Like a runner that has come from last place to win a race ~
Like a team that has come from behind to win in the final seconds of a game ~
Like an underdog who has defeated his enemy after a long battle ~
JESUS CHRIST IS ALIVE!
You know the feeling of great joy and elation that comes from having to listen to insult upon insult from an enemy that feels they are in power and having to watch your champion suffer cruelty at the hands of a lesser foe –
then suddenly, your champion rises exalted fulfilling the hope that you felt when it all began?
I like to play chess – not so great at it – but I love to play –
It’s nice to win – to know that after study and practice – I have learned enough to win – but my favorite kind of win is when my opponent thinks he is better than me and won’t stop insulting me because he is so confident that he will win –
then it happens – after an hour of play – sometimes days – the board – empty of almost all of my pieces – becomes so clear to me – and I make one move to win the game – with one of the lowest ranking pieces on the board!
Do you know that feeling?
Jesus let his enemies feel confident in their own self-importance – he warned them though – but they didn’t listen.
He even asked God to forgive his enemies who were killing him – yes, even the ones who whipped and humiliated him, because he loved them despite of themselves.
Jesus died for us because it was the only way – the highest form of love that can exist in this world.
John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
I have watched for a week, as I do every year, while the world is fixated on the death – the cross – the suffering and I have been silent – because I don’t like to focus on the death – any more than I would commemorate the day of a friend’s death. Yes, I know God required this suffering and death –
~ made even more painful because God had to turn his back on Jesus
I know that Jesus endured it all as payment for the sins of a world gone bad. No. it could not be avoided – but do we have to be so focused on it?
I can’t even begin to imagine how painful it would be if God turned his back on me! But I can imagine how much he loves me because he was willing to sacrifice something so pure, so innocent, and so full of love so that man, who is mostly devoid of these things, could be saved!
Yes, there have been times in my life when I felt lost and very alone –
but now I know it wasn’t God’s fault ~I kept myself in a jail cell –
without knowing the key was in my pocket all along!
Yes I know the cross was necessary – but Jesus ended it when he said
IT IS FINISHED
Oh what joy I feel right now – and every day – to think that not only was Jesus sacrificed – but God is so powerful that he didn’t leave Jesus on that cross – sort of a last snub of the devil!
(of course, the biggest snub of all is yet to come isn’t it?)
Call me an optimist – positive thinker – but I like to skip to the happy ending you know? Kind of like my daughter did when I read stories to her when she was young.
Halleluha – God was satisfied enough to raise Jesus from the tomb and exalt him – so the cross may be a reminder of what he had to bear for our sins – but now –
THE CROSS IS EMPTY – GOD DID NOT LEAVE JESUS ON THE CROSS!
We have victory – the most important victory in the history of the world!
1 Corinthians 15:55 “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”
In that victory – we have the redemption of our savior!
Ephesians 1:7 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”