The Cross = Victory

This Lent season has been different for us in Tasmania. It is perhaps the first time in living memory that the very present sufferings and hardships of a world that often seems so far away have come close. Widespread anxiety, existential fears, loneliness, separation, loss, pain, death; we are not insulated from them as much anymore. An invisible and seemingly invincible enemy is destroying the frail fabric of our societies. The world is entering a season of disorientation — which is why it is ever so easy to lose heart in this maelstrom and turmoil.

Our call then is to look to Him, to truths that stood the test of time and generations past: To see Jesus Christ ascended, raised, and crucified; to know the One who commands the wind and the waves (Luke 8:25), to hear him say: “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6), and to behold the Lamb that was slain (Rev 5:12).

In these next few days during the Passion week and Easter — which undoubtedly will be a grim time of darkness and death for many in the World — we need to remember and proclaim that Jesus Christ came to “break the power of him who holds the power of death” (Heb 2:14). Jesus Christ has come to win a battle that we could not win, he came to defeat enemies we cannot even see; even death itself; He is our victor (1 John 3:8b). And he did that by the cross. For God does not leave us alone, he joins us in suffering: “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death” (Heb 2:14–15).

So then, let us not live and cower in fear of death, but rejoice in His eternal victory. We have hope. For Jesus has won, he reigns supreme (1 Cor 15:25), holding every soul, even history itself (Col 1:16–17). With the old hymn we can sing:

“We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender; We go not forth alone against the foe; Strong in Thy strength, safe in Thy keeping tender. We rest on Thee, and in Thy Name we go.”