Wednesday, December 10, 2008

10 Things Part 5: Jesus Conquers Evil

D.A. Carson soberingly (I don’t think that’s a word) says that if you have not yet suffered then you will. Although people suffer in different capacities, as long as we are living in the present form of the world we will experience the hardship this fallen world brings. I myself have not suffered greatly in my life but I have seen others around me experience horrible things. As I read through the opening chapters of the gospel of Mark I am comforted as we are given a ‘sneak peak’ as to the identity of Jesus. He is the true Son of God with whom God the Father is well pleased. He will accomplish what this dying world truly needs, namely, rescue!

The term ‘Son of God’ can refer to a few different things but one idea is that which is found in the Old Testament in reference to God’s people. Sometimes Israel as a nation is referred to as ‘the son of God’. In Exodus we read, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Israel is my firstborn son’ (Ex. 4.22) or, “You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you, and you forgot the God who gave you birth. The Lord saw it and spurned them, because of the provocation of his sons and his daughters” (Deut. 32. 18-19). By referring the Jesus as the Son of God, Mark is pointing to Jesus as the one who will accomplish redemption. He will be faithful where Israel was unfaithful. Jesus can be trusted.

‘Son of God’ can also refer to Israel’s king. In 2 Sam we read, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men…” (2 Sam. 7.14) or, “I will tell you the decree: The Lord said to me, ‘You are my son; today I have begotten you” (Ps. 2.7). Jesus, in other words, is Israel’s true king. He is the one to whom the Law and the Prophets pointed. He will bring to fruition all the promises that God made to his people including the defeat of evil.

Jesus is the faithful Israelite and Israel’s, and thus the worlds, true King. After Jesus is declared to be the Father’s Son with whom he is well pleased, Jesus is sent into the wilderness to battle evil. Whereas Israel succumbed to the temptation in the wilderness in the 40 year period, Jesus is faithful and does not give in during the 40 day period. Jesus assures us that evil has been defeated when he goes to the cross. When evil thought that it was doing its worst, when it was all heaped onto Jesus as he hung pinned to the cross, it was actually, as John Piper says, committing suicide. It’s as if evil gave all that it had, invested all its energy, and focused it all on Christ. But then the tomb was empty. I love Christianity because Jesus conquers evil!

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