The Lamb Wins: 17 March 2015

Giovanni Battista Caracciolo trained under Caravaggio’s in Naples. Caravaggio had fled there after killing a man in a brawl in Rome. This piece is The Agony of Christ, 1615., recalls the events in the Garden of Gethsemane.

John 16  32 ‘A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. 33 ‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’

1 John 5 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Are you ready to throw in the towel? Has discouragement wrapped its cold fingers around your heart, choking all your optimism? Beaten . . . beaten . . . beaten! What an odd word for believers to succumb to! Why should any believer ever agree to let such a sour adjective define them?

To take all the worries out of suspense novels you only need read the last chapter before you begin the book. If the pictures of universal judgment in Matthew 24 stood without hope, the firestorms of final tribulation might seem too much to bear. But when we see the white rider in Revelation 19, we can rejoice ahead of time. Here we see the grandeur of the coming, reigning Christ. And on his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: “King of kings and Lord of lords” (v16).

Jesus is the Overcomer with a capital “O,” and we are the over-comers with a little “o.” “In the world you have suffering” would seem a grand threat if the last part of the sentence were not this: “But take courage! I have conquered the world.” All you have to do is to live is to discipline yourself for the conflict, but do not worry. The victory is yours.” The Lamb wins.

Lord, as far as you are concerned, the race is past. I am the victor, and your conquest has guaranteed my security. Even as I look toward your cross in the coming days, may I see beyond it to your empty tomb . . . and know that what you have done in defeating death, you will also do through me. Hallelujah!