Friday, June 22, 2018

“Touched, Tempted, Triumphant!”

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"Touched, Tempted, Triumphant!"


   Only one human being ever lived who was tempted in every way possible.  And only one human being overcame every temptation He ever faced.

   "We have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, and yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15).

    Our own experience of overcoming temptation helps us to better understand this marvelous truth about our Lord Jesus Christ.  It is never easy to overcome, and frequently causes discomfort as we put to death fleshly impulses that in the moment feel desirable.  Indeed, temptation would not be temptation if we did not experience the emotional and physical appeal of whatever entices us.  I cannot be tempted to eat chicken livers, for example.  I'll easily pass on organ meat!  A plate full of fried chicken, conversely, beckons like a siren song to my appetite!  The things that tempt us appeal to our desires and inclinations.  Thus, overcoming temptation involves sacrifice of pleasure in the moment for the purpose of better and more longterm benefit.

    I do not know all this means regarding the Lord Jesus' earthly experience, and His being "tempted in all points."  We can be sure, however, that He felt the reality of enticement in His earthly humanity and the discomfort of determining not to succumb to challenges.  For example, He remained intensely hungry when He refused Satan's temptation to turn stones to bread (Matthew 4:4).  The Lord Jesus suffered not only on the cross of Calvary, but on the crossroads of more than three decades spent on a battlefield of temptation and enticement.  Had He ever once succumbed, He could not have been our sin bearer.  He would have been required to die for His own sin.  But He never did.  Not once.  Every devilish, worldly, and fleshly challenge found our Savior drawing the sword of the Spirit and wielding the shield of faith.  Through the Spirit, He put to death every inclination that would have disqualified the holy role of redemption for which His Father sent Him into the world.  "Touched with the feeling of our infirmities... Tempted in all points like as we are."  This was the trial.  "Yet without sin."  This is the triumph, the triumph of love whereby our Lord was willing to step into Satan's arena, bearing a humanity that could be tested in ways beyond any mode and measure we will ever know.  The touched One, the tempted One, the triumphant One!  This is our Savior, challenged more than any other and victorious in every battle for the glory of His Father and the redemption of those who look to "the Captain of their salvation" (Hebrews 2:10).

"In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer.  I have overcome the world."
(John 16:33)
"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
(II Corinthians 4:17)

Weekly Memory Verse
    "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try (test) the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
(I John 4:1)


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