DayBreaks for 4/04/19: The Hidden Victory
From the DayBreaks archive, April 2009:
And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. – Colossians 2:15 (NIV)
God has always had a strange way of winning. Sometimes His victories are more spectacular than you can imagine: the great flood as a judgment on sin, crossing the Red Sea and the Jordan, the victory at Jericho, the shepherd boy with the slingshot, Gideon’s brave 300, Samson’s bringing down the roof. All of these things must have been very spectacular to witness. How I do hope God has instant replay in heaven so we can see them!
Sometimes, however, God’s victories don’t look so much like victory as like defeat. In 1939, a young pastor, Helmut Thielicke, took his first pastorate in a church in Germany. Thielicke was young and full of vigor, and he arrived with full confidence in Jesus’ words, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Thielicke told himself that Hitler was just a paper tiger, soon to be consumed by his own arrogance and greed and pomposity.
After Thielicke arrived, he called for a Bible study. A whopping three people showed up – two ladies who were so old that they looked like they were made of brittle parchment that could be destroyed by a tiny gust of wind, and an equally old man who had played the church organ, but who was now so old that his hands hardly worked at all. They sat in a small group inside the church, studying the Word, while all the time they could hear the sounds of the jackboots of Hitler’s Youth Corps hammering on the streets as they marched and drilled.
Thielicke’s confidence shattered. Hadn’t Jesus said “ALL authority?” What about the raging authority that Hitler wielded like a club against his opposition?
In time, Thielicke came to understand what I hope most of us eventually come to realize: either Jesus’ words had a meaning far deeper than we have yet to grasp, or else his words were a blatant exaggeration…perhaps nothing more than the boastful bleatings of madman. Was Jesus just a Lamb masquerading as a Lion for the sake of His disciples?
Hitler is gone – fallen in shame and disgrace. Jesus is still on the throne. When the last king or queen, the last President, the last dictator and prime minister has passed into the pages of history, Jesus will go on, reigning and ruling in majesty and glory such that the world has never seen. When the last enemy, Death, has been obliterated forever, Jesus will go on. When tears are forever banned, Jesus will rule. When ten trillion years have passed in eternity, the celebration of His reign will only be beginning and it will never stop.
You see, the Lion is the Lamb, and the Lamb is the Lion. In any case, the victory that was hidden in the death on the cross will sway all of eternity.
Prayer: Hallelujah, Lord Jesus, for You reign now in glory above and You welcome us to the great celebration of victory! May we proclaim the victory of the Lion Lamb throughout all our days on earth and in heaven above! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>