For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, so that you won’t grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:3
This devotional may only be for a fraction of you who are reading it. If you are one of the few who are being pursued by an enemy, this will hopefully be water in the desert. You are someone’s target. You know that war has been declared for no other reason than because you are God’s child. You hear the roar of the lion in your spirit. You smell sulfur.
God wants to put iron in your soul. First, know that Jesus endured more hostility than you and I will ever sustain. He responded in unfathomable mercy but also with justice that will eternally prevail. We couldn’t have predicted his responses back then, so today it is ever more necessary not to try to guess how we should respond. We cannot take matters into our own hands. We must take the hatred that is directed toward us, along with the people who sent it, and leave all of it in God’s hands. He rules righteously with both justice and mercy. He will defend us as well as rule righteously. Both are possible but only within the mind of God. When up to us, we’ll choose one over the other.
“Having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” Colossians 2:15 Jesus, through His death, dealt with the strategic levels of authority in the demonic kingdom. He, publicly, humiliated Satan. The word ‘triumph’ paints a picture of an official public celebration. A triumph is not the same thing as a victory. Victory means that a battle has been won. Triumph is the party thrown after the victory.
How did Jesus celebrate the victory won over his enemy at Calvary? Perhaps the answer is found contextually by reviewing the customs of ancient Rome. The victor was placed in a chariot drawn by a white horse and then paraded through the streets of the city. Citizens of Rome applauded him as he passed by. Behind him, his conquered ones were led in chains and made to endure the shame of defeat. With this picture applied, Christ was in the chariot, having defeated his foe through the cross. His enemies were quite a spectacle behind Him as they were paraded in public defeat and subjugation. This event was reviewed by all spiritual realms.
The enemies against us may be flesh and blood but the origin of the war is not of the ‘flesh and blood’ kind. The attacks are conceived and fueled by the evil ones who wage war against Christ. Spiritual foes want us to believe they still have all the power. They want us to fear that the cross was not a defining moment in their fate. But these enemies have been defeated and have been shamed before heaven. Jesus dealt with them once at Calvary and He will deal with them again before casting them into the lake of fire. They already know their end. Suddenly they shouted, “What have You to do with us, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?” Matthew 8:29
Until then, while experiencing the hostility of others, we can find strength in the knowledge that He deals with our enemies even now, both human and spiritual, with infinite wisdom.
The cross before me. The cross behind me. You rule in victory and I trust You. Amen