Monday, September 16, 2013
And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. (Matthew 27:39-40 KJV)
If Jesus were the Son of God, here’s the ideal time for Him to prove it – come down from the cross.
Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. (Matthew 27:41-42 KJV)
Well, maybe not – here they are only offering him the kingship of Israel, but they would believe that if he could come down from the cross.
He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth. (Matthew 27:43-44 KJV)
Someone remembered a bit more:
And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. (Luke 23:39 KJV)
Now it’s getting personal. Save us, not just yourself. Think of the people around you in the same situation. Save us.
But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. (Luke 23:40-41 KJV)
This man reminds me of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. (Daniel 3:17-18 KJV)
They had no idea whether God would deliver them from the fiery furnace or not – either way, He remained God and they would not say otherwise.
Satan’s temptations began with “If”:
And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. (Luke 4:3 KJV)
If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. (Luke 4:7 KJV)
And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: (Luke 4:9 KJV)
Can we recite the reality of God’s word which refutes each one of these “If”s? Can we relate to the thief’s words?
And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. (Luke 23:42 KJV)
That same faith sustains us. We have no idea how God will deal with our lives. We cannot replace faith with “If God does what I want I will believe.” We need to have sufficient faith to say, “But if God does not do what I want, I will serve Him.” My view of reality is that three young men did and survived the fiery furnace. I also believe a thief joined Christ for eternity. No if’s in my belief that I will, too.