A few months ago Rob Bell released a book called ‘Love Wins’. It was widely regarded as being somewhat heretical. He goes wrong for me in the title; not that it’s not a wonderful statement of truth for love does indeed win but because it emphasises the wrong thing. Personally, and I don’t want to press this too much, I prefer to say that is not just love that wins it is Christ who wins.
Christ wins. Because, well, he does, all the time. Jesus Christ has never failed. This is an amazing truth and one that is hard to grasp at the same time. After all, he was executed as a criminal of a cross, surely this was Christ losing? Except we know that in dying on the cross and his resurrection from the dead Christ won victory over sin and death. As Paul writes:
“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Philippians 2 v 8 - 11
As we read in this passage at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and everyone will acknowledge him as Lord. By obeying his Father and dying for us he won victory over everything. Jesus was exalted to the highest place i.e. ruler of everything! Like I said, Christ wins. And this will be made abundantly clear when he returns. In fact, Revelation is an amazing testament to just how much Christ wins:
“His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”
Revelation 1 v 15 – 18
Christ, having won over death, now holds the keys to it in his hands! And we see this imagery continued when in Revelation John describes what it will be like when Jesus Christ comes again:
“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron sceptre.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Revelation 19 v 11 -16
Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He rules over everything, there is nothing beyond or outside him, he wears many crowns because all crowns are his to wear, he leads the army of heaven! These are weighty truths.
But now, let us move from the grand scheme of things to the intimate lives of individuals. And once again we find that Christ wins.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
John 10 v 14 - 16
This analogy is not hard to understand. Jesus describes himself as the good shepherd and his believers as his sheep. He knows his sheep and he will bring the ones not in his fold (i.e. not yet believers) into his fold. This truth is mind shatteringly brilliant for it affirms that Jesus Christ always wins. He knows his sheep and he will bring them into his fold, he will make sure his people are saved; he cannot fail in this regard:
“But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”
John 10 v 26 – 28
Christ wins not only be bringing his sheep into his fold but by never letting them go. What’s the parable of the lost sheep about if it isn’t about Jesus bringing a Christian who has strayed back into the fold? Jesus died for his sheep and he going therefore to win them to him.
So Christ wins over all as all is his to rule. Christ wins over sin by being sinless and yet dying in the place of sinners. Christ wins over death by being raised to life again. Christ wins over all people as all people will bow to him and acknowledge him as Lord. And Christ wins over his believers as he knows them and will win them to him and never let them go. Christ wins.
“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15 v 57
We are granted the victory of Christ. If we believe in him we are given what he won. And we believe in him because we are won by him. Beautiful isn’t it? Christ wins. Period.
“He [Christ] said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.”
Revelation 21 v 6 – 7