Read Isaiah 63:3-6
"I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with me; I trod them in my anger and trampled them in my wrath; their lifeblood spattered on my garments, and stained all my apparel. For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and my year of redemption had come. I looked, but there was no one to help; I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold; so my own arm brought me salvation, and my wrath upheld me. I trampled down the peoples in my anger; I made them drunk in my wrath, and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth."
· Are you relying on God's strength?
· How can we tap into Christ's power?
· What keeps us from experiencing the Lord's strength?
Recently, I read a dissertation that explored why men in the Caribbean are reluctant to attend church. The author argued, quite convincingly, that the traditional portrayal of Jesus as a blue eyed, fair skinned man with a gentle spirit contrasts too sharply with that culture's masculine ideal.
Verses 1 to 6 of Isaiah 63 remind me that, while I may choose to focus more on Christ's sacrificial love, He is also a mighty Savior. He and he alone was able to achieve complete victory over sin and death.
Alexander McLaren, one of the great Scottish preachers of the early 20th century, provided a rich description of this strength in his commentary:
In Him was all strength of manhood-inflexible, iron will, unchanging purpose, strength from consecration, strength from righteousness. In Him was the heroism of prophets and martyrs in supreme degree.
In Him was the strength of indwelling Divinity. He fought and conquered all man's enemies, routed sin, and triumphed over Death.
In the Cross we see divine power in operation in its noblest form, in its intensest energy, in its widest sweep, in its most magnificent result. He is able to save, to save all, to save any.
He is mighty to save, and is able to save unto the uttermost, because He lives for ever, and His power is eternal as Himself.
Just as we can experience Christ's love today, we can also tap into His power. We need not fear because his power to overcome sin and death is mighty and eternal.
Gracious Lord, thank you for sending Jesus to be our mighty Savior. It's through his loving and powerful sacrifice that I am reconciled to you. Help me to never take this precious gift for granted. Amen.