Monday, August 20, 2012

Christ: Triumphant where others have failed

In one of the long list of meetings and seminaries I had attended, I heard the preacher encouraging the viewers to be more like Solomon and not be like David.  The particular example he was giving was of Solomon when he had prayed to God not for wealth or power but for wisdom, and that King David had given in to adultery on part of Bathsheba.

However I was puzzled in the early years of my new spiritual life. There were a host of personalities from the Bible – Moses, David, Solomon, etc. Which of these are worthy enough to be a role model for the Christian? Would it surprise the reader when I say – none? No one, absolutely none whatsoever!

Let me tell you why. While Moses, David, and Solomon, all of these men were heroes of faith and worthy of their place in the Word of God, each of them had their special shortcomings. Moses for example was told by God to ‘speak’ to the rock and water would gush out of it (Numbers 20:8). But Moses wanted to be the ‘action hero’ and preferred to strike the rock with his staff (Numbers 20:11), not once but twice! As a result of Moses’ antics God effectively barred him from the Promised Land (Numbers 20:12).

David’s scandalous affair with Bathsheba, who was a married woman, was equally detested by God and as a severe punishment God took away their first born child (2 Samuel 11, 12:1-22). Solomon, David’s son, was thoroughly blessed by God with material wealth as well as spiritual wealth. But Israel’s ruler of the ‘golden era’ would soon lose his way by having scandalous affairs with numerous women, many of them pagans. Under the influence of his pagan wives, Solomon was led to worshipping idols (1 Kings 11:1-6). As a result of this act of idolatry and infidelity, Solomon’s son did not inherit his father’s entire kingdom (1 Kings 11:9-13).

So seeing these heroes and their tragic moments, who would I follow? Who would be my role model? The answer lies in a Man who walked the earth two thousand years ago and triumphantly defeated Satan and his demonic minions by dying a brutal death on the cross. Not only did Christ die a brutal death but three days later He was raised from the dead, completing His victory over death.

Paul, a messenger and apostle of Jesus Christ, endured much hardship.

“…I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-27 NIV)

But Paul refused to boast in himself and chose instead to boast in the Lord Jesus Christ as ‘the power and wisdom of God’.

…but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. (1 Corinthians 1:23-25 NIV)

Also he said.

“Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:31 NIV)

Unlike any other person in the entire Bible, even prophets and kings, Jesus had no shortcomings. Where the devil tried to tempt Him to sin, He resisted the temptation (Matthew 4:1-11). Where scheming Pharisees tried to trap Him, He reversed the trap (Mark 12:13-17. Where those who were helpless before Him needed forgiveness, He provided mercy (John 8:1-11).

It was and still is clear now whom I should follow. Not Moses, not David, and not Solomon. It is clear in God’s Word that where others have failed, Christ Jesus has emerged triumphant.

1 comment:

  1. Dear brother..surit, a very encouraging article and truly 'Christ' should be the role model for every Christian.As Paul exhorts in Phil chapter 2. keep writing bro. God bless.