I love the field I work in, cancer diagnostics. While it’s a relatively new field for me just over the past 10 years, I’ve been privileged to see incredible advancements in science and knowledge. There are profound changes seemingly daily that give hope to patients afflicted with this cruddy disease, some that give hope to many who might never have had it, or provide medications that at a minimum can fight off the progression of the disease enough to allow end of life to have quality of life more often enveloped within it.
At our company, we have what we believe is an incredible opportunity to help physicians find optimal drug matches for their patients based on sub-cellular and genomic details we could only imagine being able to see not too many years ago; we can also help them see the potential for drug resistance long before the resistance manifests itself by a spread of the cancer to other body part(s), making the fight unfathomably more difficult. All this from a single tube of blood.
Much of the advances in the field have come from step-function jumps in science. Not long ago, sequencing the entire human genome was thought to be impossible, but today is yesterday’s news. We can see aspects of genes heretofore not even known to exist, and see components of those genes, base pairs of DNA and a whole host of other things well beyond my elementary (school) level knowledge of science. We can even engineer genes to get them to operate differently or properly, which some prognosticate may serve as a means to fight cancer and other diseases down the road. Without question, I am blessed to work in a field that may hold the key to transforming (if not curing) one of the world’s worst known plagues. There’s so much we can do.
Yet there’s also much we can’t do. Some we may yet accomplish, for the more we do it seems the more we’ll be able to do. However, one thing is unassailable … death. We (humanity) cannot conquer death. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there are some that think we may some day do so. But those that think so suffer either from a misunderstanding of the science of life, or from a bit of a God-complex (no offense if you’re one of them). Statistically-speaking, one out of one will die in their lifetime. The inevitability of death is not something humanity will ever be able to tackle. If that blows your expectations, I apologize.
Ironically, though, today we celebrate the destruction of death … overcoming spiritual death for us by the overcoming of physical death by our Savior. As we observe God’s death-conquering crescendo (at least until the last days), do we realize the POWER that Jesus has not only over death, but over ALL things? Nothing else and no one else has that power, and through my reading this week, an apt and unexpected reminder called my attention to it. It comes from Luke 7:2-10, and it reads …
At that time the highly valued slave of a Roman officer was sick and near death. When the officer heard about Jesus, he sent some respected Jewish elders to ask him to come and heal his slave. So they earnestly begged Jesus to help the man. “If anyone deserves your help, he does,” they said, “for he loves the Jewish people and even built a synagogue for us.” So Jesus went with them. But just before they arrived at the house, the officer sent some friends to say, “Lord, don’t trouble yourself by coming to my home, for I am not worthy of such an honor. I am not even worthy to come and meet you. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to the crowd that was following him, he said, “I tell you, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!” And when the officer’s friends returned to his house, they found the slave completely healed.
What this young centurion knew is what we should too. The implications for us are no less powerful or profound. Sure, there are many evidences of Jesus’s power over the physical and spiritual world … over the entirety of creation. Why wouldn’t He have that power of course, since He created it? We all probably can cognitively get our brains around that. But this centurion KNEW it in a way that I admit only know it sometimes.
At times, I think we can be a little frivolous in our reading of passages like this one. And many others like it. We read of Jesus curing multitudes, feeding crowds, curbing storms, rebuking demons, and … oh yeah … resurrecting. But I think all too often we do just read these passages, and perhaps don’t internalize their significance adequately. What do I mean?
Well, if Jesus did these things … and He did … it certainly means that He CAN do them. He has the POWER over all those things. In fact, He has the power over ALL things. Don’t just read that, though. Camp out on it a little. He has the power over all things. Camp out on each word a little.
He. Has. The. Power. Over. All. Things.
This centurion KNEW this. He knew Jesus could direct whatever illness was taking the centurion’s slave’s life and command it away. He KNEW Jesus had the power over the illness and the death it would otherwise bring.
So what do you need Him to have power over? Are there relationship challenges? Is there a health concern? Are financial matters plaguing you? Is a child seeming to head in the wrong direction?
He. Has. The. Power. Over. All. Things.
And He has the power over what is concerning you (us!). I think sometimes just knowing Jesus has the power is part and parcel to helping us contend with life’s challenges. In the knowing comes the confidence that perhaps, like with the centurion’s slave, He’s on His way to helping. Maybe it’s enough to know that He can even if He hasn’t just yet.
In light of one of the most powerful events in all history this Easter, let’s ask God this week as we pray to show us where in our life we need to see His power over all things. Where might we not be seeing His power because we’re not believing His power? Let’s ask Him to show us over which of the “all things” we need help trusting and knowing that He has the power.
Death didn’t … and the occurrences of life don’t … stand a chance against Him!
In His POWER,