“The Unseen Victory”
He descended into hell (Apostle’s Creed)
This short but powerful phrase in the Apostle’s Creed tells us that Jesus took His victory over death into the bowels of death itself. He proclaimed the triumph of the cross in the presence of Satan and the demonic realm.
While the world sat in darkness and despair, Jesus had already beaten death. In Jerusalem, all that could be seen was the tomb, the soldiers, the disciples’ grief and fear, and the empty cross. What they did not see, what they could not yet believe, was the victorious Jesus. Their fear was fixed on what was seen; failure, hopelessness, loss, and death. And they trusted more in what was seen than what was unseen. They despaired over what seemed so real and ignored what was promised.
Our fear is a symptom of our belief that something other than God is in control. It rises when we name the crisis in the world as reality and consider God’s presence and promises as some otherworldly dream. Like the despair of Holy Saturday, we want to believe God is at work, but all around us tells us differently.
In this pandemic, in this dark season, what do we see other than Jesus? While we wait for the global contagion to cease, do we see Jesus at work? This will determine how we steward these days. Let us hold fast to the unwavering belief that God is at work, that victory is at hand, that good will triumph. Let us hope in what we do not yet see and steward these days in trust and anticipation, confident of the resurrection.
Jesus is conquering death and evil even while we wait. This is the hope of Holy Saturday. It is the ultimate experience of the faithful steward who has died, whose life is now “hidden with Christ in God,” who lives for Christ because Christ lives in him. This is the final step of trust and humble service on this journey through Holy Week. Embrace it and invite all around you to join you on this journey. God is on His throne, evil has been defeated, Jesus is victor and Sunday is coming!
- Where do you see victory in the midst of these difficult times?
- How can you help others see God at work even when fear and death is all around us?
- Make a list of the promises God makes to you from Scripture. Read them carefully. Do you believe them?
- How can you live as a steward, reflecting an Easter hope and sharing the love of Jesus?
Lord God, Heavenly Father, right now the world feels like Black Saturday. So much of what we see is fear, death and despair. We confess , Lord that it is hard to see your hand at work in times like this. Fill us, Holy Spirit, with a deep sense of confidence in the promises of God. Open our eyes to see what can only be seen through the eyes of faith. Set our feet on the solid
foundation of your word and equip us to proclaim the majesty, goodness and glory of the Lord in the midst of this darkness. Help us live as resurrection people even on this day of waiting. We exalt you, we praise you and we wait expectantly, just as they did on this Saturday, for tomorrow’s dawn and the global witness to your resurrection that has come, is now and is yet to come. In the name of our glorious, victorious , risen and returning Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.