"The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” (Luke 23:35)
As Jesus hung on the cross, the world saw defeat and shame. Jesus was sneered at and ridiculed. His disciples could not believe what they were seeing. Doubt must have been going through all of their minds despite the miracles they had seen in the previous years. What the world failed to see was the greatest victory in all of history occurring right before their eyes.
Because of our human weaknesses, it is easy to incorrectly define victory. As we live our lives in a fallen world, we sometimes define victory as the world defines it. Victory usually means a worldly prize. It means a trophy, it means raising a fist as we stand over a fellow human, or it means the cheers and recognition of an audience. Victory in the Kingdom of God looks much different. Victory happens on a kitchen floor kneeling in a puddle of our tears. Victory happens as we lay face down before our God. As we walk away from the world, it is time for us to redefine what victory looks like for us. In our new paradigm of victory, we can recognize the work of God even when the rest of the world fails to see it.
Lord Jesus, thank you for being victorious for us. Thank you for taking each second of the punishment that I deserve. Let me recognize your victory even when it is not readily evident in the physical realm. Allow me to see the works you are doing in the spiritual realm. Give me strength to stand fast on your promises even when the circumstances of the world appear grim. In Jesus name, amen.