“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18–20)
The last chapter of Matthew is a window that opens onto the sunrise glory of the risen Christ. Through it you can see at least three massive peaks in the mountain range of Christ’s character: the peak of his power; the peak of his kindness; and the peak of his purposefulness.
All authority is his — the right and the power to do his will. And he uses this power to pursue his unwavering purpose to make disciples from all the nations. And in the process he is personally kind to us, promising to be with us to the end.
We all know in our hearts that if the risen Christ is going to satisfy our desire to admire greatness, that is the way he has to be. Great in power. Great in kindness. Great in purposefulness.
People who are too weak to accomplish their purposes can’t satisfy our desire to admire greatness. We admire people even less who have no purpose in life. And still less those whose purposes are merely selfish and unkind.
What we long to see and know is a Person whose power is unlimited, whose kindness is tender, and whose purpose is single and unflinching.
Novelists and poets and movie-makers and TV writers now and then create a shadow of this Person. But they can no more fill our longing to worship than this month’s National Geographic can satisfy my longing for the Grand Canyon.
We must have the real thing. We must see the Original of all power and kindness and purposefulness. We must see and worship the risen Christ.