“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Shock & Awe, by Randall D. Kittle

“Let us be thankful and please God by worshiping Him with holy fear and awe.”

— Hebrews 12:28

In 2003, the Iraqi War exploded onto television screens across the world with the most dramatic display of military might the world had ever seen. The United States started the conflict utilizing a military tactic called “Shock and Awe.” This strategy is defined as: “the use of overwhelming power and spectacular displays of force to paralyze the enemy’s perception of the battlefield and destroy its will to fight.” This dominant display of military might was one of the reasons the actual war in Iraqi took less than one month to win.
But as powerful and overwhelming as this military endeavor was, it pales in comparison to the greatest awe-invoking act of all time — the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord. That weekend was the single most momentous time in all eternity. Can you imagine the look on the faces of Jesus’ disciples as they watched the crucifixion? They must have wondered, “How could this be? He commanded the seas, changed the very elements by His words, healed the unhealable, and raised the dead!” A look of bewilderment, disillusionment, and shock must have clung to their faces. But that would’ve been nothing compared to the shock for the heavenly hosts. They knew Jesus’ glory, majesty, and power … and awaited His command to come to His rescue. But He never spoke a word. How could the Champion of heaven be defeated? How could the One who created life lose His?

Shock & Awe

But as we now know the cross was not defeat, it was merely the start of the greatest victory in history. All creation went from shock to awe at what God had accomplished. As it tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:54, “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” Imagine the astonishment of the demons who realized with the resurrection that the long-awaited victory they had longed for had not been won. In fact, now it was clear it would never be won. Think how astounded the heavenly host must have been as they realized the battle for man’s redemption had been won not by might, but through surrender. Think of their unbelief that God Himself would be willing to pay such a price just to restore His most cherished creation — man!
Jesus’ disciples were so awe-struck by the resurrection they literally couldn’t believe it; it seemed too good to be true. They had watched His beaten and bloodied body be nailed to a cross … and they had seen Him die. Now, He was alive, risen and victorious, and what a victory He had won! The God to whom we owed an insurmountable debt paid the cost. He took our sins that we could have His righteousness. His bruises brought our healing. His death secured our life. Not just the disciples, but every angel in heaven and every demon in hell marveled at the love God displayed for man at Calvary.
Is this awe-inspiring act of God really central in our lives? Do our lives display to others our awe of the God who made a way for us to be His today and for all eternity? Or, have we become so familiar with the teachings and instructions
about the Lord that we have lost the awe and wonder we should have of the Lord? Let us never lose the awe and wonder of the finished work of the cross and never cease declaring our love for the One who gave His all for us.

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