In this post: Good Friday, the joy of salvation, and overcoming sin.
This paradoxical term always causes me to pause and think: how could something so terrible be so good. And yet, the cross is the pivot of human history from death into life. On this day, we remember the sacrifice of Jesus, who being tortured to death on our behalf, defeated the power of sin and reconciled us to the Father. Everything that happened on that day was horrible, even grotesque. But still, we remember that day, when Jesus was overcoming sin for us, as good.
The Joy of Salvation
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
The letter to the Hebrews encompasses many topics, but perhaps chief among them is endurance in the face of persecution. In these two verses, the Author encourages his audience to press on in the race of life. We are encouraged to slog our way through the weight of this life.
But why? Why should believers endure?
Because the same Jesus who endured being tortured to death sneered at the shame of the cross, endured it all, and emerged victorious, forever claiming the right to site at the right hand of the Father. This Jesus is the one who initialized our faith and has promised to see it through to completion. The joy of our salvation comes from recognizing that the same Truth seated at the very center of all power has promised that we too shall overcome.
A stewardship is a trust. The transfer to the kingdom of heaven also comes with new responsibilities. These responsibilities come with our trust -our stewardship.
Overcoming sin is part of the stewardship of life set before us. Jesus canceled the power of sin over us at the cross. Believers are forever justified before God. Believers must overcome sin because this is how the Author has written it. Believers can overcome sin because this is also how the Author has written it.
Overcoming sin takes a reality check. In fact, overcoming sin requires Light. Light that shines in the darkness reveals the truth about what is in the darkness. Scripture provides that light. The light reveals a risen Savior victorious and ruling on the throne of Heaven. The light reveals that Jesus is our example, our inspiration, and the Initializer and Completer of our faith. In Him, overcoming is possible.