I’m doing a free concert at Cherry Festival in my town (Emmett, Idaho) on Thursday at 7:00 pm. This is our town’s week-long community festival, and it’s a really fun family event. But I have to admit that I’m a little nervous about it because of what happened several years ago, the last time I played at Cherry Festival.

Things started off fine, but sometime during my first song, a few people began drifting off. By the second song, people were actually running away. Yes, running. So we all looked at each other wondering what we were doing wrong.

(My strategy in those kinds of situations is to glare at the sound man, so that if we sound bad everyone assumes it’s his fault…)

But anyway, people were actually running away from my concert. This could shake one’s confidence; it’s the kind of thing that makes a singer question if he’s in the right line of work.

So when I saw the smoke from the big building that was burning down the street (corner of Main and Washington), I have to say that I was relieved. It’s an ugly thing to admit … but I was really glad things weren’t what they seemed.

Colossians 2:13-15

13When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.

I love the image of Christ nailing the Law to the cross. That sounds pretty final, doesn’t it? And then in the next verse:

15And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Think about this, though. At the time of His crucifixion, did Christ’s death look like a “triumph?” Certainly not to His disciples, who scattered in fear because it appeared that Jesus had been utterly defeated. What else were they supposed to think?

But His death was: a TRIUMPH, a VICTORY, not a defeat. When He chose to submit to death on the cross, His mission was a success, even though it appeared to everyone that He had failed.

I’m so glad things weren’t what they seemed.