Tuesday, Mar 22, 2016
The greatest Example of a soldier of faith is the Lord Jesus Christ. That is why Hebrews 12:2-3 commands us, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood.”
As a soldier in a war you grow tired. If you are not careful you could fall into a state of spiritual relaxation. That is what it means to “faint in your minds.” That is why we are warned, “Be sober, be vigilant” (1 Peter 5:8). Stay alert! On Guard! When you are tempted to grow apathetic concerning the fight you must take time to look and consider. You must look to your Captain, the Lord Jesus Christ. And you must consider, you must meditate, contemplate, and appreciate what He endured for you.
Though “ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin,” He did. Look at Him and consider what He endured for you in the Garden of Gethsemane as He faced the cross of Calvary. There in the Garden as He began to feel the awful pressure of the sin of all of humanity that He would soon be bearing “in his own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24) the Bible says that “being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44). What did Jesus do in the Garden as our Example? Did He give up? No! He submitted Himself to God and resisted the Devil.
Remember, it was in the Garden that He prayed to the Father, “nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). He yielded His will to the will of the Father and pressed on to the victory of the cross. By submitting to the Father in the Garden He was also actively resisting the Devil. I don’t believe it to be any stretch to assume that Satan was there with his hellish hope of convincing Jesus to resist the Cross. Is that not the very temptation that he offered Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4:9)? Didn’t he attempt at that time to persuade the Son of Man to bypass victory through suffering by taking the easy road of idolatry. Praise God, in both instances our Lord resisted the Devil, and when he fled God sent help from heaven. In the wilderness angels came to our Lord’s aid and in the garden one angel “appeared unto him from heaven, strengthening him” (Luke 22:43). Friend, heavenly help is on the way, but first you must do your part as Christ, your Example, did His.
But, the Garden was not the only place where Christ resisted unto blood and won the victory by faith. On the very cross of Calvary He endured the awful “contradiction of sinners” and yet remained true to His calling and the will of God. Wicked men mocked Him as He hung in shame and agony. They called out, “If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross” (Matthew 27:40). 1 Peter 2:23 tells us that on the cross He was “reviled.” But, suffering those torments, “he . . . reviled not again.”
On the cross, He exercised faith. He submitted to the Father’s plan of salvation, resisted the temptation to deliver Himself (the plan of redemption would not have been fulfilled had He done that, for He had to die as a man for men), and “committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (1 Peter 2:23). Do you see that? He put His trust in God the Father. As the “God-man” Jesus Christ faced the temptation to deliver Himself, but chose to obey the Father’s will by faith. He overcame! He won the victory! He was able to cry, “It is finished!” Yes, “He could have called ten thousand angels, to destroy the world and set Him free.” But, instead He purchased our salvation as “He died alone for you and me.”
Dear friend, when you feel wearied and are ready to relax or “faint,” then consider Him. Consider Him!