“When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there…” (Luke 23:33a)
It is cruel irony that evil seems to always get away scot free while the blameless have to suffer the consequences. This is what Jesus went through on the cross; the most brutal form of execution and humiliation. The mechanism of death in crucifixion is asphyxiation, i.e. the process of being deprived of oxygen. Compounding on such a state, Jesus was flogged, stripped, spat on and pierced. Even one of the criminals who were hung on the cross did not hesitate to scorn at Jesus’ claim as Messiah. Alas! The evil ways of men!
In the past perhaps we saw evil in a more subtle ways. But now, evil acts are blatantly displayed and inviting mankind to join in their revelry. As Christians, we ought to stand firm in Christ. But we are so drawn toward the majority and the popular. In order to entice us, the devil will not hesitate to use all forms and tricks to distract, divide and deceive us. He goes all out to attract and chain Christians and to negate the power of Jesus’ crucifixion.
Each day, we are constantly in a war zone. No one is spared in spiritual warfare. Not even Jesus. In his vulnerability after fasting for forty days and nights, He was tempted by the devil (Luke 4:1-13). Although the devil failed miserably after three attempts, he persisted. He attacked Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane when he was troubled and in agony as he faced his destiny.
In His struggle, Jesus submitted to God’s will. Jesus lived out his life by sharing nothing in common with those of the world of mankind.
“For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?” (2 Corinthians 6:14–16).
The answer to the above is “none at all.” There is no commonality between righteousness and wickedness, light and darkness, Christ and Belial, believer and non-believer, temple of God and idols. There is no space for both Christ and idolatry. They are mutually exclusive and they do not belong to each other. They are diametrically opposed. They have nothing in common.
Even in the midst of writing this article, I am fighting with a severe headache. This week will be my fourth week battling with the pain. I prayed earnestly for God to take away the pain. I have no idea why the pain persists. I was in a vulnerable state and the devil took the opportunity to knock at my door to confuse me. Should I entertain him? Thank God and many prayer warriors that I managed to anchor on God’s promises and allow God’s Spirit to strengthen me.
In life, choosing the path of Jesus does not stop when we made our decision to follow Him. Continually, we are at crossroads where we have to make life decisions. Do we maintain the course towards the light or reverse our decision? We cannot eschew spiritual warfare, it will be with us on this earthly journey. God promises that “if we go out from their midst,” “separate,” “touch no unclean” (2 Cor 6:17), in return, God will walk with us, dwell in us and be our God eternally on earth and in heaven. We belong to God. We are His sons and daughters (2 Cor 6:18). Hence, in our warfare, remember that we belong to God and God is with us. If God is for us, who can be against us! (Rom 8:31).
“And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him …” Jesus’ stand remains unchanged.
By Serin Chng, Pastoral Staff (YCKC Bulletin 29 March 2020)