Victory at the Cross
“But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:27).(NKJV)
After the miracle of feeding the five thousand, Jesus had been alone praying when His disciples joined Him. Jesus asked, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They answered, “John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God'” (Luke 9:18-20). (NKJV)
Jesus knew people would be talking about the miracle. But who did they think performed it? He warned them to tell no one, saying, “There are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God.”
The first time I studied this, I thought “What did Jesus mean? His disciples died a long time ago and we are still waiting to see the kingdom of God.” But I lacked revelation. I assumed He was speaking of heaven, but in actuality, He was referring to retrieved authority.
In the beginning, when Adam sinned, the authority and dominion God had given man was transferred to Satan. Jesus came to retrieve this authority. The Bible says:
“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). (NKJV)
After the miracle of feeding the multitudes, Jesus said, “I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the [retrieved authority] of God.” He was speaking of His victory at the cross. It was drawing near.
This is proven in another context of scripture:
“Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening. And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem” (Luke 9:28-31). (NKJV)
This passage is often referred to as the Transfiguration. As He prayed and talked with His two visitors, the countenance of Jesus changed this day. But what’s more interesting is their use of the words “decease” and “accomplish” in the same sentence. The words “endure” or “suffer” might seem more appropriate, but not the word accomplish, right?
“But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the [retrieved authority] of God.” His disciples didn’t understand. Then a week later, a couple of cheerleaders from heaven encouraged Jesus of what was about to take place. Moses and Elijah spoke with Him about His coming death, which was about to be ACCOMPLISHED at Jerusalem. Their mission was to encourage our Savior, for He was about to retrieve authority for all humanity for all time! His death on the cross, as hard as it might be in the flesh, was going to be a great victory for God and man.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV) says, “…for the joy that was set before Him [He] endured the cross].”
In other words, He looked ahead at the victory that would be accomplished. He wasn’t focused on the cross itself, or the pain of the moment. Instead, His focus was on the resurrection!
This passage says He “endured the cross” which is absolutely true. But Moses and Elijah came to remind Him of His purpose—He was about to accomplish the greatest victory that has ever been or ever will be! The cross wasn’t going to be easy, and God didn’t want His Son to lose heart, so He sent these messengers to remind Him His coming decease would be a great victory.
No wonder His countenance changed! “As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening.” Our countenance changes too when our focus and meditation is on the right thing (our victory in Christ).
So be encouraged today! God has rallied all of heaven behind you and I that we might run with endurance the race that is set before us. Remember, we are of those who have not tasted death, yet have seen the retrieved authority of God—for JESUS HAS RISEN!
Through The Bible Devotions
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (NIV) 4Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
The Jewish people refer to this passage as the Shema. Jesus said it was the greatest of all the laws of God. He also said that all the Law could be summed up in this passage. First it tells us that JHWH (LORD in all caps) is our Elohim (plural for God in Hebrew). Then it tells us JHWH is one. Here we have the mystery of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are one. There is no difference amongst them. Religions with many gods distinguish the differences and purposes for each god, but the God of the Hebrews is one. We refer to that as monotheism. A perfect God can only be one.
Then we are commanded to love our JHWH our Elohim with all our heart. In other words, all our desire should be focused upon Him. In Hebrew, this word includes our thoughts. We should love our God with all our soul. That is all our will and emotions, our very life. We should love the LORD our God with all our strength. Our best and most diligent efforts should be exerted in glorifying Him out of love. It seems impossible to do one of these completely without combining all the other parts of our makeup. An abbreviated form of this command might be expressed as, “love your God with all you are!”
As we focus on just what this is saying, we should get a sense of just how short we fall and of areas in our life that are competing with the first place in our hearts. The Jews put this verse in a small container and put it on the entryway of their homes. When the orthodox Jews worship, they put it in a box on their foreheads. We should keep it before us always as a check of where our heart and soul and strength are being exerted.
Admonition: Do all to the glory of God.
Streams in the Desert – March 24
Times have changed, but life’s hard times haven’t
And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the Lord which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee: Deliver me, I pray thee (Gen. 32:9, 11).
There are many healthy symptoms in that prayer. In some respects it may serve as a mould into which our own spirits may pour themselves, when melted in the fiery furnace of sorrow.
He began by quoting God’s promise: “Thou saidst.” He did so twice (9 and 12). Ah, he has got God in his power then! God puts Himself within our reach in His promises; and when we can say to Him, “Thou saidst,” He cannot say nay. He must do as He has said.
If Jacob was so particular for his oath’s sake, what will not our God be? Be sure in prayer, to get your feet well on a promise; it will give you purchase enough to force open the gates of heaven, and to take it by force.
–Practical Portions for the Prayer-life
Jesus desires that we shall be definite in our requests, and that we shall ask for some special thing. “What will ye that I shall do unto you?” is the question that He asks of every one who in affliction and trial comes to Him. Make your requests with definite earnestness if you would have definite answers. Aimlessness in prayer accounts for so many seemingly unanswered prayers. Be definite in your petition. Fill out your check for something definite, and it will be cashed at the bank of Heaven when presented in Jesus’ Name. Dare to be definite with God.
Miss Havergal has said: “Every year, I might almost say every day, that I live, I seem to see more clearly how all the rest and gladness and power of our Christian life hinges on one thing; and that is, taking God at His word, believing that He really means exactly what He says, and accepting the very words in which He reveals His goodness and grace, without substituting others or altering the precise modes and tenses which He has seen fit to use.”
Bring Christ‘s Word–Christ’s promise, and Christ’s sacrifice–His blood, with thee, and not one of Heaven’s blessings can be denied thee.
“Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts.” – Proverbs 24:3-4 TLB
With God, nothing is impossible! He is the God of the supernatural. But His Word also stresses the importance of being practical. If we want to be successful, we need to do the practical things He encourages.
The Bible urges us to keep “abreast of the facts.” This means not just following our emotions but doing the necessary research on history and backgrounds and evaluating the experiences of others.
The Bible also stresses the importance of being wise planners – not just leaping into projects but being sure about our goals and creating a path to keep us on course. These practical steps can help bring us success. But the real key is being guided by God’s wisdom and having His blessing.
Approaching each project, we need to be sure to pray about the matter and are confident we are in tune with God. Our actions must be consistent with His Word. We must prayerfully evaluate our options and develop strategies that are pleasing to Him.
Make sure to commit every project to God. Be confident that He desires to help you succeed, but be careful to submit every idea to Him. Seek His wisdom. Do the necessary research. Study the facts. Develop a wise plan, guided by Biblical principles. Always seek to be in tune with His Spirit. It’s important to make plans, but it is more important to allow God to direct our steps (Proverbs 16:9).