A journey through the Advent season, courtesy of LEGO Star Wars. While I hope it is thought-provoking, it is meant to be fun as well.
Today we get a minifigure, an Imperial Officer that made it’s appearance during The Empire Strikes Back.
The Imperial Officers were driving the At-At Walkers toward Echo Base on Hoth. Imperial Officers were extremely loyal to the Empire. They were to be noticed and feared in their uniforms, and were stationed throughout the Empire.
The easy connection with them is Roman Centurions. Rome ruled the land, and Caesar was considered a god. There was always an uneasy tension between the Jews and the Romans. The Centurions would not have been viewed in a favorable light by the Jews. And, the Imperial Officers would not have been received by the Rebel Alliance.
The Jews were looking for a Redeemer, someone to deliver them from the subservience they found themselves in at the time under Rome. Not only that, they were wanting the Messiah, the King, to come back in power and take down the ruling Roman authority. Yet, that’s not what Jesus did. Jesus did come in power, but not by our standards.
Often, Christians view Jesus as a tool they can wield to get what they want. This was part of the reason he frustrated the Pharisees, he would not go along with what they wanted. Jesus went after his Father’s plan, not the plans of men.
How often do we do this today? We want Jesus to come in power for what we think is right, but yet Christ comes in a different manner for a bigger agenda.
Yet despite all the venom toward Rome by the Jews, Roman Centurions came to know the power and truth of Jesus. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke record Jesus admiring the faith of a centurion that Jesus could give the word to heal his servant. This must have been baffling for Jews to hear at the time, but perhaps not. This Roman Centurion got it, and he was not schooled in the law as the Jews were. How much more should we get it if this Roman Centurion can get it?
Now a centurion had a servant who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him. When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.” And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well. —Luke 7:2-10 (ESV)