Summary: This Good Friday message looks at the triumph of the Cross.
Good Friday, April 21, 2000
Sports writers are not known for their sparkling way with the English language, but there has always been one phrase that catches my attention each time it is used.
It is the expression "snatching victory from the jaws of defeat."
Used when a team is down, the odds are impossible, there is no way under normal circumstances that they can win.
Yet, despite the odds, somehow they manage to find something extra within themselves and fight back to victory.
Of course being a Maple Leafs fan I’m more used to a team that can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
snatching victory from the jaws of defeat
We have looked at the cross as the work of redemption.
We have looked at how the cross is the perfect revelation of God’s holiness and justice as well as his mercy and love.
Today we want to look at the cross in terms of the phrase, snatching victory from defeat.
1) The defeat of the cross
the disciples. . . Destroyed their expectations and hopes
the religious leaders. . . The removal of the heretic
Satan. . . Perceived the cross as Jesus’ defeat
Had been trying to thwart the ministry
- killing of babies in Bethlehem
- temptation in the wilderness
- two different occasions where crowds tried to kill him
- Satan entered into Judas - wanted Christ dead
the bulk of humanity. . . Jesus was a good guy who got out of his depth - a pathetic martyr who died a horrible death - someone to be pitied, not worshipped
2) The Victory snatched in the face of defeat
much of what takes place on that Friday seems like defeat
But John 19:30
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Not a cry of resignation and defeat, but a cry of victory.
This victory is an important theme associated with the cross.
Part of the first reference to the Gospel in Scripture
Jesus himself saw his death as victory
It was the message of the apostles
The message of Revelation
So what is it to us that Christ has the victory over Satan, and is now the triumphant Lord?
Hebrews 2:9, 14-18
It is finished, the battle is over.
It is finished, there’ll be no more war.
It is finished, the end of the conflict.
It is finished and Jesus is Lord.