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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“The Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom . . . Amen!”—2 Timothy 4:18 (NKJV)
Take a moment to reflect on what Paul is saying here. At the end of a life that was filled with enough trials and tribulations for several lifetimes, Paul proclaims the Lord to be his deliverer and preserver.
With all that Paul had been through (2 Corinthians 11:16–33), there certainly was a sample size to put this proclamation to the test, and there was no question for the apostle . . . God was always in total control of circumstances and was bringing all things about to fulfill His good will. Even if it meant Paul’s physical death (as it eventually would), he knew that his soul would be protected and preserved for the eternal kingdom of heaven!
Paul sealed this proclamation with an “Amen!” and that same “Amen” can be applied to the lives of any and all who trust in the Lord. God’s ability to preserve His people for His purposes is absolute.
We get an incredible illustration of the providential preservation of God in perhaps the least likely of places. Least likely, because on the surface, it seems that God allowed His own Son to die a horrible death on the cross. However, a deeper work was being accomplished. In the unseen eternal realm, the Son had just redeemed the world! Through His Son’s temporary death, God preserved humanity eternally.
Beyond this, God also preserved the dead body of His Son from having His bones broken. To hasten their death, those crucified would eventually have their legs broken. Gravity would take over and slowly suffocate the victim, as they would be unable to lift themselves up on the spike through their feet to fill their lungs with air.
However, Jesus’ legs weren’t broken in this fashion, as He has already yielded His spirit. The soldiers decided to forego the procedure, but John tells us there was a greater significance: “These things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, ‘Not one of His bones shall be broken’” (John 19:36 NKJV).
God preserved Jesus’ bones from being broken, and in doing so, preserved the prophetic picture of the Passover Lamb who serves as our eternal sacrifice for sin. If God can preserve a corpse exactly as He wants it, how much more will He preserve those of us whose lives are committed to following Him?
DIG: What does the manner of Christ’s death on the cross reveal about God? How does this characteristic apply to your life?
DISCOVER: Where do you need to trust in the preserving power of God more?
DISPLAY: Are you going through something that feels insurmountable, something you simply can’t be delivered from? Lift it up to the Lord, pray His hand over it, and declare with confidence, in faith, that you believe He will deliver and preserve you!
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.