Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, who brings forth chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick: ‘Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.’ Isaiah 43:16-19
I really feel as though this verse is appropriate on the most important Friday of the year. Today is Good Friday – a time where we remember Jesus dying on the cross for the sins of humanity. This day brings with it a flurry of emotions. I could not imagine being on the scene as everything unfolded.
There were those who celebrated what was taking place. The religious people were not fond of Jesus’ counter-cultural message. They were unwilling to receive this message because they remained stuck in their ways. As Jesus began to carry His cross up the hill, they celebrated because they thought this would finally be the final chapter of the person causing them so much trouble.
On the other hand, we have those who had come to realize who Jesus is. They recognized Him not just as another ordinary man, but the promised Messiah people had been waiting for. He had finally arrived, and now He was having to face the punishment of death because of His words and His actions.
Truly, it had to be an emotional day. Even for our Savior, who is completely human, there had to be a battle going on inside of Him. We know Jesus willingly went to the cross, but we cannot say it was the easiest of decisions for Him. We should definitely remember the prayer He uttered to His Father in the garden moments before He was arrested: “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42).
Jesus had a journey to make to get to the cross. Jesus had to be extremely focused on the coming hope of what He was doing rather than the current misery He was facing. Since Jesus is the Word (John 1) and knows it in its fullest, I wonder if this passage crossed His mind. The words from the prophet Isaiah paint a beautiful picture of hope for God’s people. It describes a scene of triumph. In a way, what Jesus was doing as He journeyed towards his death was triumphant.
I feel as though the emphasis of this passage should be placed on “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing…” What Jesus was getting ready to accomplish opened the flood gates to the new thing, and that new thing is life. Nevermore would life be the same for humanity.
In Jesus’ triumphant journey to the cross He had already left some markers of what our changed life should look like. He was teaching love rather than punishment, selflessness rather than selfishness, submission rather than power, and acceptance rather than division. Little did humanity know the most significant death in the world would be the greatest act of triumph.
As believers in Christ, our lives changed thanks to Jesus’ death and resurrection. The old ways of life were officially replaced by the new ways of Jesus. We live in this hope now, that old things are gone, and the new thing is being done. We can go into each day confidently because even the darkest moments of our life possess the opportunity to display the triumph we have in Christ.
The question in this passage is a good one to stick into your brain, “Do you not perceive it?” Life is a wild journey and it is easy to lose our perception of triumph in Jesus. The triumph of Jesus is constantly around us. The ripples of what we celebrate this weekend are still present today and will be present when we are face to face with Jesus in eternity.
Spend today thinking about the reality of Jesus’ triumph in His dark moment on the cross. How can this shape your heart to see even the darkest moments as opportunities for Jesus’ triumph in your life?
Father, thank you for being who You say You are. My mind cannot comprehend the reality of how You made Your dark moment one of absolute triumph. I am grateful You make me victorious over the things of this world, and give me life. It is unreal to think of how You died and came back from the grave in order to set me free from my struggles, and I pray I continually set my mind to the love You have for me. I pray these things in Your awesome name, Amen.
PC3 writer Davy Nance wrote today’s devotional.