I was reading the story of The Handwriting on the Wall in Daniel 5. Pretty crazy. A thought jumped out at me. I don’t know if this happens to everyone, but one of the things I love about studying the bible is the fresh perspectives and insights I get from a familiar story. Sort of like reading it again for the first time.
What triggered this new realization was a podcast I was listening to by a secular historian. This guy is not a believer, and he was talking about the Persian Empire (I am studying for a sermon on Daniel’s prophecies concerning the Persian Kingdom). The guy told the story of Belshazzar (that is the guy “in charge” when the hand writes on the wall; the guy on whom God is bringing judgement), and he wrote it off as Sunday school lore.
“Of course, we know this didn’t really happen,” he remarked.
The interesting thing is, this guy was making the point that the Babylonians were very pagan—superstitious and practicing divination and sorcery. They looked for signs and wonders, and God uses that exact platform to deal with their sacrilege and defamation of God’s glory. In a word, God got on their playing field and ran the score up.
In 1 Corinthians 1, God makes it clear that he will bring low the foolish wisdom of man, and will never shrink back or waiver from what the world sees as the foolishness of The Cross. “For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
It seems that the days of handwriting on walls may be over, but the miracle of the Empty Tomb is the great evidence of the Power of God. Whatever playing field we are talking about—philosophical, scientific, historical—The Cross means victory for those who believe, and it means defeat has been dealt to sin and death. This is the ultimate message for all people, for all time.
Praise The Lord for the risen, exalted, and reigning Christ! THIS, is our message.