As I sat down to read my CBR passages today, our front door is slightly ajar allowing for a stream of light and warmth to flood into our living room. There are hummingbirds buzzing around audibly, and although it’s January it feels a bit like a summer afternoon.
I sat down and opened to Luke 23, and I instantly felt a wave of somberness pour over the pages. To my human judgment and perspective, this is not a warm and sunny summer day passage. It would feel more appropriate if it were raining. My mind is distracted, and I admittedly didn’t carve out hours of time to pause and reflect on God’s word. I felt a tinge of unpreparedness as I read from Luke. But God is teaching us, revealing Himself, and proclaiming truth even when we feel unprepared – because He’s good and gracious like that.
Who Can Stop the Lord, Almighty?
Since Sunday this phrase — this glorious, truth-filled question — has been stuck in my head. Drifting in and out on the tip of my tongue, I’ve been reflecting on God’s power and glory. This week DJ reflected on scripture-based truths in which we cling to as a new church community. We are to take God seriously. Grace changes us. God delights in us. God is gracious and glorious. We are here to further his Kingdom.
With these truths freshly scribbled on my notebook and the song lyrics above swimming around in my head, I find myself looking on at the scene of Jesus heading to the cross. Jesus carried out His Father’s will with obedience: with an obedience that is hard to fully grasp as man. His obedience to the cross could not be stopped.
The scriptures reveal that rulers and chief priests found that Jesus did nothing deserving of death (v. 15) yet God’s will was carried out. The criminal on the cross that hung beside Jesus admitted to being guilty himself but acknowledged that “this man has done nothing wrong (v.41) The centurion onlooker praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent” (v. 47). I don’t fully grasp this scene as many declared Jesus’ innocence. It didn’t fully make sense in the moment that the crowds persisted with bitterness that Jesus should be crucified. I take it all in and reflect on God’s purpose. His death was unstoppable. The Lord had a plan to fulfill the promise of his Grace through his Son.
Jesus carried out the will of His Father and even extended forgiveness and grace on the scene of his death. As the King laid down his own life, His Kingdom was still growing. Death could not hold Him back.
In war, in death, on the cross, in His prophecies: God is unstoppable. Isaiah 14:27 reminds us of his unstoppable and powerful ways. It reads, “For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?” Who can shake or alter God’s plan?
My prayer for us as a community is that we would cling to this truth: that Jesus lived a perfect life, yet sacrificed it for us in his unstoppable plan to die, resurrect, and leave His spirit here on earth for his Kingdom to flourish. On warm days and rainy ones. When we feel close to Him and when we feel far from his presence. When we carve out time to remember Him and when we forget. God’s plan to extend Grace to those who cry out to Him is unstoppable. His kingdom come, His will be done.