Victory Even from Inside the Tomb

LNBG

A dear friend that I was blessed to serve with for two years here in Russia just sent me this incredibly encouraging excerpt from the book “Let The Nation’s Be Glad.” If you haven’t read it already, this is an excellent book on the theological basis for missions.

” It will often look as though Christ is defeated.  That’s the way it looked on Good Friday.  He let Himself be libeled and harassed and scorned and shoved around and killed.  But in it all he was in control.  “No one takes (my life) from me” (John 10:18).  So it will always be.  If China were closed for forty years to the Western missionaries, it was not as though Jesus accidentally slipped and fell into the tomb.  He stepped in.  And when it was sealed over, he saved fifty million Chinese from inside – without Western missionaries.  And when it was time, he pushed the stone away so we could see what he had done.

When it looks as though he is buried for good, Jesus is doing something awesome in the dark.  “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground.  He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how” (Mark 4:26-27).  The world thinks Jesus is done for – out of the way.  They think his Word is buried and his plans have failed.

But Jesus is at work in the dark places:  “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24).  He lets himself be buried, and he comes out in power when and where he pleases.  And his hands are full of fruit made in the dark.  “God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it” (Acts 2:24).  Jesus goes about his invincible missionary plan “by the power of an indestructible life” (Heb. 7:16).

For twenty centuries, the world has given it their best shot to hold him in.  They can’t bury him.  They can’t hold him in.  They can’t silence him or limit him.  Jesus is alive and utterly free to go and come where ever he pleases.  All authority in heaven is his.  All things were made through him and for him, and he is absolutely supreme over all other powers (Col 1:16-17).  “He upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Heb. 1:3).  And the preaching of his Word is the work of missions that cannot fail.”

Excerpt from John Piper’s “Let the Nations Be Glad”  (chapter 2)

How does this quote encourage you? Do you ever feel despairing as you look at the hard soil in front of you? Do you ever wonder if the work that you’re doing is actually bearing eternal fruit?  Praise God for these words that remind us that Christ is always at work and is always victorious!

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1 Response to “Victory Even from Inside the Tomb”



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