What a gift we have in the Christmas season. God himself took on flesh and dwelt among us that we might find eternal relationship in him. His coming serves as a continual reminder of his grace and pursuit of us who are lost without him. As we look to Jesus this week to celebrate who he is and what he’s done, may you find life-giving hope and foundational joy.
“Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt!” John 12:15
In Zechariah 9:9 we find a profound prophecy about Jesus, our triumphant King. Scripture says,
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Jesus achieved what no other king could have possibly accomplished, and he did it by taking the untrodden path of humility unto death. Jesus triumphed over death, ushered in salvation to all, and changed the eternal fate of the world through sacrifice. We serve a God who conquers with love.
Let us not miss the power in the metaphor Scripture prophesied and what it means for our lives today. When Jesus could have chosen any vessel to carry him down the pathway to victory, he chose a donkey. In a world where those who conquered rode horses and chariots, he chose a lowly foal. And after being mocked and beaten by the very ones he would offer victory, he chose the vessel of a cross as the means of triumph. He chose the final cry of death as a declaration of eternal life for all.
And in Jesus we find life by walking where he walked. Our triumph comes through a death of our own. Jesus says in Luke 9:23, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Paul says in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Whatever victory you need today, you’ll find it by laying down your own life and looking to your triumphant King. Freedom from sin comes from bringing who we are to the cross, engaging in authentic repentance, and discovering a new self won for us by Jesus’ powerful death. Wisdom and vision come from laying down our own thoughts in humility and asking God, who gives “generously to all” (James 1:5). Abundant life is the fruit of all who triumph in continual death to self.
In what ways are you still looking to your own wisdom and strength to find victory? Where is pride getting in the way of triumph? Take time today as you enter into guided prayer to lay down your life that you might find it in Jesus.
1. Meditate on the power of Jesus’ triumphant sacrifice.
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.” 1 Peter 3:18
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
2. Now reflect on Scripture’s call to lay down your own life.
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
3. Bring to the cross anything in your life that’s rooted in self rather than God. Repent of those things and find forgiveness and freedom in Jesus. Allow God to empower you with his spirit.
“Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19-20
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20
Colossians 1:11-12 says, “May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” Great is our inheritance in God. Great is the life won for us by Jesus. May you find power, strength, endurance, patience, and joy today as you look to Jesus, your triumphant king.
Extended Reading: Colossians 1
For more information on today's devotional click here!