Victory in Vulnerability

Without vulnerability there is no victory.

Christ as Vulnerable

God volunteered His vulnerability through His Son, Jesus Christ, for us. Through vulnerability Christ endured pain on His way to the cross and while on the cross. Jesus’ mission on earth was entirely vulnerable as He exposed himself as fully man and as fully God. Proclaiming His identity as the Messiah and Saviour to all. Many times throughout the Gospels we read Jesus saying, “its not my time yet” or simply disappearing to escape from the crowd. He knew people would try to kill Him as soon as He exposed His identity as Messiah. I can’t imagine a more vulnerable position than that. Yet, we read on. When it was time for Christ to be crucified we read the most vulnerable words out of Jesus’ mouth, saying:

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Mathew 27:46

When I read that I thought, wow, God is really highlighting a vulnerable moment of weakness here, or so it seems. But, when I read ‘The ESV Bible Study’ foot notes, I got more clarity on the meaning. The foot notes describes His words like this: “Jesus expresses faith, calling God, “my God”. Surely he knows why he is dying, for this was the purpose of his coming to earth. And surely his cry, uttered with a loud voice, is expressing, not bewilderment as his plight, but witness to the bystanders, and through them to the world, that he was experiencing God-forsakenness not anything in himself but for the salvation of others.”

Salvation is the deliverance from sin and its consequences brought about by faith in Christ. Believing in Jesus Christ is our life’s greatest Victory because it saves us from our own deserving death. Christ became the ultimate sacrifice for our sin by dying on the cross. A vulnerable act from a victorious God.

Christ as Victory

We know that Jesus did die, but three days later rose again (Matthew 28:5-7). Then as Christ appears to the disciples, with still holes in his hands from where he was crucified, he commissions them. He said, “go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age (Matthew 28:16-20).”

The vulnerability to victory doesn’t stop at Jesus’ death and resurrection but begins again through us by His Spirit.

Pray


I pray we become a people vulnerable to share the Gospel wherever we are. Not scared by what others may think or intimidated by not “knowing enough”. But believing that God is always with us. For where there is vulnerability in Christ there is also Victory in Christ. Not my will be done, but yours, Oh God.
Amen.

The Ascension

“So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”  He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Acts 1:1-11

Don’t Stop

I ran my first 10 km race last year and will run the same race again this year. So, I’ve begun training for it. I remembered how much I loved the mental challenge of simply running non stop until 10 km. In order to not stop, I need to run while feeling fatigued. To help myself push through the fatigue, while maintaining good speed, I focus on these two words, “don’t stop”.

God reminded me that those same two words apply to how I run after Him.

After a recently hard week I had emotionally, I opened up my journal; this time not to vent my thoughts, but to choose God’s thoughts. What would He see as most important in my life? I started listing all the external factors that I was recently complaining about. I started to question if they were most important to God. Sure, they are important, but most important? Perhaps, my spiritual growth is more important. How I love and show God’s love to others, yes, that is what’s most important. I’ve allowed my fatigue from life to stop me from believing truth.

“You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?” – Galatians 5:7.

Instead of truth I had fear…fear of loneliness and fear of lack. But if I believe God and His Word than there is no fear (1 John 4:18), no loneliness (Deuteronomy 31:6, Isaiah 41:10) and definitely no lack (Psalm 23, James 1:1-27). This means I must keep running towards God, keep reading His Word and not stop pursuing Him (Matt 10:38-39). I train to Love because He first loved me (1 John 4:19). So when I run, I run knowing He is with me. So with whatever affliction, fatigue, heartache comes my way I don’t stop. I have hope that this race already comes with a Victory that is Christ.

…Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” – Philippians 3:13-14

All it takes is a small break from your fitness regime to feel badly about yourself again. I find the same goes with my spirituality. I question where God is, when it is me that chose the break from Him. Training to be physically healthy requires discipline and perseverance as it becomes a lifestyle. The same can be said with our faith. We need to see pursuing Christ as a lifestyle we commit to daily, knowing and understanding who He is through scripture so our training becomes more effective to our lives and the lives around us (2 Peter 1:3, 5-9). Then the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22) will lead your heart and begin to work through it. In order to pour out Gods goodness and experience His peace we need to be filled up and in doing so means, you, I, we… “don’t stop” running.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” – Hebrews 12:1