Summary: Jesus did more on the cross than pay the price for our sins. Jesus also gave us the victory.
1 Samuel 17:8-9, 45-47 “We are More Than Conquerors”
A week has passed since Easter. The chocolate Easter bunnies have been consumed (at least in our house). Only a few stray jellybeans remain in the once overflowing Easter baskets. Our nice, new Easter outfits have been soiled, torn, and are lying in a hamper waiting to be washed and mended. Hallmark has moved on, too. The rows of Easter cards have been replaced with Mother’s Day cards.
As exciting and meaningful as Easter was for us, its power grows dim as the days progress. We are faced with the struggle of integrating the reality of the empty tomb and a resurrected Christ into our everyday lives. In order to capture the significances of Easter, it is vital that we ask ourselves searching questions, such as, “What difference does it make in our lives that Jesus lives?” and “How does the truth of Easter mold and shape our lives so that they are aligned with what we say we believe?”
One of the differences that the resurrected Christ makes in our live is the power and victory of the cross. Like David, we have more than just ourselves when we face the Goliaths of life.
CHANGE OF PERSPECITVE
Usually when we talk about the cross of Christ, we focus on Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. This is certainly one facet of the cross. Jesus is referred to as the “Lamb of God” in reference to the Passover Lamb and scapegoat that were part of the Jewish sacrificial system.
Christians also often talk about being saved from our sins. We tell others that because of Jesus’ death on the cross our broken relationship with God has been made whole. This is not all that happened on the cross. It doesn’t encompass the breadth to which Jesus was referring when he said, “It is finished.”
Jesus was also obtaining and proclaiming a victory. The resurrection is victory over death. The resurrection is God’s victory over Satan and the powers of evil. The resurrection breaks the power of sin in our lives. Not only are we forgiven, but also we are freed from sin and no longer enslaved by its power.
Paul, in one of his greatest statements of faith, writes, “We are more than conquerors.” We are more than conquerors not only because our sins are forgiven, but also because Jesus has won the victory.
DAVID AGAINST GOLIATH
The battle between David and Goliath is more than a historical account of the decisive battle between two opposing armies in the Middle East. The story is a Meta narrative of men and women facing the challenges of life, overcoming insurmountable odds, and achieving a noble victory.
The story of David and Goliath is also a story of faith and a demonstration of how a person lives in the reality of the resurrection—even though David lived a millennium before Jesus.
¨ David lived in the reality that God was with him, enabling David to accomplish God’s will for his life.
¨ David lived in the reality that his life—and all of life—was in God’s hands—the hands of a loving God.
¨ David lived in the reality that his purpose in life was not to achieve his goals, but to do God’s will—to be God’s servant and disciple.
NO EASY PATH
In the United States, it is easy for us to equate victory with success. We start to believe that Jesus died on the cross so that we can be the next Bill Gates, Donald Trump, or Susan Orman. We fall into the trap thinking that it is every Christian’s right to drive a BMW, or a Porsche, own a mansion and earn a six-figure income. The cross of Christ is not the final answer to “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”
The victory that is ours through the cross of Jesus Christ goes much deeper than this.
¨ It is the assurance that God’s desires will be accomplished, and God’s kingdom established.
¨ It is the knowledge that the forces of evil have been overcome. While waiting for this truth to become a widespread reality, we stand against injustice, and work to eliminate hunger, poverty, oppression, war, and sickness.
¨ It is the peace that comes in knowing that nothing—absolutely nothing—can separate us from the love of God.
Goliaths surround us—as individuals, as a congregation, as a nation, as a world. But we are the David’s. Though small, we are empowered by God through the cross of Christ, and we step forward knowing that the victory is ours.