Crushed For You
In the name of Jesus. Amen. The season of Lent is upon us. I love the appointed readings during this holy season, especially these first few weeks as Jesus powerfully demonstrates His power over the devil. It begins when Satan dares to tempt the Son of God. He thought it would be as easy to tempt the Second Adam as it was the First Adam. Not so. Why? Because Jesus submits to the will of His heavenly Father, not His own!
Jesus is Israel reduced to one. He, unlike all who have gone before and after Him, including you and me, sees through the lies of the tempter. He knows that what God says is most definitely for His good and the good of the whole human race. Satan deceived Adam and Eve into the opposite, seeing something good that God had indeed said was not good for them. And so Jesus, submitting perfectly to His Father's good and gracious will, even unto His last breath on the cross, crushes the tempter in your place and mine!
Satan wants you to think that the Father's will is that you be happy and that whatever makes you happy must therefore be God's will. God's will would certainly never cause me pain! Thankfully, the Son of God did not operate that way. He trusted His Father all the way to Calvary, even when it hurt! He was tempted in every way, the greatest of which surely must have been the temptation to act upon the words of those who mocked Him, "He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him" (Matthew 27:42).
The temptation to come down from the cross must have been tremendous. Think about it. Rationalize it for a moment. Would those who denied Jesus and nailed Him to that cross believe in Him if He would only demonstrate His power and save Himself right then and there? Perhaps. Jesus would've been spared the pain of death. Even those who rejected might have turned. Sounds like a great plan. Everybody wins, right?
This was not the Lord's will. His will was to spare you from death through the suffering, death and resurrection of His Son. It was the will of the Lord to crush Him, not you! Jesus conquered Satan, temptation, even death! Our way always seems good to us. But you can be certain that the Lord's way is best, even when it hurts or is unpleasant or trying or seems to be the greatest failure ever. Why? Because of Jesus! Because your Savior endured the shame of the cross and now is seated at the right hand of the Father, reigning over all things in heaven and earth for the good of His church, FOR YOU. He was crushed FOR YOU! And now you walk the way of the cross, following your Savior, knowing that God is working all things together for your good. A blessed Lententide to you all! In the name of Jesus. Amen.