Jesus’ Pathway to Our Redemption – Part 2
“Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ” Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.” Matthew 4:8-11
To Jesus’ human mind this was a great temptation, to be able to save His body from suffering and death and still gain the world. But the Holy Spirit in Him kept Him from giving in to the temptation to accept the devil’s proposition and from bowing down to worship him believing the false notion that he could deliver on his promise. The devil is a liar from the beginning and he could never make good on anything he says.
The devil is once again defeated by Jesus, the Word made flesh, speaking the Word of life.
The pathway that Jesus walked to purchase our redemption was not easy and was fraught with temptations all along the way to give in, to compromise, to give up and just walk away. But He did not do it. He stayed the course and by it paid the full price of our redemption.
Now our salvation and redemption are about the love of God sent to us in the work of Jesus Christ to bring us from darkness to light, from death to life, from sin to righteousness, from iniquity and uncleanness to purity and Holiness.
We have a calling as believers in the lordship of Jesus Christ to deny ourselves, to take up our cross daily and follow Him. Our calling is not to self-satisfaction and self-fulfillment. The hallmark and central purpose of our lives is not to find and immerse ourselves in what pleases us apart from and in opposition to what pleases our Maker, our Creator, God. It would have please Jesus’ flesh to give into the temptations of the devil but it would have meant our eternal damnation.
Having been redeemed by so great a cost, our chief purpose for being alive is not to satisfy our basest urges, whims or proclivities, but to live as those who are alive to please the One who created us. We are the creatures not the Creator.
In sin we were all dead in our passions and lusts leading to death and eternal damnation, until Jesus came to redeem us by His blood from death unto life. We were bought by His sinless, precious blood and now we are not our own. We don’t get to bask in the benefits of salvation here on earth and in Heaven to come on our own terms rooted in sin.
God has warned His people time and again to turn from unrighteousness and follow after life. But when men are ruled by the dictates of their own hearts they will fall into condemnation and death.
“Who is the wise man who may understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of the Lord has spoken, that he may declare it? Why does the land perish and burn up like a wilderness, so that no one can pass through? And the Lord said, “Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have not obeyed My voice, nor walked according to it, but they have walked according to the dictates of their own hearts and after the Baals, which their fathers taught them,” therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink. I will scatter them also among the Gentiles, whom neither they nor their fathers have known. And I will send a sword after them until I have consumed them.” Jeremiah 9:12- 16
We are called to follow and obey the commandments of our Lord Jesus Christ just as Israel was called to obey the covenants and commandments of God proclaimed by the prophets of old.
“Then the Lord said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying: ‘Hear the words of this covenant and do them. For I earnestly exhorted your fathers in the day I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, until this day, rising early and exhorting, saying, “Obey My voice.” Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but everyone followed the dictates of his evil heart; therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but which they have not done.’ ” Jeremiah 11:6-8
God is the same, His truth and His righteousness are the same, His Word and His will are the same, yesterday, today and forever. That we now get to live by faith, walking in the amazing grace of God through our Lord Jesus Christ, means that the first and greatest commandment is still the same.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5
When one of the scribes asked Jesus what is the greatest commandment,
“Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is:‘ Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29
These indeed are the greatest commandments under the Law of Moses. But to us, His disciples, Jesus gave a new commandment greater than the second commandment under the law. Not love your neighbor as yourself,but“love one another as I have loved you.”
This is our calling to love God first and foremost and to love one another, the body of believers, as Jesus has loved us. In these we will fulfill the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus that has made us free from the law of sin and death.