He must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. -1 Corinthians 15:25-26
Have you ever heard the phrase WWJD? Back when I was a kid, they used to print “WWJD” on tie-dyed bracelets that all the youth group kids would wear. (Do they still do that? I don’t know; I’m must be getting old). “WWJD” stands for a question: What Would Jesus Do? The idea was, when you were facing a difficult situation—maybe someone had said something unkind to you, or maybe you needed to tell the truth, or maybe doing the right thing was going to be hard—you would ask yourself, “What would Jesus do?” And you would think about how he would respond if he was in your shoes, and then you would do what you think he would do.
WWJD is a great question; we’re supposed to love people just like Jesus loved them, so if you follow Jesus, you should always be asking yourself what Jesus would do if we were in your shoes.
There’s a problem with the question, though. “What Would Jesus Do” kind of makes it sound like Jesus isn’t around anymore and isn’t doing stuff anymore, so we have to think of what he would have done if he were alive today. And of course, that’s not quite right: Jesus is in fact alive today, and is doing lots of things.
So I’ve got an idea for a new question. Instead of just asking WWJD—what would Jesus do; let’s ask WIJD—what is Jesus doing? Because if Jesus really did rise from the dead, that means he’s alive and active and doing stuff today. And if we know what he’s doing, then we can get on board with it and join him.
So what is Jesus doing today? There are a lot of ways that the Bible answers that question (because there are a lot of things that Jesus is doing). Let’s just focus on one thing: Jesus is reigning in heaven and making sure his Kingdom keeps advancing.
Right now, at this moment, every molecule and planet and galaxy holds together because Jesus tells it to (see Hebrews 1:2). That’s how powerful King Jesus is. Sitting on the throne, he is making sure that planet Earth keeps spinning, and the sun keeps shining, and gravity keeps working. If Jesus stopped being king, everything in the whole universe would immediately spin out of control. So we can be very glad that Jesus is reigning on his throne.
But King Jesus isn’t just up in heaven making sure the molecules all behave. He is also making sure that nothing can stop the mission he gave his first disciples—to spread his Kingdom across the whole world. Right now while you’re reading this, he is working on the other side of the world, in countries like China and India and Saudi Arabia, so that people hear about him and put their trust in him. Jesus’ kingdom is spreading in those places, and even though many people don’t want anything to do with Jesus’ kingdom, they can’t stop him. His kingdom is coming, whether they like it or not. After all, he’s the King! And sin and death and sadness, which sometimes seem like they’re in control, are being rolled back as more and more people discover the forgiveness and life and joy in Jesus’ kingdom.
But Jesus isn’t just working over on the other side of the world. He’s working right here too. In your church, his Word is being preached, and people are learning to say sorry for their sins and to trust and love Jesus more. People are telling their friends and families about how great Jesus is. And though many don’t want to believe in Jesus, some do, and Jesus’ kingdom keeps advancing. People are finding forgiveness and freedom and new life. Sin and death and sadness are being rolled back here, too.
Even when bad things happen—and in this broken world, bad things still happen a lot—King Jesus is still in charge. In fact, the King made an absolutely incredible promise to everyone who trusts and loves him: he has promised to make every bad thing turn out for good in the end. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that, and sometimes it’s hard to see how all the bad things turn out good in the end, but King Jesus promised it, so we can believe it.
One day, when his kingdom has reached every nation and language and people group, King Jesus will return and will kick sin and death and sadness out forever. But until then, nothing and no one will be able stop his kingdom. In the end, Jesus wins, and everyone who is on his team wins as well. He promised that, too.