living in a world where people don’t know about Easter? That was the socialist-communist world we moved into with our family 30 years ago. I tell all about that first legal celebration of Easter — and more — in my new autobiography called, UNLIKELY. (If you don’t already have this book, it can be ordered at renner.org.)
This month, I would normally write to you from traditional verses about Easter, but this year, I wanted to write to you from Ephesians 1:22, where Paul wrote that after Jesus was raised from the dead, He was gloriously exalted above all. That verse says, “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.”
Paul’s choice of words in this statement is very powerful, so today I want to take a moment to unlock the original Greek language for you to fully understand this amazing verse.
The first part of this verse says, “And hath put all things under his feet.…” The word “under” is a translation of the Greek word hupotasso, which is a military term meaning to subjugate or to dominate. It described forcibly subduing a conquered people and putting them in their place, but Paul’s use of this word in Ephesians 1:22 tells us that through Christ’s death on the Cross, His subsequent resurrection, and His ultimate ascension on High — God literally put every foe that ever existed UNDER Jesus’ feet.
Paul elaborated on this in Philippians 2:9-11, saying, “Wherefore God hath highly exalted him, and hath given him a name which is above every name: that at the name
of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” Nothing in the universe is more highly exalted than Jesus Christ. His throne rules above all — above all human authorities, military authorities, and spiritual authorities. There is simply no one who rules higher or more majestically than Jesus.
Jesus is so exalted “above all” that Revelation 1:5 declares He is “the prince of the kings of the earth.” This means He rules above all the affairs of mankind. It means that no matter what political party, president, or ruler holds power — or what verdicts the courts mete out — Jesus Christ’s ultimate authority over the kings of the earth remains uncontested. Others may command an earthly sphere of influence for a limited time, but Christ’s rule supersedes and outlasts them all.
But notice Revelation 1:5 says Jesus is “the prince of the kings of the earth.” The word “prince” is the word archon, a Greek word that denotes one who holds the highest and most exalted position. That emphatically means Jesus is truly Lord over all. The word “kings” is a form of the Greek word basileuo, which means to rule or to reign. However, the form of the word used in Revelation 1:5 not only refers to human kings or rulers, but also to governments, which tells us Jesus’ power is greater than any human government. Human governments may think they are in control, but Jesus is exalted far above them, and He is the One who ultimately calls the shots. And in time, every opposing force will be eliminated, and Jesus will remain high and lifted up!
Revelation 1:5 boldly proclaims that Jesus is the most highly exalted King and that He possesses supreme power and authority — more than any ruler or government that will ever exist in the earthly sphere. Even in the darkest hours or the bleakest situations, evil will always be thwarted by the prevailing power of Jesus Christ. Approximately 2,000 years of Church history have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that darkness doesn’t have the power or authority to silence the voice of Jesus Christ and His Church. As the King of kings, Jesus holds the highest seat of power, and He possesses dominion over all. Human kings and governments come and go, but Jesus’ Kingdom is everlasting and supersedes all others.
As I reflect on our family’s experiencing the collapse of socialistic-communism — a form of atheistic government that tries to outlaw and eliminate God — I remember that it came and went, proving once again that evil forces may try to blow in, but they surely always blow out. And when they are gone, Jesus remains seated in His highly exalted position, establishing that His Kingdom is completely without end! Because of His resurrection, He is above all; all things are under His feet; and He truly is the Prince of the kings of the earth!
THIS is the One we serve! Say amen!
And Jesus is Lord over any situation you may be facing right now! Even if it seems like a bad circumstance is trying to hover over your life, it will eventually go. But please let us know how to pray for you, and we’ll agree in prayer for that situation to submit to the name of Jesus and to change quickly for your sake and to the glory of God! That situation will bow its knee to the lordship of Jesus Christ! So please…let us know how we can pray for you.
Never forget that we are here for you — and we are so thankful for you and your partnership with our ministry. Together we are shining the light of God’s Word to dispel
darkness in people’s lives. What you are doing as a partner is more important than I know how to express. We are so thankful to God for you!
Before I close, I encourage you to take time to pray about who you can take to church with you this Easter to celebrate Christ’s glorious resurrection. This is a perfect opportunity to tell a friend, “Hey, come with me to church to celebrate Easter.” This may be the very moment that person repents or rededicates his or her life to Christ — and perhaps finds a church home with you — amen?
We really do love you and thank God for you!
We are your brother and sister, friends, and partners in Jesus Christ,
Rick and Denise Renner