We are living in the age of the Now and the Not Yet of God’s Kingdom. Jesus’ resurrection inaugurated the new creation; the “ruler of this world” has been judged, defeated; and Jesus has disarmed and made a public spectacle of the powers and authorities, triumphing over them by the cross.
And yet, there is still sickness and death. The powers and authorities appear to still be in charge of things, wreaking the ugliness of injustice and lies upon us. How can we, with a straight face, say that Jesus’ Kingdom is already among us in the face of so much chaos?
Think about how an election works. The polls close, the votes have been cast. At that moment, the people have already chosen their next council member, mayor, dog catcher, etc. The decision has been made. It’s irreversible. It can’t be undone. And yet, the votes still have to be counted. That can take hours; sometimes days or weeks. But the process of the counting the votes is merely confirming what the vote has already decided.
Our world is living in the same already-not-yet tension. Jesus’ victory is definitive, certain, and irreversible. His reign has already begun. But “Christ must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.” The world is living in the moments between the votes being cast and the votes being counted; the moments between the final count and the moment of realization of who has actually won; between the realization to the inauguration; between the inauguration to taking up residence.
We love in those in-between moments. But the in-between does not disprove the certain victory of Christ, the utter defeat of evil, and the glory of heaven crashing into the reality of earth.