Reflecting on Matthew 26: 14-27:66
Five weeks ago we heard a familiar and eerie story. Jesus, having just been baptized, goes into the desert to keep his rendezvous, set from the beginning of time, with the Enemy. Famished from fasting, he is accosted by the Liar, who says, Look, you’re God, right? I know you’re hungry, and there’s nothing to eat out here. Just turn these stones into bread.
Jesus repulses the Liar with scripture, but he persists. If you really want to show these people that you’re God, you should throw yourself off this cliff and let the angels catch you. That’s the way a real God would do it.
Again Jesus rebuffs him, and the Enemy finally shows his hand. Okay, you’re God and I’m not. But I’ve got all the kingdoms of the world in my pocket. Give up this charade of being a human being, bow down and worship me, and I’ll give you everything.
At this, Jesus commands the Liar to leave, and so he must. Matthew’s gospel tells us that angels then come to minister to Jesus. Watch for those angels. They’ll be back to roll the stone away on Easter morning, and all the powers of hell shall not prevail against them.
Satan failed so miserably because he couldn’t believe that Jesus, though he was in the form of God, would empty himself, taking the form of a slave. Satan must have been astonished on Good Friday, when Jesus became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.
Two thousand years later, we’re still astonished. And at his Name, 2.18 billion Christians bend their knees today, and their tongues confess: Jesus Christ is Lord.
Are you still astonished at this wondrous love?