Tuesday, March 27, 2012

CP 169 Failed to Launch


Hi People. May your lives be nudged by the Holy Spirit as you get closer to Good Friday (and Easter!).

Someone in my circles - I can’t remember who - used the very hip phrase, “Failed to launch,” a little while ago. It might have been a 14 year old. Was it from the romantic movie called ‘Failure to Launch’? The term is around big-time in cyberspace. It’s the sort of idiom which flourishes on the net. My young friend was describing a project that had looked really good but fizzled. Much promised, little delivered. Target the world? Live in a dump! Aim for the stars, crash in the ocean! Fly like an eagle? Scrub like a turkey. Talk the talk but not walk the walk.

Many people attached themselves to the Jesus Christ bandwagon. His birth was marked by the appearance of the Bethlehem star. He certainly was a rising star in the religious firmament. Crowds flocked to him. Everyone wanted a piece of him. He barely had space to move. So much in demand. He seemed to deliver the goods. High praise from all the common people. Some decided he should be King!

Then the demands of loyalty to him began to kick in. “This is too hard.” And as his caravan turned and zeroed in on Jerusalem, the drop-offs continued. Still he received a rapturous welcome. (But not from the leaders!) The children certainly loved him. Yet by late Thursday evening, less than a week after getting to Jerusalem, he had only one of his disciples nearby. The rest had succumbed to fear or kept their distance for shame.

He’d promised so much. Almost all his teaching was about an imminent, coming kingdom. The Son of man would come in glory with his angels… “You will not only know light, you will be light for the world”. “I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly!” Yet by late Friday afternoon the star (apparently) was extinguished. He was dead, as in ‘dead as a doornail’. And was soon laid out, cold, stiff, lifeless in a borrowed tomb. Failed to launch.

Or so it seemed. Amazingly, though, it was the dying and death which destroyed Satan’s kingdom and power. Satan did not anticipate this when he agitated for the leaders/crowd/Romans to kill Jesus. Rather than being a missile which “failed to launch,” the Jesus Christ missile struck its target absolute bullseye! Look and listen to these two ‘words’ from the New Testament:

Hebrews 2:14
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil.

Acts 2:24
But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

See! This was the victory of the Lamb. As a divine/human sinless sacrifice, he destroyed Satan’s power of accusation and thereby also the spiritual dominion the deceiver held over humanity. It’s by his death that he conquered. Satan acquiesced in his own downfall! Hah! The resurrection was inevitable. Hallelujah.

Satan hates the celebration! He hates to be reminded of his defeat. He is gutted by the resurrection. So if you do nothing else this Easter, at least praise the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for the holy, redeeming love we experience in the Cross.

Bless you people.



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