Links Daily Devotional

Sealing the Deal

At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him. (John 12:16, NIV)

Rory McIlroy knows how to lay hold of a major.

With recurring lack of drama, McIlroy starts putting good numbers on the board and doesn’t do much wavering thereafter. It’s a far cry, you might recall, from McIlroy’s first win on the PGA Tour, when he lay in the weeds until Sunday, then zipped around Quail Hollow in 62 tidy strokes and collected a shiny prize. It was a show-stealing performance. Put him in a major, though, and he can take center stage in the opening scene, then never bother to return to the wings.

“Oh,” you might say, “but he gave us some tension at Royal Liverpool.” And we might respond, “Good for him. At least he has the humility to allow the supporting cast a turn or two.” But the end was never really in question. Can you have a denouement when there is no climax?

In no endeavor is it as easy as it looks to seal the deal. There is still work to be done—papers to be signed, promises to be kept, hurdles to overpass. Even when it is something we have done “a million times,” the requirements must be met.

Never has this been truer than in Jesus’ fulfillment of his Father’s prophetic expectations of the Son.

When Jesus rode into Jerusalem, astride a young donkey as any king coming in peace, he fulfilled the words of the prophet Zechariah. This was only a small matter, perhaps, but it was one of many signs along the way, details bearing witness to his Messianic person. Even those closest to him missed the significance in the moment.

Don’t fault the disciples. A notary is called in to assist with the authorization of loan documents no matter the size of the transaction. Thumbprint here, signature there. In the roteness of the act, a notary can miss the significance of this deal over that one. The largest development in a town’s history might sit right under the notary’s nose, yet come and go with the banal scribbles of a pen.

You and I can miss such details, too. But what occurred in the life of Jesus Christ was the sealing of every deal God had ever made. Here was the one who would “crush the serpent’s head” (Genesis 3:15), who came in the name of the Lord (Psalm 118:26), whose clothing would go to the lucky winner of a roll of dice (Psalm 22:18), who bore the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6), who rose on the third day (John 2:20-22), who made the one way of salvation (Jeremiah 33:16), who will carry the government without end (Isaiah 53:6-7).

It took a cross to seal this deal—a cross and a tomb wide open. That is, unwavering determination and the fullest wonder of God converged to collect the victor’s crown. More than that, all we who come with understanding, though once dimwitted as the disciples, will one day cast our crowns at his feet, honoring him for all that he has done. That day will be the “most major” of all!

Jeff Hopper
July 22, 2014
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