Ephesians 1:21, “Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.”

What is the most powerful force or person apart from the Lord God Himself that comes immediately to mind? Maybe you just thought of, “Satan.” He’s a good contender, but there is a more powerful force in the universe, besides the Creator, that is stronger than the Devil, and that is Death. No created person escapes death. Death strikes even the richest, most powerful, even those who wield the greatest political power or influence. Satan himself will experience death, though not in the same manner that physical beings lose their lives in this world. Instead, he will be cast, along with all unrepentant people into the lake of fire, a place of unrelenting, unending, conscious punishment, for those who refuse to trust in Christ. They will suffer the wrath of God for their sins forever. Revelation 20:7-15 calls this lake of fire “the second death.”

Since death is the strongest force in the universe apart from God Himself, what then is the clearest way the Lord can demonstrate His unmatchable power? The answer is by overcoming and defeating death. God the Father did precisely this by raising Jesus from the dead (Ephesians 1:19-20). Paul has been talking about this power in Ephesians 1, along with the richness of being God’s inheritance thus far in Ephesians 1. Since the Lord can overcome death itself, nothing can thwart the plans of God ordained in eternity past (Ephesians 1:11). Christians have nothing to fear from any enemy—people, illness, or the kingdom of darkness—God works this great might toward us (Ephesians 1:20) having raised our Lord Jesus from the dead that by virtue of our union with Himself through the Holy Spirit, we might be raised to triumph over all of His and thus our enemies (Westminster Shorter Catechism Question and Answer 26).

Jesus in addition to being resurrected has been raised to sit at God’s right hand- the place of favor over “all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come” (Ephesians 1:21). The variety and number of names used here by Paul indicates that no authority greater than Christ can be conceived. In fulfillment of Psalm 110, the divine son of David has received the honor and authority due to Him, and even the strongest evil powers are subject to the sovereignty of God. This should encourage Christians for as our Lord’s willing subjects, we are to enjoy His special care.

The reign of Christ and the protection of His people does not guarantee that the people of God will not face hardship, trials, and suffering as long as this present sinful order exists, for He has predestined that suffering will be the lot of His people until the return of Christ (2 Timothy 2:3). What Christians can be confident of, on account of the Savior’s reign, is that they will be vindicated on the last day, providing our suffering for His sake is never in vain.

Christ’s reign and the protection of His people does not guarantee that we will not face hardship, trials, and suffering as long as this present sinful order exists, for He has promised that suffering will be the lot of His people until His return (2 Tim. 2:3). What we can be confident of, on account of our Savior’s reign, is that we will be vindicated on that last day, proving that our suffering for His sake is never in vain.