The Triumph of the Cross

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Happy Thursday again!

If you’re someone who keeps up regularly with my blog, you probably noticed that I did not blog last Thursday. So I’d like to take this opportunity to shamelessly plug our church CityReach Johnstown (haha)—we are in the midst of a church-wide fast, in which we were fasting entertainment last week, and Daniel Fast next week. We are presently believing and fasting for cancer to become a thing of the past… and yes, you read that right. Our God is bigger than sickness, and cancer is simply not part of God’s will! If you’d like to read up about our fast and even join with us, click here.

Anyway..

I’m writing to you live from Panera. (Thanks for the bottomless coffee, P.) Go ahead and grab your morning cuppa Joe, and I hope you are encouraged!

Colossians 2:13-15 says:
“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

This says so much! My spirit just responds to God as I type this out!

Let’s unpack this a bit. The book of Colossians opens with a resounding declaration of the supremacy of Jesus Christ—that He Himself is God (1:15, 1:19), that He is the Head and ultimate Authority of the Church (1:18), and that all power and dominion belong to Him and Him only (1:16, 17, 18). Then the author of the letter, Paul, goes on to contrast Christ and His astonishingly definitive purity with mankind’s grim and fatal position—that man is actually an enemy of God (1:21), that man has “evil behavior” by default (also 1:21), and that man, though religious, is spiritually dead (2:13). The Message translation reads that we “were incapable of responding to God” (emphasis mine).

We were indeed incapable—desperately and impossibly incapable—of responding to God. After all, a dead man cannot cause himself to get up and begin breathing again. Listen here, friends.. we were all spiritually dead.. no matter how religious or good we think we are. In fact, one can be a very good, pristine person and still be spiritually dead, as our own goodness can never ‘fix’ our condition.

But!

Oh, my soul soars at the turning point!

But God loves us! His blazing love forbids anything to stand between us and Him—anything! Our past, our future, our failures, our pathetic self-righteousness, our hopeless pride, the worst sins recorded in Scripture—even spiritual death—could never interrupt the effulgent love our God has for us, His priceless beloved.

Yes, “while we were dead in our sins, God made us alive with Christ.”

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How can it be? Can anyone fully fathom the love of God? Oh me, oh my!

To dive deeper into the wonder of this brilliant rescue, read on in Colossians 2. The causes of our spiritual death (the Law, which identified our willful rebellion against Glory, and the sham authority of Satan and his wicked armies) have been nailed to the cross of Christ. The picture here that Paul is conveying is that of a king parading back into his kingdom after a triumphant victory, pulling behind him the enemies he has just conquered, completely disarmed and humiliated by defeat.

This is Jesus Christ: the Supreme, the Unsurpassable, the Victor! And through His sweep on the cross, He has completely obliterated the reign of darkness, stripping it of whatever unforgiving power it has held over His people.

Hallelujah! And it is through this incredible feat of Jesus’ overwhelming might that we can now assuredly sing, “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!” Whatever condemnation any of God’s beloved feel is simply because they have un-nailed the devil from the cross. Instead, let us rest and rejoice in the victory our unrivaled King has won for us! We are made alive with Him!

It is finished, it is finished, it is finished! We are completely free, through and through.

My heart,
Josh

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