Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Triple Crown

"So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees" John 18:2.

To arrest one unarmed man this was overkill; an excessive use of force. However, Jesus was no ordinary individual.

The detachment of soldiers numbered around six hundred fully decked out highly trained military men. According the Mark, those sent by the religious leaders came with clubs and swords. These two groups, with the addition of Judas represented an unholy trinity of world powers: government, religion and humanity all aligned with a single purpose. Get rid of Jesus. Sound familiar?

In reality this wasn't even a contest or a fair fight. Unruffled by the appearance of the wannabe rulers, Jesus calmly and casually inquired, "Hey guys, who ya lookin' for?" as if He didn't already know.

"Jesus of Nazareth."

"I am He."

These simple words sent this entire crowd flat on their well padded hind quarters. What would have occurred if He summoned up the angel army or raised the "finger of God?"

I can imagine He may have been amused at the sight. Once again he asked The Dazed and Confused, "Who'd ya say you were lookin' for?" To their relief and amazement, He surrendered without resistance.

Delaying the inevitable would have dire consequences. There was a party in the works and Jesus was determined that it wouldn't start even one minute late. The next few hours would be murder, literally. The pain and suffering - unimaginable. He would take the worst man had to dish out and all of their sins. His physical, emotional and spiritual mettle would be strained to the snapping point. However, He had a weapon that no one counted on...joy.

"Who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame" Heb. 12:2.

Finally man would have concrete evidence of the sacrifice of the Lamb made before creation's foundations were laid. This wasn't an after thought to solve the problem of man's sin, but was a plan concocted before the very formative stages of creation. The dilemma was solved before it ever surfaced. Christ died for us before we had the chance to mess things up royally. We were already reconciled with God. Time to demonstrate this truth in the natural and then, let the party begin.

So, what's this got to do with the Triple Crown which is the biggest annual event in U.S. horseracing? Comprised of three races: the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, since it's inception only twelve horses have managed to win them all and earn the Triple Crown. Actually, the horse get a big flower wreath and a wonderful retirement package on a stud farm, not some gold ring around its head.

Jesus ran his own version of the Triple Crown challenge. Unlike the horses that rest after each week, Jesus completed His course in a matter of hours. He racked up an impressive three victories over the world, religious governmental systems and humanity- something never achieved since. He is the Ultimate Triple Crown Winner.

How about you? How would you describe what Jesus was up against in the garden? What do you think of His generous restraint of power? Why didn't He demonstrate wrathful revenge then or from the cross? What does this tell us about His confidence in His position as King of Kings and Lord of Lords or that we can be sure the party started on time?

1 comment:

  1. I love this! I remember when you taught this at BWC. It was powerful then. It is powerful now! Blessings on ya, D&A