Come and join the Victory Parade

Wednesday Reflection

Week 6 - 20 May 2020

In Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade.
Through us he brings knowledge of Christ. (2 Cor. 2:14).

Our 40 day journey is almost at it's end.
Tomorrow is Ascension Day;
of all the events which took place in Jesus' life, his ascension is probable the least thought about or celebrated.
We marvel at his humble birth, are amazed by his miracles, stand in awe at the cross and celebrate his resurrection.
But when it comes to the ascension, for some unknown reason our hearts are not stirred.
Ascension Day (being a Thursday) is one of the most frequently ignored days in the Church's year.

Far from being an anti-climax after all that had gone before,
the ascension of Jesus is the culmination of his whole earthly ministry.
Each event in his life had a proper place and purpose, and was essential to the whole plan of salvation.
There would have been no point in the cross without the resurrection.
There would have been no point in the resurrection with the ascension.
The return of Jesus to his rightful place in heaven was the final sign and seal of everything he had accomplished here on earth.

In recognition of the success of his earthly mission, Jesus is given the highest place of honour at the Father's right hand.
He laid aside all traces of glory when he left heaven to live on earth; following the ascension he received it all back again.
In his vision in Revelation, John describes the victory ceremony Jesus received on returning to heaven.
Countless angels joined together in a chorus of adoration;

'Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise.' (Rev. 5:12)

No victory parade on earth has come close to the reception Jesus was given on his return to heaven.
His sacrifice had been accepted; salvation for all people who believe in him had been secured.
Heaven has always provided the best of celebrations,
and the heavenly host came out in strength to make this occasion one not to be missed. What a homecoming!

The most wonderful thing about this victory procession is that it is not just confined to heaven;
Jesus is leading us all in his triumphal parade.
Paul wrote in his second letter to the people of Corinth;

In Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade.
Through us he brings knowledge of Christ. (2 Cor. 2:14).

What a fantastic picture Paul paints here.
Down the years since the first Easter, Jesus has been calling people to join the victory parade;
and so, the procession continues down the years, across the boundaries of age and race, across the divisions of nation and colour.
But his procession is not just for us, the participants; it's also for those who stand and watch, who are not part of the parade.
Our celebration is designed to touch the hearts of those on the side lines.

God is wanting bring love to a broken and hurting world through us; that is our mission -
to share the good news to all those in need of his life.....
And to respond to all he has done for us with praise and thanksgiving.