He was assigned a grave with the wicked, but He was with a rich man at his death, because he had done no violence and had not spoken deceitfully.
~Isaiah 53:9, CSB
By this we know love, that He laid down His life for us.
~John The Apostle
As Christians, we know that Isaiah was painting a portrait of Christ in chapters 52-53. I have heard, I have no way of knowing if it is true, that the Jewish rabbis never read Isaiah 53. I am all but certain that Isaiah 53 was used by Paul and Apollos in their apologetics. How could anyone read Isaiah 53 and not see Jesus? I love the entire chapter but yesterday verse 9 got my attention and two words especially: the words are violence and deceit. Jesus was God, make no mistake about that but He came to this world garbed in human flesh. The fact that He never had a deceitful thought or spoke a deceitful word is proof of His divinity. The incarnation did not strip Him of His deity or divine powers. Jesus had supernatural power but He used it only for the glory of God and good of man. He could have used this power to save Himself but He restrained Himself for our benefit. There is no way that Jesus could have been crucified without His consent. Matter of fact, I don’t think they could have done it without His help. So here is the picture I want to paint: we are spitting in the face of God, pulling out His beard, slapping Him, mocking Him, beating Him to a pulp and then nailing Him to a cross. All the while, He has the power within Himself to destroy every living soul on the face of the earth. We acted in violence but He restrained Himself from acting violently. Mind you, He could have and would not have been unjust in doing so but at last, His plan was to die for us. It appeared that Jesus was weak and helpless but nothing could be further from the truth. He could have called ten thousand angels but thank God, He didn’t.
As I was praying about this and giving thanks for His sacrificial love, the thought popped into my mind, “Could I be trusted with divine power?” What if I had the power to slay a man with my breath? What if I could call an army of angels to help me enforce my will?” Do you think I might resort to using these powers selfishly to benefit myself and my friends. Democrats would be in trouble, wouldn’t they? But I have no powers. I have absolutely no power to give the Holy Spirit instructions, convict of sin, change a life or give and take life. The demons, the natural elements, disease and sickness are not under my control. I am impotent. I am not tempted to use divine powers, I don’t have any: therefore Satan can’t tempt me the same way he tempted Jesus. My temptation is to rely on the flesh. Do I sometime wish I had supernatural power? Probably, but I realize it would be unwise for God to give these powers to an ordinary human like myself. What amazes me is Jesus restraint. Folks, we are talking about some incredible LOVE, the kind that you and I can not fathom.
- Lord willing, me and the Grandsons, except for my hero the US Marine, are at the Hotlanta Braves game along with Michael, Wendy and the boys. I will post it from my phone–hopefully.