This post is being sent out on Christmas Eve. I am aware that there are young men reading this blog who have young children. Many of you have done some soul searching with you wives, as you contemplate the events in Newtown. My burden in this blog is to give each man a renewed sense of hope, especially as we celebrate once again the birth of King Jesus. We read in I Peter 1:3, “In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Our hope in Jesus is a “living” hope. Think of hope as “the confident anticipation of a positive future.” Our hope is confident and living because it is based on the victory and return of King Jesus. It might not seem like it at times, but the King has landed.
One of my favorite images of Christmas for many years has been based on these words from C.S. Lewis. I have referenced to it in many Christmas Eve services. “Enemy-occupied territory – that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.” King Jesus has invaded behind enemy lines. He invites us into a great campaign of sabotage. As John Stonestreet observed on Breakpoint, “by ’emptying himself’ of his royal glory, assuming ‘the form of a servant’ (Phil 2:7), and becoming least of all, God the Son did what all the mightiest kings and emperors of the world could not accomplish with all their armies: He ended the reign of sin, thereby sounding the knell for death and Satan, himself.”
Remember hope means that we are waiting. But in our waiting, God is accompanying us at the deepest level of our being. Listen – “Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good” (Rom 8:26 – 28 – The Message).
In our waiting for King Jesus return, here are three realities to ponder. First, we are behind enemy lines. Our culture is occupied territory. But we know that King Jesus has already come, having fought the battle for us and won. He has been giving authority to reign as Lord of history. As followers of the King we need not fear. The enemy knows he is defeated. “For the Devil’s come down on you with both feet; he’s had a great fall. He’s wild and raging with anger; he hasn’t much time and he knows it” (Rev 12:12 – The Message). We know victory is assured. Yes, King Jesus is coming back to claim what is his.
Secondly, at His birth King Jesus came in disguise. He came as the Lamb of God and in doing so won a complete victory by his sacrificial death of the cross. But he rose again victorious. He went back to heaven and now sits at the right hand of the Father. He is now the Lion of Judah. In Revelation John has a vision in which he saw a scroll, that represented God’s plan for history. We read, “Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” (Rev 5:5). His purpose as King will be accomplished when He returns
Thirdly, men, we are on “a great campaign of sabotage.” I have mentioned previously that we are to be subversive. Therefore, we need to be courageous and confident. We work against to culture. It is subtle work, done with loving and humble hearts. As saboteurs we give our allegiance is to the King of Kings. “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” (Rev. 1:17-18). Men, lift up your eyes, the King is coming.