The other day I listened as Sam Brown gave a radio interview about his life as a wounded vet and his current run for State Representative in Texas. His story of survival, having been left to burn to death after his Humvee was hit by an IED, is inspiring to say the least. However, it was his answer to a question posed by the interviewer regarding his current political aspirations that grabbed my attention. Despite being politically conservative and claiming his need for God, the interviewer wanted to know how he would avoid losing his soul in the cesspool of American politics. His answer: being prepared, knowing what you’re getting into.
It is this idea of preparedness and knowing what we’re getting into that I want to run with over the next several weeks. We spend copious amounts of time learning who our enemy is. We know that Satan is a liar, deceiver, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, one who masquerades as an angel of light, and the list goes on. We know that our battle is not against flesh and blood but is completely spiritual in nature. I imagine that if the spiritual blinders were removed what we would see would cause us to faint in complete fear.
We also spend time in personal Bible study learning who we are as believers, that is: redeemed, loved, called, heirs with Christ, protected, more than conquerors, and again an endless list. We know that God’s great love for us is the center of the story of human history and that each one of us has a role in telling the story.
Knowing who our enemy is and who we are in Christ are important, but there is one final piece to the equation necessary in rounding out the ultimate trifecta of hope and that is knowing our Advocate. We know that He is Jesus, but who is Jesus? What do we know about Him? Besides the all-important answers-Son of God, fully human and yet fully divine, sinless, Redeemer, Creator, etc.- how would you answer someone who asked you who He is?
In our church we have started a series entitled “Jesus is” that will continue through Easter. This is such a big deal that we have erected a sign at the top of one of our buildings that lights up the sky with “Jesus is.” No matter how you come into the city you will see this sign. The phrase runs through my head like a banner chasing a plane across the sky. Jesus is. Who is this Person I claim to follow?
This week I have been struck with a simple yet profound truth: Jesus is the last word. Chills run up and down my arms as I write these words. Do we even have any idea what that means? If Jesus is the last word, then nothing has dominion over us. It means He has the last word over our disease, sickness, fears, circumstances, broken relationships, worries, confusion, hopes and dreams. It means He has the last word over godless leaders imposing corrupt laws over us. It means that every person will bow whether they want to or not. It means we win.
When my husband and I have an animated discussion over something, the one thing we are both fighting for is the last word. It’s a toss-up to see who will have it and thereby win the argument. Having the last word is the ultimate victory because it silences the opposition and empowers the winner. Though completely sinful in the context of human relationships, this drive for the last word, to silence the opposition and win the fight, is exactly what we will experience some day because of who Jesus is.
“He said to me: ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life’” (Revelation 21:6, NIV).
No battle in history ever started with the ending known. No matter which side a soldier was on, no matter what weapons he had at his disposal, every warrior involved went in blindly with the hopes of coming out on top but never being sure until the end when the winner was declared.
We fight our battle with the knowledge that the winner has been declared. There’s no hoping we’ve chosen the right side. It doesn’t matter how weak we are or inadequate of a fighter. We win because of who Jesus is and because Jesus is the last word. He said it, and so it is. End of story.