Thursday, September 30, 2010

The master key

Mat 16:21  From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
Mat 16:22  Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
Mat 16:23  But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Luke 22:3  Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.
Luke 22:4  And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.

John 13:2  And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;

John 13:27  And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

        The key that is crucial to understanding the roles of God and Satan in the crucifixion of Jesus is the response of Jesus to Peter when Peter manifested an attitude of opposition to the suffering and death of Jesus.

        Jesus said to Peter, "Get thee behind me, Satan."

        How else could we have known that Satan was opposed to the crucifixion of Jesus.

        In other instances, we find Satan or the devil putting into the heart of Judas to betray Jesus and/or to hand him over to those who would take him and kill him.

        We would have supposed that the crucifixion was a thing of Satan and not a thing of God.

        We would not have perceived the dividedness of the kingdom of Satan, the condition that Jesus said presaged its fall.

        More importantly, we would not have had a clue for understanding the evangelist's words, "And after the sop Satan entered into him."

        We would have thought that Jesus was sending Judas to do the thing of Satan and not the thing of God.

        We would have judged Judas according to that appearance and condemned him unjustly.

        We would have thought that Satan took the life of Jesus, despite the statement by Jesus that he was laying down his life with power.

        We would have thought that the efforts of Jesus to save Judas were in vain, that his attempt to gain his brother was fruitless, and that his forgiveness for the heel lifted up against him was to no avail.

        We might even have misunderstood the footwashing as an example of humble service instead of an example of forgiving those who trespass against us.

        We might have misunderstood the hanging of Judas as a literal thing and not a figurative conclusion to his having taken up his cross to follow Jesus, a laying down of his life of sin to find life in Jesus.

        We would not be able to appreciate the magnification of his woe as he watched the life slowly drain from Jesus and remembered his betrayal of him just days earlier when he covenanted to hand him over to the chief priests. 

        We would not have understood that Judas overcame that Satan that entered into him after the sop, and we ourselves would have served that Satan by siding with him in opposition to the crucifixion.

        This particular key that Jesus gave to Peter seems to be the master key.

        I offer these words only in my own name.

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