How has your Lenten discipline been going? I awoke one morning with an interesting insight I want to share with you. During Lent we try to become aware of our weaknesses and God’s strength to aid us. We choose disciplines to help us move consciously towards the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as our Paschal lamb and the subsequent celebration of His mighty resurrection on our behalf. Up from the grave He arose! And we rejoice.
Throughout the year we sing about the Power in His blood. Good Friday we reflect upon His blood shed for us. The water and the blood from His pierced side. His sacrifice compared to the blood of goats and bulls (Hebrews 9-10).
The blood of Christ is important and we need to understand the excruciating death He suffered and why. Too many of us have gotten stuck right there. I think God wants us to think beyond the Blood of Christ. Why did He die for us? What was His promise about His death. God’s version of “There is more to the story.”
In John 16:5 Jesus begins to explain to the disciples about the Holy Spirit by saying ” I am going to him who sent me.”
But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.John 16:7 NIV
Jesus knew that the presence of the Advocate with us is better than His walk alongside us on earth.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.John 16:13-14
We might never understand the full significance of these three verses. We do know from the discourse in John 16 that Jesus is teaching beyond His suffering, crucifixion and resurrection. He is teaching about the Holy Spirit, Advocate, Spirit of Truth dwelling within us. This is a consequence of Him shedding His blood for us.
The disciples did not grasp the meaning when He first taught this. He was beaten, crucified, died and was buried on our behalf. He rose again and was seen by the disciples and many others. He bestows His Holy Spirit on those who believe in Him and love Him. Many of us to this day do not grasp the meaning of His words.
There was a song in the 1980s that told of the battle between Jesus and satan, God the Father being the mediator of that battle. Satan is surprised about the outcome. You see, Jesus went to heaven, but by indwelling His disciples, He walks that earth in millions through the centuries.
Now the final blow saved for the final round. Prophetically Christ's hands came down And Satan struck in vengeance! The blow of death felled Jesus to the ground. The devils roared in victory! The saints shocked and perplexed as wounds appeared upon His hands and feet. Then Satan kicked Him in His side, and blood and water flowed. And they waited for the 10 count of defeat. God the Father turned His head, His tears announcing Christ was dead! The 10 count would proclaim the battle's end. Then Satan trembled through his sweat in unexpected horror, yet... As God started to count by saying, "...10..." "Hey wait a minute, God..." "...9..." "Stop! You're counting wrong..." "...8..." His eyes are moving... "...7..." His fingers are twitching... "...6..." "Where's all this Light coming from?" "...5..." "He's alive!" "...4..." "Oh - nooooo!" "...3..." "And yet," "...2..." "Oh... Yessssss! "...1..." He has won! He has won! He's alive forevermore! He is risen, He is Lord, He has won! He has won! He's alive forevermore, He is risen! He is Lord! Proclaim the news in every tongue, Through endless ages and beyond Let it be voiced from mountains loud and strong Captivity has been set free, salvation bought for you and me 'Cause Satan is defeated, And Jesus is The Champion Written by: Thomas Allan Flowers, Richard C. Ivanisevich, Douglas James Eldridge Album: The Champion Released: 1987
Andrew Peterson captured the same miracle with the song “His Heart Beats.” Part of those lyrics are:
He rises, glorified in flesh Clothed in immortality, the firstborn from the dead He rises, and His work's already done So He's resting as He rises to reclaim the Bride He won And His heart beats So crown Him the Lord of Life Crown Him the Lord of Love Crown Him the Lord of All He took one breath And put death to death Where is your sting, O grave? How grave is your defeat I know, I know His heart beats
Are you willing to embrace His sacrifice and let Him live in and through you? I pray your disciplines have led you to a point of surrender to Jesus in every way, shape and form.