Judges 8:33-9:21; Luke 23:44-56; Psalms 99:5-9; Proverbs 21:30-31
NT: “It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three, because the sun’s light failed. The curtain of the sanctuary was split down the middle. And Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit.” Saying this, he breathed his last. When the centurion saw what happened, he began to glorify God, saying, “This man really was righteous!”” (Luke 23:44-47 CSB)
Before the first Passover, the 9th plague that ravaged Egypt was 3 days of darkness. On the day that Jesus gave His life to free us from sin, there were 3 hours of darkness. When all had been accomplished… when all of mankind’s sin was placed on Jesus the Lamb of God, He willingly gave up His spirit and breathed His last. At that moment, as we read in Matthew’s account, there was a great earthquake, and the great curtain in the sanctuary that separated man from the Holy of Holies was ripped in two from top to bottom. By giving up His life as a payment for our sin, Jesus defeated the power of sin and opened a new a living way for us to God the Father. No longer would we have to bring animal sacrifices to the altar, for Jesus became the once-and-for-all sacrifice. Now, as Paul described in Romans 12, we present our bodies as living sacrifices. By surrendering our lives to God through Jesus, we are able to boldly come into the presence of God the Father to receive all that we need. Interestingly, though the religious leaders of the day were blind to who Jesus was and what He had done, it became blatantly obvious to a pagan Roman centurion as God fulfilled His redemption plan. Sometimes we can be so caught up in our own religious categories and qualifications that we miss the miraculous work of God that happens right in front of our faces.
Proverbs: “No wisdom, no understanding, and no counsel will prevail against the Lord. A horse is prepared for the day of battle, but victory comes from the Lord.” (Proverbs 21:30-31 CSB) I love this scripture passage in Colossians: “He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it away by nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly; he triumphed over them in him.” (Colossians 2:14-15 CSB)
The rulers and authorities, both in the physical realm and in the spiritual realm, tried everything they had to silence Jesus and make His life inconsequential. In the end, all of their wisdom, understanding, and counsel could not prevail against the Lord – who actually used their evil plans against them. Nothing can stop the Kingdom of God. If we are engaged in Kingdom battles, we can be confident, for Kingdom battles belong to the Lord – the King of the Kingdom. Do we have to suit up and prepare for war? Yes, we do. Do we have to engage in the battle? Yes, we do. But victory comes from the Lord.