Will Jesus be remembered this weekend?
THE GREATEST VICTORY
What would you consider to be the greatest victory in any battle? It is a subjective question because each of us will have different views depending on our culture and patriotism. The ‘greatest victory’ in one person’s perspective could be the greatest defeat or humiliation in another’s. A victory, which in one person’s viewpoint, may be a tremendous conquest and worthy of praise, may in another’s eyes be a disgrace. Each of us will have subjective views and not everyone could agree unanimously on one particular victory as being of benefit for all people.
Has there been a victory that is indisputably of benefit to the whole of mankind, without impartiality? Could we say that the result of that battle was for the good of all mankind, no matter what cultural or national background we come from? Could we each say to our neighbour that such a victory was of a universal benefit to every single person who has ever, and will ever live, upon the face of the earth? I expect we would have to say no, because we cannot perceive of any victory in battle as being good for everyone, there always has to be a loser: the defeated. And to a variable degree there will always be a victor.
Yet there has been such a crucial battle, and its victory has liberated the whole of mankind, every single person who has ever lived, and the victory not only benefits mankind but also benefits the whole of creation.
“That the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” (Rom. 8:21 NASB).
Millions of people have died in wars throughout history, defending their country, their families, and their friends. Their worthy sacrifices have protected our freedom from oppression and tyranny and in most cases the world is a better place because of their sacrifice. Without their unselfish acts of bravery and sacrifice the world would be a more desperate place, and they are worthy of all our respect and remembrance. And it is right to remember them on these special days in the year.
Jesus says: ‘Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends’ (John 15:13 NASB).
Wars are not started by the individual but by the power of the ‘prince of this world’ who deceives and blinds men to the truth. Sadly it is always the individual who suffers; who bears the consequences of other peoples greed, ambition and evil. The devil cares nothing for us; he will deceive us and cause us to hurt each other. He delights in keeping us away from Jesus. It is not man who is evil. Everyone has been created in God’s image; God is in everyone, God loves everyone, but satan corrupts this likeness and turns us away from God. Many have given their lives in sacrifice for their families, friends, and country, yet this should not have been necessary, and it is because men are captives and prisoners to the power of satan that this happens.
Yet, the greatest victory does not belong to any of these wars, but to the sacrifice, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for us all. Accounts of battles which have glorified the greatest achievements of man in conflict throughout the history of the world pail into insignificance against the victory that Christ won for us over death and sin. Whereas battles and wars usually begin for selfish reasons such as ideology, nationalism, pride, conquest and political desire, Christ’s battle and victory was not for Himself but for the whole of mankind and creation.
The victory of Christ was for all of us, you and me. It was not for Christ personally, or for some ego that He had. He fought and won because of His love for us all. We are the beneficiaries of His victory. Through Christ we have been liberated from imprisonment to satan, prisoners to slavery to sin, death and tyranny. In our liberation we can walk free into a new life in Christ.
Christ came to earth and fought to set us free; “It was for freedom that Christ set us free” (Gal. 5:1 NASB). His victory broke the chains we were in to sin and death.
THE BATTLE WON
In the victory of Jesus all creation rejoiced; the battle was won, death and sin were defeated.
“That through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives” (Hebrews 2:14.15 NASB).
This is why Jesus says:
“I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even though He dies and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.” (John 11:25,26 NASB).
Upon Christ’s resurrection the devil was defeated. He lost the war. The blood of Jesus flowed into the earth and cleanses us all. As Jesus died He cried out: “It is finished.” He meant His work was over, there was no more to do. He had won.
“The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (1Jn. 3:8)
God’s eternal plan of liberation for us all had been completed through Jesus Christ, and the way is now open for us to come back into a relationship with God, through believing in who Jesus is. Three days after Jesus died, He rose again; this was God’s confirmation of the victory of the cross, through the death of His Son. In Jesus lies the victory over sin for our freedom.
Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has eternal life, and does not enter into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” (Jn.5:24)