Scriptural Gem for December 2016

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Mark 10:45

Think about that for a moment. Why did He come in this way? What purpose lies behind coming as a servant “to serve” and not as a master “to be served”? Even as the time of the cross drew near, and despite repeated declarations of all He would suffer, His disciples could not answer this question. They continued in ignorance and “they did not know what He was talking about.” (Luke 18:31-34) In addition, consider that it was not because He lacked the authority. During His arrest in Gethsemane, He even reminds His disciples that He could, in an instant, request “more than twelve legions of angels” (Matthew 26:53) to destroy His accusers and it would be done.

“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” In Genesis 3:4-5, we find the answer. In these verses, Satan clearly calls God's character into question and cultivates suspicion regarding God's nature. He subtly places the idea in Eve's mind that God does not want the best for her and that He is selfishly withholding something from her. I admit that for many years, I believed that God was 'out to get me' and when anything bad happened, I secretly entertained the notion that God was quite nasty... I had fallen for the same lie Satan offered to Adam and Eve in Eden.  

Now, what is the solution to this problem? God, of course, could destroy Satan with one mighty blow as a Conquering King; however, God did not want to merely DESTROY Satan, but He wanted to REFUTE him as well. Satan’s strongest weapon is not his power, but the suspicion he casts in the hearts and minds of men and women about God’s character. Jesus came not only “to give His life as a ransom for many,” but to set the record straight. Jesus came to show mankind the boundlessness of God’s love and mercy: The King of Kings willingly “made himself nothing” so that we might also see “the very nature of God.” (Philippians 2:7 and 6, respectively) Of course, when all is fulfilled, God will cast Satan into “the lake of burning sulfur,” (Revelation 20:10) but His first objective is to glorify His name by revealing the truth about Himself in answer to the lie.

How about you, dear friend? Can you recite the process of salvation and its elements perfectly but still, when things go wrong, you question the kindness of God? Then you are still missing this vital revelation of God's love for you and Satan's lie persists despite all that Jesus has done and continues to do. Look to the cross and see not only salvation, but behold its testimony of loving-kindness that ever refutes that age-old lie first spoken in Eden. Hallelujah!