Service, Suffering, Sacrifice :: by Gary Mehlert

What a truly wonderful and selfless path our Lord Jesus took on our behalf, to do the will of His Father who is in heaven, which was to save us from our sins—knowing full-well, that on our own there is absolutely nothing that any of us can possibly say or do that can save us from a terrible and painful death. But only with the amazing grace of our beloved Lord Jesus and His service of suffering can we be saved. He is described in Matthew 1:23:

“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

He knew well in advance what was to come and in great detail what was involved; to lead an absolutely sinless life. Jesus was falsely accused and charged of crimes he did not commit, unjustly sentenced to a death He did not deserve, dying a criminal’s death, being nailed to a cross crucified; a truly barbaric and horrific experience for anyone. Then being so wonderfully resurrected from the dead, saving all those who genuinely and sincerely seek Him out, for generations to come.

It is also important to remember that we would only be able to seek Him out in the first place, because He first loved us and calls us to follow Him, to suffer for Him, with Him giving us strength—constantly fending off the temptations of the evil one—Satan, the one I call the father of disobedience, the one who is responsible for all of this mess.

I mean, just think about it, Jesus could just as easily have said to himself at the start:

Why do I have to fix this? How is this my problem? I mean, I didn’t create any of this mess—they did and they will just have to fend for themselves and die in their own sins. I don’t want any part of this.

But He didn’t. Clearly, He had an unwavering and burning desire to fulfil his Father’s will. Such unwavering dedication, such loyalty is truly amazing, isn’t it? To come down to earth in a very humble and human fashion, to live out his time on this earth fulfilling the many Bible prophecies foretold hundreds of years before.

He came to teach and heal the sick, and put up with those in the crowds who sought to fit Him into their own plans. He came to put up with the abuse of those who sought to trick Him and try to trap Him in His speech—to get Him to embarrass Himself in front of others. But these self-righteous instigators were not able to undermine our Lord Jesus’ mission. And then to be crucified and raised from the dead, and return to heaven!

Jesus Christ truly came with oceans of patience and long-suffering with an almost bottomless pit of mercy and kindness and understanding for all those who so desperately need it and desire it. By doing His Father’s will, He came down on our behalf to do service for his beloved Father in heaven.

Let’s face it honestly and sincerely: Without our beloved Lord Jesus—the only pathway to the Father, and the amazing salvation that He so painstakingly provided with his death and resurrection, we would be gravely and very seriously in trouble. We would be left to die in our own sins—a very painful and humiliating death, unable to help ourselves in the slightest.

It was Christ’s Sacrifice to the Father on our behalf that has me greatly heartened.

In His own words, Matthew 11:28-30:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

His yoke upon you is to sincerely call Him into your life as your Lord and Saviour, to learn to suffer for Him, to be guided by Him and to learn all about Him, and His sincere plan for us all. Doesn’t it just stir you to want to know more about Him, every day? It stirs me my friend, very much so.

When Jesus said His burden is light, it is because He already took it upon Himself to go through horrendous suffering dying for our sins. Now let us be perfectly frank again, this particular burden would have been ours to bear alone if it hadn’t been for our Lord Jesus taking this upon Himself on our behalf. He died an absolutely horrific, terrible and painful death so we would have had to bear totally on our own.

Just think seriously about that.

Unlike a lamb who before its sacrifice understands absolutely nothing of what is about to happen—Jesus however, knew every single detail of what was required of Him to fulfil His Father’s will—including enduring one of the most horrible methods of putting a person to death. Jesus went through all of this with His eyes wide-open out of obedience to His Father’s will for you and for me.

Recently, I was reading about the incredible temptation that Jesus endured at the hands of Satan. I think what happened is absolutely awe-inspiring. As it reads, part of the temptation occurred when taking Jesus up to a very high mountain. He was offered all the kingdoms of the world in all their glory, with all their wealth, power and pleasures, and with all the
trimmings. Satan was tempting our Lord to forget God’s plan for Him. He was attempting to get Jesus to think of Himself, and to forget about His Father (and us).

The English word, manipulation, comes to mind. It literally means: The other individual has something that you want very much, so you will manipulate that individual to attain it by offering them what you have to get it, which in Satan’s case, is more disobedience to God.

What people have to remember is that free will is a very powerful thing. You can literally live or die depending on the choices you make. That is precisely why, when we make important decisions we must have our Lord Jesus guiding us because we might not know fully what the consequences are—when we make our choices.

Jesus had also been fasting, so he must have been physically weakened by that too. All Jesus had to do, if He wanted what was being offered, was to fall down and worship the devil, thereby defying the will of the Father, through His free will. I’m sure Jesus endured the greatest temptation a human being could ever go through, and He did it on our behalf.

I feel really thankful and humbled that He would do this for all of us. I’m certain, that some so-called Christians would even say, “I’m sure it’s not that hard to say, “No.” Not even realizing that without the strength of Jesus to help them that Satan already has the upper-hand on everyone, and can easily tempt them into doing whatever he wants.

Jesus could have thought exclusively of Himself and collected all that Satan was offering Him, all the kingdoms of the world and all their glory. He had the choice to defy His Father’s will, and we as the human race would have been finished. No hope of ever being saved, separated from God the Father forever—to die in our sins.

Gloriously, He didn’t choose anything that would go against His Father’s will. His incredible loyalty and devotion to his Father’s will means that each one of us who sincerely trust in the name of Jesus Christ and genuinely accept Him and his wonderful gift of life from within our hearts, is then given eternal life.

Remember, Jesus is the One who came out the other side of temptation, fully victorious and full of the Spirit, starting His ministry for the glory of God. Remember King Solomon? He was tempted and manipulated in the end, even after the Heavenly Father appeared to him twice. We who are fallible, will fail on our own—guaranteed. However, Jesus is infallible, so we seriously need Him every day. Jesus’ first words during His temptation were:

“Man cannot live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4b).

How so very true those words are.

Remember His hard fought victory which He personally attained through his own blood, sweat and tears is only yours, if you seek Him out sincerely and genuinely. It is very important for you to know this, if you don’t already know.

In these strange and exciting times, the message is: Stay strong with the help of Jesus (Yeshua), and remember these wondrous words that we all know and love from God’s Word:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).