C. S. Lewis’s story The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, imagines a fictional country under the curse of an evil witch. It’s “always winter and never Christmas.” Everything is hopeless until Aslan the noble lion comes to make crooked things straight and rough ways smooth. Aslan represents Jesus, the Son of God, who came to destroy the devil’s works.1 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us on the cross.2 And praise be to God the Father! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through Christ’s resurrection from the dead into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade. This inheritance is kept safe in Heaven for Jesus’ followers. And by God’s power we are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.3 Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Christ our Turnaround King
The Lord Jesus comes as the Great Reverser and the Four Gospels record many turnarounds Christ accomplished in the lives of people He touched. Jesus’ resurrection was His greatest miracle and His greatest demonstration of His reversing power. Christ’s resurrection proves that death has been overcome and will be overcome. His resurrection paves the way for all Christ’s turnarounds in between His first and second comings and His final deliverance when He returns. In keeping with Jesus’ promise, we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.4 Christ will wipe away every tear from our eyes and there will be no more death or sadness or crying or pain anymore. All these things will be gone forever.5
In Christ’s resurrection, He ended His humiliation and began His exaltation. Jesus overcame death to make us share in His righteousness, peace, and joy. By Christ’s power, His believers are already raised to a new life6 and His resurrection guarantees our resurrection. The Son of God won’t let up until the last enemy is vanquished and that very last enemy is death.7
It’s Friday…but Sunday’s Coming!
I remember a meditation by S. M. Lockridge (1913–2000) which wonderfully shows Christ’s reversals from His Good Friday suffering to His Easter glory:
It’s Friday. Jesus is praying. Peter’s sleeping. Judas is betraying….But Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. Pilate’s struggling, the council is conspiring, the crowd is vilifying….They don’t even know that Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. Disciples are running like sheep without a shepherd, Mary’s crying, Peter is denying….But Sunday’s a comin’.
It’s Friday. The Romans beat my Christ, they robe Him in scarlet, they crown Him with thorns….But they don’t know that Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. See Jesus walking to Calvary, His blood dripping, His body stumbling, His soul burdened. But you see, it’s only Friday….Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. The world seems to be winning, people are sinning, evil’s grinning. It’s Friday. The soldiers nail my Savior’s hands and feet to the cross. Then they raise Him up next to criminals. It’s Friday….But let me tell you something: Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. The disciples are questioning: What has happened to our King? Pharisees are celebrating that their scheme has been accomplished. But they don’t know it’s only Friday….Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. Jesus hanging on the cross, feeling forsaken by His Father, left alone and dying. Can nobody save Him? O, it’s Friday….But Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. The earth trembles, the sky grows dark, my King yields His spirit. It’s Friday. Hope seems lost. Death seems to have won. Sin seems to have conquered. And Satan’s just a laughing. It’s Friday. Jesus is buried, a soldier stands guard, and a rock is rolled into place. It’s Friday; it’s only Friday….But Sunday is a comin’.
Wicked men put Christ to death by nailing Him to the cross. 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. (Acts 2:23,24)
More Bible Examples
Once we see God’s turnaround pattern in Scripture, we are encouraged to ask for His best blessings now, no matter how bad things get. Abraham and his father worshiped idols,8 but the Lord converted Abraham and made him God’s follower and friend. Jacob was a schemer and a scoundrel and the Lord salvaged him too. Joseph’s envious brothers sold him and Joseph ended up in prison. But God intervened and worked it for good and made Joseph Egypt’s Prime Minister to save many lives.9 Job suffered from Satanic oppression, but the Lord overturned everything and vindicated Job and restored him. And the list goes on in both Testaments…and up to today.
Because of Jesus’ resurrection, we are hard pressed, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed but God’s grace day by day. The Lord guarantees that our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs the hardships.10 So we fix our eyes on Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfecter of our faith. Christ endured the cross, scorning its shame, because He kept His eyes on the prize, His resurrection and enthronement at God’s right hand.11 This is the right kind of positive thinking that can keep us from growing weary and losing heart. We don’t focus on what is seen, but rather on God’s unseen reality, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.12
The Final Reversal
God the Father turned things around for Christ, the Man of Sorrows. And God will rescue Jesus’ followers who are poor in spirit, comfort those who mourn, enrich the meek, fill those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, and reward us who are hated, excluded, insulted, persecuted, and rejected for Christ’s sake.13
All who reject Christ will be thrown into Hell and those who love the Lord will be seated at God’s wedding feast in His kingdom. People who have the best place now on earth will be cast down. And Jesus’ followers who have the lowest place in life now will be exalted.14 If we share in Christ’s sufferings now, then soon we will also share in His glory.15
When He comes, our Glorious King, all His ransomed home to bring.
Then anew this song we’ll sing: Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Notes (various translations used): 1 John 3:8. 2 Gal 3:13. 3 1 Peter 1:3-5. 4 2 Peter 3:13. 5 Rev 21:4. 6 Col 3:1-4. 7 1 Cor 15:26 MSG. 8 Joshua 24:2. 9 Gen 50:20. 10 2 Cor 4:8,9,16,17. 11 Heb 12:1-3. 12 2 Cor 4:18. 13 Luke 6:20,23; Matt 5:3-10. 14 Luke 13:30. 15 Rom 8:17.