- Jim Lovelady
Day 2: He Shamed Them Publicly
Updated: Feb 24, 2021
"When I counted up my demons
I saw there was one for every day
With the good ones on my shoulder
I drove the other ones away
If you ever feel neglected
If you think that all is lost
I'll be counting up my demons
Hoping everything's not lost"--Coldplay
I believe in the sovereignty of God. That may be offensive to some who argue for the free will of the human heart but I believe in that too. I see both in the Bible and at the end of the discussion (or argument) it is always a mystery . When I say that God is sovereign that means that I believe God has the last word in all circumstances. He has the final say in the circumstances of my life. So the question, "What do you have to say about this situation?" is a good one to have in your back pocket.
This is good news because my life can get pretty ugly. My sins can get pretty flagrant. I have the uncanny ability to do things that lead me into a massive tail spin and when all options lead me to a destructive dead end, when a life lived foolishly catches up with me, in the desperation of the last flickering moments of hope, when I think that all is lost, that's when God gets to have the last word.
What is God's last word?
I think it is really easy for us to imagine God to be like a frustrated parent who is trying to get his child to load the dishwasher and they just keep fouling it up and in frustration God eventually says, "Fine! I'll just do it myself! You've already broken two plates!"
Nope. That's not God's last word. Let's try this one:
"He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross."--Colossians 2:14-15
God speaks victory over our wreckage. So he can be tender as he guides his clumsy children as they learn how to do life the truly human way. "Let me help you load that dishwasher. One day you are going to be amazing at this!"
He says, "I see your failed marriage and I raise you one victory over that on the cross."
"I see that habit you can't kick and I declare my dominion over it so that you are not the one to be put to shame."
"I see your struggle to love your neighbor as yourself. One day you will be amazing at it. I know because I hold the keys to death and Hades and nothing can stand in the way of me completing the good work I started in you."
You see, it is in this (normally embarrassing) weakness that we discover a loving God and it's also in this (more like humiliating) weakness that his victory makes a mockery over sin and death. He trampled down death by death and made a fool of evil. In light of the cross and resurrection of Jesus, your sins, your bad habits, your struggles, they all look...silly! Look at them! How silly!
Why would I get angry about that? That would be silly.
Why would I go back to that bad habit? That would be silly.
Why would I hold onto that? That's just silly when I compare it to the true humanity God is inviting me into.
As you stumble through Lent letting your darkest and most shameful desires and actions come to the surface don't let them have the final say regarding who you are and where your life is going. Let the one who holds the keys of death and Hades, the one who has put the powers of darkness to public spectacle, let the Lord have the last word. His last word is, "I know about all these things. I know and I love you."
Ah, ah, ah, yeah
Ah, ah, yeah
Come on yeah
Everything's not lost"
I confess that defeat seems more real to me than the resurrection victory that belongs to me, since I belong to you. Today, and in the days to come, show me the grandeur of your love. Amen.
P.S. For all you language purists, "Publically" is a superlative form of "Publicly" so go be superlative about the victory of God over sin and death. ;)
#lent #lentconfessions #coldplay #parachutes #colossians #bible #devotional