Triumphal Procession

Our world is in the midst of a great crisis and pandemic with COVID-19. Incidentally, we are also in the midst of Holy Week, a time of reflecting upon Christ’s triumphal entrance into Jerusalem and culminating in the celebration of His resurrection on Easter Sunday. Yet, we celebrate Easter in hindsight of events that, some 2000 years ago, didn’t appear to be anything but tragic. As Jesus was mocked and beaten and hung on a cross to die like a common criminal, His triumphal procession into Jerusalem didn’t seem so triumphant. Similarly, many are questioning today what good, if any, can possibly come from such devastation and tragedy as COVID-19. Is there anything redeeming or triumphant in such a crisis?

The astounding answer is “yes.” Look at what God says in 2 Corinthians 2:14-15:

14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

Did you notice the astounding phrase “God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession”? Wow! As Christians, we share in Christ’s triumphal procession. How so? This Scripture says that, through us, God “spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of [Christ] everywhere,” and that “we are the aroma of Christ to God” to the world. As Christ’s representatives here on earth, we bring the precious and sweet fragrance of His light and hope to a dark and devastating situation. Ephesians 5:2 tells us that “Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, [as] a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” This is the redeeming and triumphant message of hope to a world devastated with tragedy and loss. This message is the “aroma of Christ” we share with the world.

Two thousand years ago, on that dreadful Friday as Jesus hung dying on cross, no one saw that Sunday was coming. No one perceived that on Sunday good would emerge as Jesus rose from the grave. What was only seen as a dreadful day in history is now Good Friday, and we know that Sunday is coming! We know we have reason to celebrate!

No matter where we are, no matter what we are going through, we have a great opportunity to be the aroma of Christ to the world. Christ died and rose again to redeem a lost and broken world. This is the message of ultimate triumph. This is the redeeming message of hope in the midst of all that is devastating and painful. This is the fragrant message Christians spread. It is a message that believes and speaks that good can and will emerge from the devastation and tragedy before us, just as it did 2000 years ago. We may not see it now, but Sunday is coming!

In God’s divine love,

Peggy

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