To Battle.

As I reflected on the Lord’s Table at this past weekend’s young people’s meeting, I began to make ties to the current season of Easter.  The matter of the blood being sufficient to overcome the ghastly feeling of sin that enslaves the soul identified itself to me, and all at once, I began to realize that as Christians, we are ourselves caught in the middle of an ongoing, spiritual warfare.  Just as Paul defends his ministry in 2 Corinthians 10:3-4, saying, “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds” (ESV), so too must we adopt the attitude as we passionately seek to further Christ’s ministry on Earth.  This matter of Easter, of Christ’s resurrection from the dead in particular, should not just be confined to a yearly acknowledgment of and rejoicing at Christ being risen – though that is a spiritual cornerstone that we all must take pains to remember in our daily lives.  Christ’s resurrection is victory over all; Isaiah 25:8-9 says, “He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.  It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation” (ESV).  When Christ’s blood was spilled, what was a fleshly defeat became a spiritual conquering of Satan, sin, and death.  In this warfare, we align ourselves with a majestic King who gives us confidence in His victory, having foreknown it before the foundation of the world.  

And how ought we respond, then, to this warfare deemed victorious? We have no other course before us to run aside from what Paul says in Ephesians 6:10-18: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.” Our strength comes not of ourselves; it is the strength of His might. As we celebrate Christ’s resurrection, it is by the power of His resurrection that we gain His life – a life characterized by victory, righteousness, and hope.  Our King reigns over all, making it possible for us, through the spilling of His own blood, to be His servants and work His will among men for His glory.  And so, when we come to the Table, when we celebrate Easter, what we are doing is proclaiming the victory that has already taken place.  Christ is risen, and death is defeated.  Let us celebrate well, run well, and make His everlasting glory known to all nations; our King died not in vain, but to save us from certain demise at the hands of our sin.  

Our King is calling – blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on [His] holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming; it is near. (Joel 2:1)

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