These three words, as you read them in this particular order show us very plainly what was really important to Jesus as He was preparing to travel down the very lonely and daunting path to the cross—completely on His own. And He did it all with humility and conviction in His heart. He put God first, others second, and Himself last.
He knew full well, that what He was going to do would be the hardest and most difficult task that He had ever undertaken. To do this, He had to humbly relinquish His own will and submit Himself completely to the wishes of His Father at any cost.
He would endure one of the most harrowing and ghastly experiences that anyone on this earth could possibly suffer through; to willingly lay down His own life on our behalf at His crucifixion; to finally and deliberately fulfil what was prophesied centuries before: “A sacrifice to end all sacrifices.”
You have to remember, too, that at any given moment during all of this, Jesus could have simply decided that He just didn’t want to do it anymore and say to Himself, Enough, I’m done with this, and pulled out, so He would not have to go through with it.
If this had happened, Satan would have considered this a massive victory, and it would certainly have condemned all of us; every single one of us (all of humanity). Condemned to die in our sins with no possible way of ever being reconciled with our beloved Heavenly Father in His kingdom.
It is quoted in Matthew 26:53 and 54:
“Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?”
Jesus even knew the size of His rescue team if He had decided to change His mind just. I’m sure that this was only a small part of what He knew, this knowledge that He Himself possessed in advance.
Now I looked this up: Twelve legions of angels is a total of seventy two thousand of them. That is quite a heavenly host, and He did say more than twelve legions of them. That is quite a rescue team isn’t it?
This life-changing decision could have come during the period of his severe fasting before the great temptation, or even the during the great temptation itself, or at any given point leading up to and including His horrible crucifixion.
Remember, Jesus had been physically weakened by being exposed to the harsh elements in the wilderness at that time. The extreme cold at night-time with the howling winds, and the extreme heat of the day with no shelter, and He personally endured weeks of extreme fasting with no water as well. He was preparing Himself for an incredibly eye-opening and potentially consuming temptation that was coming His way, that He had to go through all on His own.
This temptation was so great that if any one of us was standing there in His place at that time, we would have been completely swallowed up by it in an instant. We would have capitulated easily, and failed ourselves and our beloved Father in heaven miserably. It clearly shows that every single one of us born into sin would never have made the cut if we had been there.
Only He made it—our beloved Lord Jesus. All of us should have tears of gratitude for what He did, because he went through the fire for us—to save us from our sins. He was clearly in it for the long haul, for his beloved Father in heaven and for us.
Because of his unswerving obedience to his Heavenly Father and His selfless act of sacrifice on the cross for us, and His glorious resurrection from the dead, this absolutely guarantees that everyone who has sincerely accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour has access to a wonderfully satisfying and fulfilling relationship with Him, and with our beloved Father in heaven.
It is quoted in John 4:34:
“Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.”
Those of us who are privileged to have heard Jesus and have embraced His lovely voice calling to us from within our hearts (after hearing about Him or discovering Him in the pages of our Bibles), we can then in faith, breathe a sigh of relief at how He committed Himself with steely determination to fulfil the wonderful will of God, and to take it to its full and saving conclusion.
When we follow the humble story of Jesus in all it’s wonderful detail, how He was born, how He lived His life on this earth, and how He died and was raised from the dead, we just sit and read it in awe, and say to ourselves, “Wow, how incredible!”
Amazingly, throughout all of this, Jesus remained completely sinless and without blemish in the eyes of his Heavenly Father, even after the many times He was constantly being pushed and tested and irritated by evil men and Satan himself.
He stayed true and as straight as an arrow throughout His entire life on this earth. He had the incredible will and fortitude to go through all of this, just as it was foretold in the Old Testament hundreds of years before—that He would be the humble and loving Messiah who would suffer greatly to save us from our sins in His horrible crucifixion and glorious resurrection from the dead.
Jesus Himself accepted the burden of sin exclusively upon his narrow shoulders, and all for a world that was groaning under the tremendously punishing weight of sin, and with all the terrible and shocking consequences that came with it.
Unlike a lamb who knows absolutely nothing at all of why he is being sacrificed, this loyal and dedicated Son of God knew everything well in advance; every ghastly detail that was coming His way.
This is exactly the reason why He had to live completely without sin before His Father’s face, so his own death on the cross and resurrection afterward would be for everyone, and not just for Himself. Thankfully, He was determined to stay the distance, and to complete His Father’s will.
Don’t you all agree what an incredibly touching love story this is? Every single one of us should humbly bow our heads with tears in our eyes, and sincerely give thanks to our beloved Father in heaven—for the incredible benevolence that He has shown toward us through this incredibly selfless act of humility and sacrifice. The sacrifice of His only Son, Jesus.
If Jesus didn’t have determined loyalty to His Father in heaven, all of us would have be in a lot of trouble. None of us, not even a single soul would be worthy enough to stand alone in the holy and breathtaking presence of the Most High God in His kingdom.
Remember, every single one of us is totally helpless and utterly incapable of saving ourselves on our own. We could never experience the wonderful joy of walking happily with our Heavenly Father because of our own sins. It must be acknowledged again that only those who have sincerely accepted Jesus as his or her personal Lord and Saviour will ever be able to enjoy this amazing and freely available gift of eternal life and happiness.
I think you would have to agree that when we step back for a minute and look at this objectively, it is quite a shocking reality check to realize that Jesus went through all of this, a life of total humility and dedication to his Heavenly Father’s will and put Himself last on this list. All so He could personally bring us back, finally and happily into the presence of the Most High God, completely washed with His wonderful life-giving and redeeming blood at His crucifixion and glorious resurrection from the dead.
