God's Victory through the Cross

by Sean Finnegan on November 2, 2008
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a prophecy about one to come who would rule the world from Zion (Psalm 2.1-12)

This is Caesar's world
Caesar is Lord

Jesus' Crucifixion (John 18.33-19.17)

...but God raised Jesus from the dead (Acts 2.23-24; 4.10; 5.30; 10.39-40; 13.29-30)

unpacking the meaning of resurrection
- vindication...Jesus is not a fake, a false prophet, a false messiah

- Caesar has power through violent brutality > Caesar merely has power through violent brutality (God has resurrection power)

- why did Jesus have to die?

- Caesar was merely the historical incarnation of Satan's authority over the nations at the time of Jesus

- The battle was cosmic it was not merely between an emperor (or his local representatives--Pilate & Herod) vs. a messianic claimant.

-It wasn't merely between some jealous pharisees and an itinerant Rabbi with whom they disagreed concerning his interpretation of Torah.

-It wasn't merely between some paranoid Sadducees and a charismatic prophet who they perceived as a threat to their arrangement with Rome and decided he needed to be "dealt with" as discretely and quickly as possible.

-No, there were hidden powers at work behind the brutal execution of this itinerant Rabbi. Things were happening on a cosmic scale. The principalities and powers of this present evil age were losing ground. This exorcist had bound the strong man and was plundering his house. This Galilean Jew was a serious threat. He was not only winning in hand-to-hand combat against Satan's minions, he was preaching a message of liberation, and bringing restoration to countless people. He was bringing revival...

- The irony of the cross is two fold. On the one hand, the sign which sarcastically called Jesus "The King of the Jews" (i.e. the Messiah) was confirmed to be doubly ironic because God vindicated his anointed one by raising him from the dead--effectively signing his own signature to the sign.

-On the other hand, Jesus death looked like an extraordinary miscarriage of justice in which the dark forces and the men under their influence declared open season on Jesus. Through heinous beating, mocking, scourging, and finally crucifixion they dominated him, shamed him, discredited him, and even ended his life. Yet, through this very act, God was exposing the evil for what it really was, and his son defeated evil by absorbing the worst Satan could do to him without cracking, without giving in, without crumbling under the wait of injustice. In so doing, God, through his Son, conquered Satan and "defanged" the roaring lion. By willingly allowing his son to be devoured he satisfied the required penalty for all humanity and enabled liberation for all who would later choose it. Thus, Satan slit his own throat, and insured his own demise by carrying out his indignation on our sinless lord and savior.

-God Wins...God's victory through the cross

1 Corinthians 2.6-9 (the rulers of this age were clueless)

Col 2 (talk about Roman procession -- perhaps Titus' conquer of Jerusalem)

Eph 1 (Jesus is lord!)

2 Cor 5.17ff (all things are made new...old things have passed away...the world is not the same anymore...)

- there is a new sheriff in town...a new lord of the world...a new savior...a new son of God...a new kind of peace and safety....and a new hope that God will one day send his Son to finish the job

  • -do you believe that God has defeated Caesar through the cross?
  • -do you believe that God has defeated evil through the cross?
  • -do you believe that God has defeated Satan through the cross?
  • -do you believe that God has defeated sin through the cross?
  • -do you believe that God has liberated you through the cross?
  • -...then let us trust in him, let us live the life of the age to come, let us follow Jesus as Lord even before the rest of the world gets on board as a testimony, a foretaste of what is to come!
you are free from sin from Satan from Caesar from the law...now use your freedom to free others (ben Hur on boat scene)

Col 1.19-23

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