He’s the Lord – He’s the Lord.
He has risen from the dead – He’s the Lord
Every knee shall bow; Every tongue confess
That Jesus Christ is the Lord.
One of the direct implications of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is that He is the Lord and God (John 20:28). It gave rise to such phrases like “the Lord Jesus,” “the Lord’s Day,” “the Lord’s Table,” “the Spirit of the Lord”, “in the Lord,” “from the Lord,” “light in the Lord,” “boast in the Lord”, e.tc. In the first Christian sermon, Jesus’ Lordship is made central to salvation (Acts 2:21). The public confession of Jesus as Lord also became the approved focus and expression of Christian faith, as well as the basis of membership in the apostolic church (Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9; 1 Cor. 12:3; Phil. 2:11).
In the Mediterranean milieu, the term ‘lord’ was generally used as a courtesy title for social superiors. However, the root meaning of the word was ‘ruler,’ and kings were called ‘Lord’. The kings were often considered divine beings, and so the word acquired a religious significance.
In the Bible, the English word, lord, translates one Aramaic (Mārē), 3 Greek (Kúrios, Despótēs and Megistánes) and 9 Hebrew words and indicates all types and categories of esteem and majesty, which sometimes, are not well distinguished. The word represents the most sacred Hebrew name for God as their covenant God, Yah, Yahweh, and the more usual designation of Deity, adonai, adon , a term which they adopted to avoid pronouncing the most holy designation YHWH (the divine tetragrammaton) which was no longer read aloud, due to their interpretation of Leviticus 24:16. Thus, lord can be applied, in the Bible, to both man as a mark of honour and God in worship. Both are applicable to Jesus in the New Testament, where the word is used of Him as a customary title of respect (“sir,” – Mat. 8:2; 15:25), and as well, retains associations of faith, reverence, and worship (Mat. 3:3; Luke 7:13; Acts 5:14; 9:10; 1 Cor. 6:13-14; Heb. 2:3; Jas 5:7). But the usage after the Resurrection is obviously that of a clear ascription of Divinity and worship (Jn 20:28), and acknowledgement of His possession of absolute authority, power and control. He holds all authority in heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18). He is the head of the church (Col. 1:18), our only Sovereign and Lord (Jude 1:4) and the Lord of lords and King of kings (Rev. 17:14).
Jesus severally referred to Himself as “Lord” (Luke 19:31; John 13:13) and is also severally equated with the “LORD” (Yahweh) of the Hebrew Bible in the New Testament (Psalm 34:8//1 Peter 2:3; Isaiah 8:13// 1 Peter 3:15). When Peter was led to Cornelius, a gentile, he realiSed that the risen Lord was not for them alone and Jesus was declared “Lord of All” (Acts 10:36). This is a clear recognition of His rulership on Earth and in Heaven; His being the Sovereign and Superior to all in both nature and position. Jesus is Lord – not just our Lord, but also Lord of All. He reigns over all the affairs of men, the beasts, weather, circumstances, and all the good and evil principalities of the spiritual realm. He is the Sovereign Lord and that means that He has the right and ability to do with His creation as He wishes (Psa. 50:1; Isa 40:15; 1Tim. 6:15).
Proclaiming Jesus as Lord is refusing anything that denies the Godhead and rule of Christ. It means commitment to loyalty and submission/obedience to Him (Luke 6:46).
The acknowledgement of Jesus as Lord was, however, from the first, fraught with misconceptions and danger. To the Jewish minds, the title had messianic overtones of kingship and authority (Luke 20:41-44), offending both Jews and Romans. Politically, “Lord” was a title claimed by the Caesars. Therefore, it is significant that Jesus is called “King of kings and Lord of lords” during the time of Emperor Domitian, when Caesar-worship was mandated (Rev. 17:14; 19:16). Among Greek-speaking Jews of the dispersion, for whom “Lord” was the customary title for the many gods of polytheism, the application of the name to Jesus was blasphemous, especially when associated with “Son of God,” prayer, praise, total devotion, and hope (1 Cor. 8:5-6; Phil. 2:9-11; 1 Thess. 4:14-17).
Nevertheless, the truth is that Jesus is Lord, the Lord of all. All may not acknowledge the fact now. But someday, all will submit to the truth: “…God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:9–11).
Jesus is Lord. He is God.
The Venerable Dr Princewill Onyinyechukwu Ireoba, FIMC, CMC, is the Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.