Most of us have heard of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:1-20), and the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-40). What we don’t hear much about, however, is the Great Mandate found in 1 Corinthians 15:24-28. This powerful passage gives us clues to the over-all purpose of God found in Jesus Christ. Stop for a moment and allow the Holy Spirit to teach you as you carefully read these five verses. Consider verse 24:
“Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.”
– 1 Corinthians 15:24
This is a blazing burst of classified information! From the headquarters of the universe we are treated to a glimpse of God’s big picture. Jesus has apparently been commissioned by God the Father to resolve the leadership crisis in the universe. This behind-the-scenes job-description of our great Savior and Lord reveals why Jesus used “kingdom language” so often and insisted on repentance as the appropriate response to the proclamation of the Kingdom. He came to earth with the intent of ending the insurrection of mankind against the leadership of God Almighty. He came to conquer all opposition.
That overriding purpose of God throws a floodlight of understanding on the Cross. Calvary was designed by the Father and executed by the Son as the essential means for restoring God’s reign over His universe. It had a cosmic dimension according to Colossians 2:15 which says, “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
And it has a personal dimension for every believer. Colossians 1:21-22 puts it this way: “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight.”
When you and I face the implications of Christ’s mission on earth, we also have to face lifelong resistance to God’s direction. Even the best and most religious of us have a hostility and aggressive defiance toward God which makes us want to eliminate, or at least minimize, our Creator.