Friday, February 21, 2014

"A Battle Lost, the War Won"

      The wicked win a lot of skirmishes and battles in this life.  King David cried out in the pained recognition of such reality, "LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?" (Psalm 94:3).

     Doubtless, we've all wondered the same with David.  Why does God allow the wicked to prosper, whether we reference things that impact us personally, or those of a larger scale (such as world events)?  The Bible actually addresses this question in a number of ways.  We don't have time for all of them, so I'll suggest the one that, in my mind, seems to bear the greatest significance.

    "And though they found no cause of death in Him, yet desired they Pilate that He should be slain. And when they had fulfilled all that was written of Him, they took Him down from the tree, and laid Him in a sepulcher. But God raised Him from the dead" (Acts 13:28-30).

    Unjustly accuse the Lord Jesus.  Condemn Him to die.  Kill Him.  Bury Him.  Commit the worst atrocity of history by slaughtering the only perfectly innocent human being who ever lived.  Do your worst, world, devil, and flesh.  And then witness your victory celebration cut short as God raises His Son from the dead.  A temporary skirmish victory forges the nail in the coffin of those who used those same instrument to impale the Savior upon His cross.  God's allowance of wickedness thus becomes the basis upon which the greatness of His redemption and power are more clearly known.  A battle seemingly lost results in the war won.  "The Light shineth in the darkness" (John 1:5).

    Skirmish defeats become opportunities for the revelation of Christ's ultimate triumph in the lives of those who remember that the cross served as prelude to our Lord's resurrection.  Whatever the nature of our loss, arising to remember the empty tomb and the occupied Heavenly throne of the Lord Jesus places us in position to see yet again the glory of His triumph.  Indeed, the appearance of catastrophic defeat at the cross served all the more to spotlight the victory of resurrection.  The same will be true in our lives as we remember and affirm the risen Christ.

Sometimes it seems that the enemy of our soul wins
over and over and over and over again.
But if we could see the truth much more clearly, my friend,
we'd see Christ triumph over death, hell, and sin
over and over and over and over again.

The tomb is empty, the throne above occupied,
for Christ is risen again, from death glorified.
Oh remember when hot, stinging tears fill your eyes
the triumph He's shown so many times in our lives,
over and over and over and over again.

Forever draws nigh, we will be with Him there soon, my friend.
The trials of this life will be gone when we're with Him in Heaven.
Glories we'll see, majesty without end,
that sing the glad hymn, Christ is risen again,
Over and over and over and over again.

"Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of His knowledge by us in every place."
(II Corinthians 2:14)

Weekly Memory Verse
  They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
(Psalm 126:5)

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