It will often look as though Christ is defeated. That’s the way it looked on Good Friday. He let himself be libeled and harassed and scored and shoved around and killed. But in it all he was in control. “No one takes [my life] from me” (John 10:18). So it will always be. If China was closed for forty years to the Western missionaries, it was not as though Jesus accidentally slipped and fell into the tomb. He stepped in. And when it was sealed over, he saved fifty million Chinese from inside—without Western missionaries. And when it was time, he pushed the stone away so we could se what he had done.
When it looks as though he is buried for good, Jesus is doing something awesome in the dark.
—John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad