We normally think of Jesus in terms of his earthly ministry. He was thoughtful, relational, authentic, but very much a man who lived in first century Palestine. He did some remarkable things, even came back from the dead, but triumphant isn’t an adjective we would normally use in our description of his earthly life.
But the Jesus who was, is, and will be is triumphant beyond anyone who has ever lived! Only occasionally these days do you read about something miraculous that has just happened, and when we do we scratch our heads wondering whether or not it can be verified. Most have a sort of anti-miraculous mind-set as far as daily occupation goes. But in Jesus’ day it was something quite different. This Galilean carpenter went around the region healing people with all sorts of diseases. He restored the leprous, made the deaf hear, and made it possible for the blind to see. It seemed to be happening every day. One day near the town of Cana he brought a dead boy back to life. He was absolutely triumphant over the powers of disease and all the physical maladies of life. There is no record that he was unable to heal. The list could go on indefinitely. The people watched each miracle and continued to bring to him those in need. My point is that he was triumphant over all the maladies that sin had brought into the world.
When we think about it, we realize that Jesus was also triumphant in the affairs of mankind throughout history. Primarily, he has brought millions of people from every tribe on earth out of darkness into light. Now that is miraculous! . Countless numbers of people have been touched by his powerful tenderness and had their lives changed for good, not only the elegantly dressed socialite or the roughneck farmer, but the member of a forgotten tribe somewhere on planet earth. Jesus is triumphant in history as it rolls along. Not the kind of triumph that makes its way to the front page of your daily newspaper, but triumphant in those areas that change the future for good.
Finally there will be a triumphant exaltation of God before the eyes of the entire universe. Paul spoke of it in his letter to the Philippian church. Following the humble ministry of Jesus incarnate, he wrote, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the sun, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9-11). When Christ returns in triumph, he will be recognized for who he really is, “the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Rev 22:13). We know him as he walked among us, but the day will come when the entire earth will drop to their knees in adoration and worship. The lowly Nazarene will be hailed as King of king and Lord of Lords. Maranatha! Come Lord!