It is time for elections in the United States. Most people are aware of the fierce battles and debates for the coveted position of president. People like Clinton, Trump and others promise a lot to attract votes. They play on people’s ability and tendency to change sides (conservatives decide to vote liberal or vice versa). History teaches that people are fickle.
# People are fickle
Even in the time of Christ people changed sides within days. For example, during Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, the people cheered Him.1 A short while later, when He appeared before the Sanhedrin, Pontius Pilate and Herod, His followers fled and the people called for His crucifixion. 2
# God’s wonderful plan
In a sense that fickleness explains God’s wonderful plan. Each person of the human race has a life time to ‘vote’ (on this side of the grave) who he wants for his eternal leader, God or the devil (if you don’t vote you remain in the devil’s camp).
# Smear campaign
Just like in politics, God’s personal enemy smears His character and derides Him (often as a Cosmic Tyrant). 3 He manifests in many voices that call for God’s resignation as Ruler of His Kingdom.
# Knowledge of the two ‘candidates’
In this life we can thoroughly investigate the characters of God and His opponent, the devil. The Bible takes time to explain the differences between the two ‘candidates.’ It shows what each one stands for, and what we can expect from them in the future. We can weigh the two options, God as Leader on the one hand (‘He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just’ 4) and His opponent the devil, on the other (‘the accuser’ 5).
The time to ‘vote’ is on this side of the grave, because in eternity there is no longer democracy. God lets us decide now whether we are willing to accept Him and live now and in future as His children with all the benefits He gives.
- Matthew 21:1-11
- Matthew 26:59-68; 27:15-26
- John 12:31;14:30;16:11
- Deuteronomy 32:4
- Revelation 12:10
Annually believers in Jesus celebrate His crucifixion and resurrection that took place around AD 33 in Jerusalem. There the devil thought he accomplished his greatest coup: to get rid of the Son of God. However, he underestimated the wisdom of God:
- It was the greatest ‘battle’ of all times. Jesus came head to head with Satan. Yet, in true Roman military fashion, Jesus, ‘…having disarmed the powers and authorities, made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.’ 1
- This whole ‘military’ campaign was preplanned. ‘He [Jesus] was chosen before the creation of the world….’ 2 Despite that, the devil could not interpret what God actually planned. ‘None of the rulers of this age understood [God’s secret wisdom], for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.’ 3 This had a catastrophic effect on the devil, for his mission to annihilate Jesus had the opposite effect: it sealed his doom eternally.
- The devil would like to obliterate the whole Easter event. It reminds him yearly of the bitter defeat he suffered. Yet he can do nothing, since Easter is a historical event.
It is important to remember that the effects of the Easter events are eternal. Without it, we would have no hope of an inheritance in God’s Kingdom. That must have been the reason why the apostle John cried bitterly when nobody could open the seals to reveal the inheritance God promised. That was, until it was pointed out to him that there was Someone who could open the seals. That one was the Lamb of God, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the one who earned the right by His death on the cross. He is ‘…worthy to take the scroll and open the seals, because He was slain, and with His blood purchased men for God….’ 4
It is also very necessary to remember that without the Easter events, our faith would be useless and time wasting. ‘And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men’. 5
Without Easter there is no future inheritance for us. But we have Easter, and our hope in Jesus’ victory is what sustains us in often difficult times. On the new heavens and earth we will continually be reminded of what Jesus did for us during the Easter event. The marks on His hands and in His side will be eloquent testimony to us, just as it was to Thomas, “Then He said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe’”. 6
Only a true God can plan such a miraculous, glorious victory through pain and agony. To Jesus be the glory!
- Colossians 2:16
- 1 Peter 1:20a
- 1 Corinthians 2:8
- Revelation 5:9b
- 1 Corinthians 15:17-19
- John 20:27