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Rejoicing in the Sound of the Victory Bell!

Read: Genesis 3:15; John 19:30; Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 3:8; Revelation 1:17-18

 

This week, we learned that one of our church friends has cancer; so, if I may, I would like to begin this devotion with a prayer for him and his loved ones.

 

‘Lord, Please surround these friends with your sustaining grace. Enough for today and each today that follows. We ask You to heal our friend and along the way, please provide collateral blessings to be poured out into the lives of others whom they don't even yet know. We come boldly because we come in Jesus' Name, Hebrews 4:14-16.’

 

As I thought of our friend, I remembered another precious lady and her cancer treatments. They were so very difficult, but I remember, when they were finished, that she rang the bell at the treatment facility. I wondered how that tradition got its start? The answer wasn't hard to discover with the aid of a quick search. In 1996, Rear Admiral Irve Le Moyne who was the highest-ranking Navy SEAL was undergoing cancer treatments at MD Anderson. When it was time for his final treatment, Rear Admiral Le Moyne brought a brass bell. He explained, that in the Navy a bell is rung when a job is done. He left that bell at the facility along with this inscription on a brass plaque:

"Ring this bell

Three times well

Its toll to clearly say,

My treatment’s done

This course is run

And I am on my way!"

Even though Irve Le Moyne passed away in 1997, his idea to ring a bell to signify the end of treatment has now been taken up by facilities all over our country and it has also spread beyond the United States. Some people have found it encouraging to hear others ringing the victory bells even before it is their turn to ring them. To know that others had endured and were therefore ready for the next steps brought hope. Such an important gift.

 

As I thought about that, I couldn't help but think of the ultimate victory we celebrate each Easter. A victory worth celebrating every day. Jesus announced the victory not with a ringing bell but rather a ringing proclamation. It is finished, John 19:30. Could there be sweeter and more powerful words? The debt for every sin was paid. His mission had been accomplished. The promise that was held out to Adam and Eve was fulfilled. The serpent's head was crushed, Genesis 3:15. The Evil One's works and the fear of death that he had held over mankind was ended. Jesus' cry of victory and His resurrection put an end to any speculation. His victory was undeniable. Imagine it. There is no room for any other offering for sin because Jesus' sacrifice was perfect and complete. No more can be added to what He has done, and nothing is lacking. All we must do is receive the gift He has provided through the shedding of His blood, 1 Peter 1:18-19.

 

In Revelation 1:17-18, John tells us that when he saw Jesus in His awesome glorious form that he fell down in fear. Yet, Jesus reassured John that he need not be afraid. He reminded John that though He had been dead, He was now alive forevermore. He had garnered victory over death. What a Victor we celebrate. Jesus displayed His love for us through His sacrifice, 1 John 2:2 offered freely because of His love for us, John 3:16.

 

Lord, Easter is another chance to reassure those whom You place in our lives that the sin, sorrow and sadness that we now experience is only temporary. In this world, we do have troubles; however, You have overcome the world, John 16:33. The empty tomb proves that this is true.

A Description of God's promised kingdom and His ultimate proclamation of victory, Revelation 21:6.

 

The New Creation

Revelation 21:1) Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea no longer existed.

2) I also saw the Holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.

3) Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look! God’s dwelling is with humanity,

and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them

and be their God.

4) He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will no longer exist; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away.

5) Then the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new.” He also said, “Write, because these words are faithful and true.”

6) And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give water as a gift to the thirsty from the spring of life.

 

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