Imagine living a life where you never messed up, where everything you did was right and true. Imagine living a life where you never sinned.
Such a life would be full of peace and joy. And we know why, right? Because sin causes such pain, doesn’t it? Just think back to the Holidays that weren’t so long ago: That Thanksgiving meal which became so uncomfortable because of the shouting match between the two sisters…would have never happened, and the turkey would have tasted so much better. Or consider the dreaded credit card bill which is now on its way to so many homes because, among many other things, Mom and Dad felt such need to get little Suzy the latest and greatest dolly with all the clothes and houses. And the idolatry that led Suzy’s momentary joy has stolen away the lasting joy of her parents.
Without sin there would be none of this…just tasty turkey and stuffing…and blessed contentment.
And such was the life of our Lord Jesus, alluded to verse 15 of Matthew 3…
But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. (ESV)
The context is with the crowds on the banks at the Jordan River, when John balked at baptizing the Lord. And why did Jesus insist that John baptize Him? Because it was the right thing to do. Glorious. This was the every-moment life of our Lord, at every turn making the right move, saying the right thing.
Oh, there was pain in Jesus’s life, mind you, the pain of seeing others hurting, the overall pain of existence in a fallen world. But never any of the existential angst you and I deal with every day from our own folly and sin. What a life of peace and joy, always doing the Father’s will, always walking down the clear path and staying out of the ditch.
Never any emotional or physical pain from sin…that is, until Calvary. And then…it was complete and total, absolutely overwhelming pain. There on the cross He felt the pain of the broken relationships of a million turkey dinners, all at once. There on the cross, He experienced the shame and regret of a million bad financial decisions. And more, of course. There was physical pain too, but the worst of it was not the agony of the torturous cross. The worst of it was the agony of the Father’s face turning away from One now so completely…sin.
And all so that if we would place our faith in Him, we might receive His record of “fulfilling all righteousness”…and the glorious peace and joy that accompany it.
Tuesday, January 6: Matthew 4