Echoes From the Campfire--May 17
“Hardship was healthy; most people did not enjoy enough of it for their own good.”
--Elmer Kelton (Stand Proud)
"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
--2 Corinthians 4:17 (NKJV)
I used to watch with my Dad, one of his favorite television shows--Stoney Burke. This particular episode showed the young rising, cowboy star Stoney Burke in quest for the gold buckle get scratched from the list of riders. The story continues but the idea was that a man stepped up and offered Stoney the same amount of money he might win throughout the whole year. This man was willing to give the money to Stoney just to have his own way. Stoney refused, saying that he wanted to be given the gold buckle, not the money, by winning it.
This reminded me of one of the temptations of Christ. "Again, the devil took Him [Jesus] to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, 'All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.'" (Matthew 4:8-9, NASB) Here, this is yours, don't worry about anything--the pain of the cross you will not have to bear; there is a short cut offered.
Jesus was the "God/man"; he was always God, but while on this earth He lived as a man. He went through the same temptations that faced men. He did it as a man. He knew His mission on earth would require His death. In the garden there was that agonizing time when He asked the Father, if He was willing, to remove this cup from Him. Since His disciples were sleeping an angel appeared to Him and gave Him strength. (Luke 22:41-44).
Jesus refused the "easy way" when the devil tempted Him. He would endure the cross for the "joy that was set before Him (Hebrews 12:2). He did this as a man. When in the garden, He prayed for deliverance as a man. Yet, also as a man He said He would submit to His Father's will.
We should follow His example and pray, not my will, but Yours be done, Lord. We should not succumb to the devil, but submit to God and obey so that we can be given that great reward, "His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’" (Matthew 25:21, NASB)
He was a man when they crucified Him and laid Him in the tomb, but it was His divine nature that would not let Him stay dead. He defeated the grave and death so that we can have eternal fellowship with Him.