In A.B. Bruce’s Training of the Twelve, there is a discussion about the third of the way in about the first time that Jesus was crystal clear about the fact that He would literally die– something that goes against the concept that the disciples had for what would happen to their Messiah. Peter, just coming off of his pronouncement that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God, wades in to tell Jesus that He won’t let him die, echoing Satan’s temptation back at the beginning of the ministry with a plea to Jesus to do something else, other that God’s will, to find something convenient and to fear the death that would follow.
This has been Satan’s go-to move since the beginning. His line of attack on Eve was that she could be like God, and she took it. Jesus was offered to show His power, prove God’s power, or to be given everything Satan could give, yet He withstood the temptations.
This gained a whole other light when reading in Revelation about the Seal judgements. What I found interesting this morning, in Chapters 4 through 7 was that the martyrs of the cross were begging God for justice for their deaths. God gave them white robes and told of many more that needed to join them. We then hear about the 144,000 that were sealed, and many, many more that joined the group of martyrs, dressed in white, protected by God.
This all got me to thinking. The life of ease and the desire not to create a stir, to not insult, and to not be bold in our faith is exactly what Satan desires from us. Is is all too easy to fit into the mold that the world would have for us, to keep our faith private and to live a moral life. And yet when I read of the martyrs of the faith, I found people that did the exact opposite.
That thought is convicting. Our lives need to show Christ and this is promised to be something that offends. It may offend because you try to reach out to people that others think shouldn’t be reached because of their “moral standards”. It may offend because it’s counter the current culture. It may offend because it’s considered anachronistic. But if it’s following after God, why should we fear? Why should be consider ourselves first? If it’s Scripture, and not personal preference, let’s stand on Scripture unashamed. The God that will care for the martyrs will care for us– if not now physically, then in eternity.