Have you ever wondered if all the effort and sacrifices you make as a Christian are really worth it? Are you tempted to give up, slow down, or just take a short break thinking it won’t matter? Jesus faced this same temptation to do His own thing, to satisfy His own flesh and desires, and abandon the will of His Father.
Throughout His life on this earth, Jesus was moved with compassion and performed many miracles. From calming storms to casting out demons, from healing sickness and disease to raising the dead, there was no question He had authority over everything. However, there was a miracle Jesus didn’t perform. A miracle that would have relieved His own suffering, yet He chose not to do it.
While Jesus agonized on the cross,
39…they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,
40and 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 (emphasis mine)
Could Jesus have come down from the cross? Absolutely! It would have been the easy thing to do! Think for a moment, if you were hanging on that cross. The physical agony alone would have been unbearable. Add to that, the condemnation, the shame, the ridicule…
41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,
42 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.
43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.
Matthew 27:41-43(emphasis mine)
While Jesus hung on the cross the devil in desperation used every force in his power to tempt Jesus to compromise the mission. You see the devil knew Jesus was so close to fulfilling the Father’s perfect plan for His life. Like Jesus, God has a perfect plan for your life, and satan will do everything he can to distract you from following it. The devil’s tactics haven’t changed. He will discourage you, mock you, and even slander your name. He will do whatever it takes to get your focus off of building the kingdom of Christ.
If Jesus had come down from the cross and not fulfilled His Father’s will, then the whole plan of salvation would have been jeopardized. Instead, He declared “…not as I will, but as thou will” (Matthew 26:39). Jesus stayed on the cross so you and I would not be condemned to death and eternal suffering in a devil’s hell. But more importantly, Jesus refused to come down from the cross so He could fully keep His word in fulfilling the will of The Father!
And [Jesus] said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Jesus was saying, you can’t be my disciples unless you stay latched to your cross. You may find yourself struggling to stay committed and focused on your walk with Christ, but if you come down from your cross, there is a great work that will suffer. If you quit now, you might be on the brink of a major breakthrough for the kingdom.
In the end, all that is going to matter is what’s done for Christ! It’s not about me and my comfort level. It’s not about getting out of an uncomfortable situation, but about whether or not I am going to stay the course and be faithful to Christ.
Jesus could’ve performed the miracle of His own deliverance, but He refused. In doing so, He accomplished so much more for His Father and for us!
What about you? Are you willing to follow Christ everyday when it means staying committed to the cross?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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