Saturday, October 8, 2011

Jesus the Suffering Conqueror

Because of Jesus’ resurrection, all threats against you are tamed if you trust in Christ. Jesus conquered death, so death and evil done to you is not the end of the story and you can have hope. In the book of Revelation, one of the key themes is conquering through suffering. This theme is evident in the number of the occurrences of the verb “to conquer” in the book. John describes amazing promises to Christians, addressing the promises specifically to those who “conquer”:
-To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. (2:7)
-The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death. (2:11)
-To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it. (2:17)
-The one who conquers and who keeps My word until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations. (2:26)
-the one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. (3:5)
-The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from My God out of heaven, and My own new name. (3:12)
-The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with Me on My throne, as I also conquered and sat down with My father on His throne. (3:21)

How will these staggering promises come to pass? How will they conquer amid affliction and persecution? How will they find the strength to endure and overcome against all odds? John provides the answer: they will conquer by looking by faith to the One who has already conquered, Jesus Christ. We read in Revelation 5:5-6:
    And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
    And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain
John describes Jesus as the kingly Lion and the meek Lamb who has conquered all of His and our enemies. Jesus has conquered His enemies through His suffering and death on the cross, and yet he is also one who has been slaughtered. Jesus is “the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth,” and He is the one “who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom of priests to His God and Father.” We reign with Him because He died and freed us and made us a kingdom for His glory.

Justin & Lindsey Holcomb, Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault, Crossway Publishers, 2011, pg. 147-148

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