Triumphant living does not always have the ring-tone we long to hear. Yet as Oswald Chambers says, “There is no majestic vitality and power of God in ‘suffering the will of the Lord.’ ” So, when life feels less than majestically alive and powerful, how do we align our reality with faith? How do we find hope and not live as martyrs staining the glory of God?
The final week of Christ’s life on earth offers insights. His triumphal entry into Jerusalem parallels our lives in many ways. The eternal significance of simple obedience can easily be missed. Instructing the disciples on the location of the donkeys and the confiscation of them linked prophesy with its fulfillment. A profession of faith connects a soul with its intended destiny. The obedience of the disciples prepared the way for Jesus and set the stage for worship; individual salvation works the same.
Christ’s first task upon entering the city was cleansing the temple. Restoring the holy place to one of communion with the Holy Father happens within each believer. Indeed, all have allowed the theft of God’s glory and allocated it to personal idols, goals and ambitions. Driving from our souls the thieves which rob us of fellowship with the Father is awe-inspiring, sometimes even frightening work.
Healing follows cleansing—for others as well as ourselves! The wounds of life need the healing balm of Christ. His holy presence restores souls to health. Sadly, it is not long though, before the enemy presses back in with doubts and accusations. Miracles of cleansing and healing demand simple, child-like faith, which is a very precious commodity, indeed. Accusatory, judgmental religion is far more common to encounter (and live). Christ’s experience in Jerusalem will be ours as well.
Following the Savior’s journey that week, we see a personal necessity: withdrawal. Jesus went to Bethany. About an hour’s walk south of Jerusalem, Bethany represents a place of seclusion and quietness. Great things took place in Bethany—and great things take place when we determinedly withdraw to dwell in the presence of the King. Bethany saw the dead raised to life, the sacrificial anointing of Jesus, the blessing of the disciples and even the ascension.
Ah, but before the ascension was, of course, the crucifixion. The triumphant entry story also has the pinnacle of pain. Christ ushered in our victory upon that cross, but walking out that victory still takes us there. Sin leads to death—and all humanity is born in sin. This life we live is His!
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
“Come to me,” Jesus says. He is the key to that vibrant life. Believe that He is working deep in souls, healing wounds hidden from human eyes. Believe that He is revealing depths of His glory in you. Believe that your life, lived in Him, produces an eternal harvest beyond your greatest dreams. Walk in the victorious life Jesus offers!
When have you seen what looked like defeat become a glorious victory?