When it comes right down to it this is precisely what the great temptation was all about. It was specifically and expressly designed by Satan with everything, and I mean everything completely evil, enjoyable and consuming of this world, heaped onto this one particular bandwagon, to get Jesus to forget all about doing his Heavenly Father’s will—by his own conscious free will choice. And to tempt Christ into putting Himself first and foremost on this list, way ahead of everything and everyone else. To have it as self first, others second, and God last. That certainly would have condemned all of us to a terrible death.
This is the one and only thing that Satan really wanted in this great temptation, for Jesus to start thinking only of Himself, and to get Him to voluntarily fall to His knees before the evil one and start worshipping him.
If this had happened, Jesus certainly would not have been sinless and without blemish anymore. He would have been exactly like the rest of us, putting ourselves first ahead of everyone else for our own selfish interests.
The crucifixion would never have take place, and certainly He would not have been raised from the dead either. Not one of these crucial soul-saving events would ever have taken place if it had happened the way that Satan had desired and hoped for.
It is truly incredible when you think about it.
Thankfully, Jesus stayed standing before the evil one—Satan, even though He had been exposed to the harsh and brutal elements in the wilderness, and severely weakened by weeks of fasting.
Thankfully, He personally made his Father’s will his own forcefully and angrily rejecting any form of worship of Satan, and fiercely turning down the self-centered pleasures that were offered to Him; all the riches, all the power and consuming pleasures and very distracting passions of this world.
He returned from this great temptation totally victorious and powerful in the Spirit so He could fulfil God’s will, and continue His life-saving mission to save us all from our sins, and to bring us back happily and gloriously into the holy presence of God Almighty, our beloved Father in heaven.
There is no denying it, the awful truth is that all of us (every single one of us) because of our sin nature would all selfishly choose to put ourselves first, and then greedily take from many of the very worldly things to offer from the evil one.
Smaller versions of the great temptation are taking place across the globe all the time, even as these words are being put together. Seriously my friends, this is a battle for our very souls.
In this world, Satan has a huge arsenal of extremely tempting and consuming distractions and passions for any one of us (material possessions, practices, pastimes etc). These things are specifically and expressly designed to get you to take your eyes off your Father in Heaven—for good.
It is precisely because we are of this world, that there will always be something that will catch our eyes anywhere and anytime. (To fold and fail miserably and to capitulate, whether it is small or great, it doesn’t matter; the object of the game is to get you to take your eyes off the One who really matters.)
Remember, without Jesus and His wonderful salvation we would always end-up putting ourselves first, ahead of everyone else for our own benefit.
This humble and loyal son of the Most High God is the most perfect example of how we should live our lives on this earth—by putting Him and our beloved Father in Heaven first on our list, then others second, and finally ourselves last.
Many who will read this message will strongly reject it and not accept the humbling of their hearts in any shape or form, and even say to themselves, “I will not do this, I will never be last, I will always take care of number one—me!” These people choose to be strongly defiant and arrogant in their hearts and think only of themselves.
If this defiant feeling is coming from within your heart, you must know right now—that this is the price for obtaining His very generous and loving gift of salvation, to learn to be last on the list just as He humbly did with His sacrifice on the cross. And for you to gratefully accept this with all your heart and soul. If you reject His sincerely offered gift of eternal life, you will remember these words in the terrible day of judgment that is coming when it will be far too late to change your mind.
The world and Satan place themselves self first, others second, and sadly God is last on the list. This is the way the world is wired and always has been since the fall of Adam. Its own motto is either, “What’s in it for me?” or “Grab all you can, when you can.”
In Matthew 1:23 we read:
“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.”
The last three words of this wonderful verse… don’t they bring tears of gratitude to your eyes, to realize that the hard yards, the really hard yards have already been fought for and won by Jesus centuries ago? But you can only get this soul-saving gift of eternal life and all the wonderful benefits that come with it by placing Him right at the top of your life: God first, others second and finally yourself last.
This serious question is put before you:
Are you able to do this, to love and embrace this very humble servant of God and what He has made freely available to you, His gift of eternal life, to make Him your Lord and Saviour? The choice to accept Him and what He has done for you is put before you now. But please don’t take too long trying to work this out for yourself.
This message is being written out of concern—for your benefit because all sorts of terrible things are happening to people every single day that are so sudden and final. Seriously my friends, time is of the essence. Sit up and start taking notice.
Please, it really is time to get your affairs in order. It is not something to be taken lightly. (But with all soberness in your hearts as you read this.) This message is all about your eternal future, it is not something to be taken flippantly in any way, shape or form.
Anyone’s last breath could happen at any time. And you don’t want to miss the Rapture. If that happens, you may never be able to enjoy and grasp this wonderful life saving opportunity, to personally experience this wonderful gift of life through the incredible sacrifice of Jesus.
A way of describing the Rapture is like this: It is like a train looming in the distance and before you know it, it is suddenly it is upon you. And if you are not ready, if you have not put Jesus at the top of your life beforehand, you will miss out on going with Him and the rest of us who are looking forward to it (soon!). So for goodness sake, please don’t take too long trying to work this out for yourself.
If you are wondering why this “all out effort” is being made to save your soul for Jesus, it is because He has asked us to do this, and because he wants to love and care for you eternally in His heavenly kingdom.
If you have not accepted Him as your Lord and Saviour, He is sincerely knocking at the door of your heart right now, desiring very much to embrace you joyously for the first time of accepting Him, with much gladness in His heart, so he can bring you back into the loving presence of the most High God, saved by His amazing life-saving sacrifice and resurrection from the dead, for you and for many.