Winning Though Dying

July 21, 2018

Matthew 27:39-43… And those who passed by derided Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in 3 days, save yourself. If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” So also the chief priests, with scribes and elders, mocked Him saying, “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. He trusts in God, let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘ I am the son of God.’”

            I don’t fully fathom the difficulty of that hour. Men stood around mocking Him and he could have done exactly what they asked. He could have come down from the cross. Or He could have asked his Father for help and could have had thousands of angels appear. How tempting it would have been to show strength at that moment. And how right it would have been… at least in our minds. (I loved the scenes in movies, when superman showed that he was more than human.) But, Jesus had another mission.  “Except a grain of wheat falls in the ground and dies, it abides alone.” He came to die for the sin of mankind. It was a gruesome death but it was, also, emotionally exhausting. The mockers said one thing correctly…

“He saved others, He cannot save Himself.”

            Had He saved himself in that moment, He would not have paid the price for our sin. Jesus’ death was His moment of triumph. And we follow Him. Our death to the desires of self is our moment of triumph. That is so contrary to the ways of the world.  The world screams, “Defend yourself; pull out all the stops.”

God says, “Greater love has no man than this… that he lay down his life for a friend.”  There is no value in you or me dying for someone else. There is value in us living for someone else. We live God’s way which expresses love for others.

            Jesus came to earth, born as a baby, and lived amongst us with the purpose of saving us from the peril of death. He is our Savior, not because He picked up little children, but because he died. Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to lay down our life dreams and seek to fulfill His dream for us. “In him we live…” Sometimes, as in Jesus’ case, we must endure discomfort. R U in?