Wednesday, February 5, 2014

THE TYRANNY OF SIN (Matthew Chapter 26)

Sin is a ruthless tyrant.  It is an ever present malady that bears a host of malignant ills.  It is a siren song to Adam’s kin to which they are inevitably drawn.  In its vanity fair of tempting devices it captivates those who choose to trifle with its plague infested wares.  No one can escape its damning influence.  No one, save One, can resist.  In Him alone is there hope of deliverance.

The full measure of sin’s tyranny and tenacity was evidenced in man’s response to the sinless Jesus.  In this sin-loving world the sinless One was unloved and disdained.  Jesus was well aware of His pending death (Matthew 26:1-2).  He had spoken of it often (Mark 9:30-32).  It was the prophesied and predictable response of the Tyrant’s friends.

The religious leaders gathered and plotted together to arrest and kill Jesus (Matthew 26:3-5).  His crime?  He had dared to expose them for what they were, whitewashed tombs full of dead men’s bones (Matthew 23:27-28).  The light had come into the darkness and in sin the darkness revolted (Cf. John 3:19-21).  His miraculous deeds were mis-attributed to the devil (Cf. Matthew 12:24), while the devil himself led the religious leaders to lead in a conspiracy against God.

Judas had walked with Jesus.  He had heard Him speak as no man spoke and seen Him do things that no man had ever done before.  Miracle after miracle bore witness to Jesus’ true identity (Cf. John 20:30-31).  Judas had been a witness to all of that, but the sin tyrant’s influence runs deep.  The devil held him captive and led him down a dark and dreadful path (Cf. 2 Timothy 2:26).  In the preeminent of all betrayals, Judas sold Jesus out for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14-16, 47-50).

Jesus’ other disciples were not immune to sin’s tyrannical influence.  Jesus spoke of His sacrifice for sins.  He shared bread and spoke of His body, the “bread of life.”  He drank with them and spoke of His blood, “to be poured out for many forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:26-29).  It is the nature of sin in its tyranny to close eyes to truth, and the disciples were not then understanding.  As Jesus spoke of sacrifice, they argued amongst themselves as to who was the greatest (Cf. Luke 22:23).  Jesus prayed, they slept (Matthew 26:36-46).  Jesus was undeterred in fulfilling the Father’s will, they scattered when the going got tough (Matthew 26:42, 30-31).

Peter himself succumbed.  Jesus was Peter’s dear friend.  Peter had abandoned everything to follow after Jesus.  He had witnessed His miracles, sat at His feet, and even walked on water with Him.  When others deserted Jesus, Peter stood firm (Cf. John 6:66, 68-69).  Jesus warned His disciples of another pending desertion, Peter pledged and boldly asserted His allegiance (Matthew 26:30-35).  But Peter’s pledge was three times undone.  The tyrant cannot be overcome by weapons of earthly design (Cf. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6; Ephesians 6:10-20).  Indeed, self-confidence and bold assertion lie in his arsenal.  Peter won a battle of sorts when he cut off a man’s ear (Matthew 26:51), but sin won the day when Peter succumbed to the tyranny of sin (Matthew 26:69-75).

Jesus was arrested.  He could have “called twelve legions of angels” to intervene on His behalf (Matthew 26:53).  He threw the arresting mob down to the ground at the mere utterance of three words (John 18:6).  But He acquiesced to their wicked plan and was led off to be tried by the tyrant’s friends.  Jesus acquiesced to it all ‘til in death He was done (Cf. John 19:30).  The tyrant thought the battle won, but the tyrant sin was indeed undone when Jesus bore the sins of man and rose triumphant over all (Cf. Hebrews 2:14-15; Colossians 2:13-15).

Still the tyrant rants and raves.  Still he offers to all his gruesome wares.  Still he entwines and snares with shackles and chains he would have us wear.  But in Jesus there is hope for slaves.  He has worked to set the captives free.  Wretched men we are within ourselves, but in Jesus there is victory (Cf. Romans 7:24-25; 1 Corinthians 15:56-57).  Through Him alone the tyrant is silenced and undone.

No comments: