Sunday, January 26, 2014
“For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:45 KJV).
Today’s Scripture summarizes a book most burdensome to many.
When Messiah (Jesus) finally came to the nation Israel, the fifth course of judgment was still operating: Israel was still scattered worldwide and under Gentile domination (here, the Roman Empire). JEHOVAH knew that He had to keep His covenant—Israel was to be punished for breaking it. The devil had one goal: continue to work in and through Israel’s religious and political leaders to prevent Jesus Christ from assuming David’s throne, and stop Him from delivering Israel (and earth) from his captivity. Satan had Israel exactly where he wanted her, and he was not about to give up the nation without a fight—and fight he did!
King Herod attempts—but fails—to kill young Jesus by murdering Jewish babies age two and under (Matthew 2:1-20). Once Jesus begins His three-year earthly ministry 30 years later, Israel’s religious leaders denigrate and persecute Him and His followers. Satan is still doing everything he can to hinder Jesus from converting Israel. The battle intensifies and culminates: Israel’s religious leaders finally conspire with the Roman government to have Jesus killed. When Roman governor Pontius Pilate asks Israel, “Shall I crucify your King?,” Israel’s chief priests (leaders) reply, “We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:15)!
Messiah Jesus (knowing something no one else does) does not fight the muscular soldiers who grab Him, punch Him repeatedly, spit in His face, force a crown of thorns on His head, curse at Him, mercilessly scourge Him with whips, drive long spikes into His hands and feet, and display Him on a cross for everyone to see and mock. Satan beholds and delights in the spectacle; he can keep ruling over Israel because her rightful King is slowly dying. Just before Jesus Christ allows Himself to die, He remembers that Israel will become holy as He intended, that His death will literally become the “deathblow” to Satan.
Satan will certainly be surprised to discover God’s wisdom….