“Victory In Jesus”: Kevin H
Growing up, my home church often sang the same opening hymn, Sunday morning, after Sunday morning.
The favored choice of our pastor, we sang “Victory in Jesus” most every week. This past weekend, I was reminded of the song and the last line of the chorus especially stood out:
“He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood.”
A couple lines before that, the song speaks of Jesus seeking and buying us with His redeeming blood. Thus, the cleansing flood into which we are plunged and experience victory is a flood of Jesus’ blood which was sacrificially shed on the cross.
When we contrast this with so many of the victories that we see a large portion of the American church trying to achieve today, there appears to be dissonance. Rather than achieving victory through love and sacrifice, it is trying to achieve victory through force, power, and coercion….. rather than humility there is pompousness, rather than compassion there is demonization, rather than reliance on God there is fighting for God, and rather than sacrificing one’s own blood there is more and more talk of potentially needing to shed the blood of others deemed to be the enemy.
Jesus told Pilate on the night of his arrest that his servants weren’t fighting for Him because His Kingdom was not of this world. Jesus had a much greater and higher plan….. He was going to defeat evil and death by giving Himself up as a sacrifice.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Jesus told us these things and then went and extraordinarily modeled them on the cross. On that cross, He achieved the victory for us, a victory that is far greater in substance and consequence than any victory we could ever achieve. All the more, we don’t even need to try to achieve victory for Him, because He has already won it all. We only need to participate in the emanation of His victory….. participation that would look very much like Jesus’ words on that Mount.
“Oh, victory in Jesus, my Savior forever.
He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood;
He loved me ‘ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood”