|Today’s Scripture: And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. Luke 23:35-37|
|Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake. Napoleon Bonaparte
The devil had tried over and over to prevent Christ from coming. He had tried everything from trying to wipe out the Jews multiple times to trying to kill Christ when He was born. Over and over his attempts at eliminating the promised One failed. Then one day, that all changed. Here was Christ hanging on a cross outside of Jerusalem.
As Satan watched the Son of God dying there, he must have thought he had finally won. All his attempts to thwart God’s plan had failed until this time. As he looked on though, a thought kept creeping into his mind – ‘Was this too easy?’ He knew Christ had the power to free Himself, he knew that Jesus could call His angels to Him, but instead, Christ faced His accusers without uttering a word or putting up resistance. Somehow, this didn’t seem right.
The crowd mocked Him telling Him to save himself, but Christ never even acknowledged them. A thief hanging beside Him told Him to save Himself. The soldiers mocked Him. Everyone was telling Him to come down from the cross, but He didn’t go. Satan knew if Christ did come down they would acknowledge the miracle, but Christ stayed.
Then, Christ died. That was it. The Father had turned His back on the Son, and now He hung dead on the cross. They took His body down and prepared it for burial. After laying Him in the tomb, the tomb was sealed with a stone. Days passed but nothing happened; Satan finally relaxed – it was over.
Then on the third day, Christ rose from the dead. Satan had lost; Jesus had broken the power of death. Satan didn’t know what had happened. Christ was dead, but now He was alive. Not only that, but He had paid the sin debt of mankind and offered His payment freely to all who would believe. The power of sin was gone. Mankind could once again have a relationship with God.
It was then Satan realized why Christ had come. God had promised a Messiah to reign on David’s throne, but He had also promised a Lamb to pay sin’s debt. Jesus’ death may have delayed the kingdom, but it had also provided the way of salvation. This is why Christ came. He came to save the lost; He came to bring salvation. His death was the key and that is why He stayed on the cross.
This weekend as we celebrate Father’s day, let’s remember that God the Father was willing to offer His only begotten Son to pay our debt so we could be with Him in Heaven. Let’s show both our Heavenly Father and our earthly father how much we love them for all they have done for us.
Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder