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Topic: Failure (03/01/04)
TITLE: The Ultimate Failure
By Faithaline Stanislaus
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Eventually the pounding moved from my heart to my head, and I pressed my fingers against throbbing temples, as I recalled the events of the past few days in my mind. What a shame—to be cut off in his prime. He was so young, and had shown so much promise. He had been only thirty-three years old, and now he was dead. I wished I could pretend that he wasn’t, but I had stood at a distance, and I had seen him die.
I shook my head in confusion. But how could he be dead? How could he have failed? He had always seemed so strong—so powerful. And what about all the miracles? He had healed the sick, and had even raised the dead. Could he not have kept himself from dying? He said he was the Son of God. But how could God allow his Son to die?
I gave a deep sigh of disappointment. We had followed him for three years. We had left everything to follow him—and for what? Was it all a waste? Was it all for nothing?
Recalling how I had denied three times that I knew him—the one who had been so good to me—sent my mood spiraling downwards from disappointment to depression.
Salome gently nudged me, rousing me out of my reverie. She handed me a steaming bowl of stew, which I reluctantly accepted. I had no appetite, and had eaten only a few morsels over the last few days.
Suddenly the room seemed to get brighter. I looked up, and there he was—Jesus—standing in the middle of the room. But how could this be? For one thing the doors were locked, and for another thing, he was supposed to be dead!
Jesus looked around the room at each one of us, then wished us peace. (John 20:19) However we could barely believe our eyes, so he showed us the scars in his hands and in his side. (John 20:20) Perceiving that we were still having a hard time believing what we saw, he asked us if we had anything to eat. We gave him a piece of fish, and he ate it right there in front of us, to prove to us that he was not an apparition. (Luke 24:41-43)
Subsequently he explained to us that everything that had been written about him in the Scriptures had to happen. He then opened our minds so we could understand the Scriptures. (Luke 24:44-45) It was at that moment that I understood that the Father allowed him to suffer and die in my place. (Isaiah 53: 4-6, 10-12). I realized that by going through death he had set me free from the fear of death. (Hebrews 2:14-15) I became aware that I was also free from the curse (Galations 3:13), free from condemnation, and from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2). I found out that when he was nailed to the cross, the legal note of accusation against me for all my failures had been nailed to the cross along with him. (Colossians 2:14) Through the cross, he also stripped the spiritual rulers and powers of their authority and showed the world that they were powerless. (Colossians 2:15) Finally he conquered death, and now holds the keys of death and hell. (1Corinthians 15:55-57; Revelation 1:18)
So although at first glance Jesus’ death on the cross looked to me like a total letdown, I came to realize that it had been part of God’s plan all along. (1 Corinthians 2:6-8). What appeared to be the ultimate failure was actually the ultimate victory.