The Last Temptation Jesus Faced
Today’s Scripture: “Come down from the cross, and save yourself!” Mark 15:30 (GWT)
The last temptation Jesus faced is the ONE temptation we face constantly: “Come down from the cross, and save yourself!”
Inasmuch as the cross is the place where Self is executed, Sin’s power broken, and Satan’s defiance humiliated — it stands to reason that in a last ditch effort to reverse the curse which the cross has brought upon his head, the devil will thrash about endlessly with one goal in mind: to get you and I to abandon our post of trusting in Christ alone, and take up our own cause in our own power. “Come down from the cross, and save yourself.”
The devil cannot touch us when we are on the cross, nor can sin’s power sway us to pursue its many vanities while we abide in the Crucified One. And even our very selves are subdued in a submissive surrender, as the Lord puts to death all things within us that otherwise disqualify us for the Heavenly City. He is transforming us into His likeness. First there is death, and then, O blessed truth, there is resurrection! But, to experience it we must stay upon this Cross.
“Come down from the cross, and save thyself,” the devil derisively taunts at us in those moments when we are slighted by someone, offended by another, or devalued yet by others. Someone does something, whether substantial or petty, and the devil jumps on the moment — “Are you just going to hang there and take that?” he asks with surly sarcasm; and then quickly adds his own suggestion of what we should do, “Come down from the cross, and save thyself!”
Defend yourself, justify yourself, advance yourself, exalt yourself, promote yourself, save yourself, pamper yourself, satisfy yourself, indulge yourself, prefer yourself — and the list goes on and on and on. This is the devil’s plan for your life; he wants you to to be like him — a self-absorbed and self-deceived being.
Jesus, by contrast, has only one thing He would say to you in this regard — “Deny yourself,” and then He adds, “Take up your cross daily, and follow Me.”
Practically speaking, this simple truth has far-reaching implications. The Bible says that it is only by pride that contentions come. Pride is the citadel of Self, the throne room of our own selfish preoccupations and adorations. By embracing the cross of Jesus, and abiding thereupon — our affections are relocated away from our Selves, and placed rightfully upon our Savior. The peace of His presence then extends not only to us, but through us to others. And thus, slowly but steadily, His Kingdom increases in the earth.
For this cause alone you will hear ten thousand times in a day, the devil bringing his case in hopes of finding yourself a willing dupe for his dark employment — “Come down from the cross, and save yourself!”
Don’t you dare do it!!