John 2:19 – “Destroy this temple and I will raise it up again in three days.”

Who said Jesus can’t ‘throw down’?  Jesus is throwing a gauntlet down right at the devil’s feet.  Instead of fearing death, Jesus challenged it! Instead of running from the horrible experience that was coming, He ran at it with the promise that death would not keep Him down.

I wish I could say that this is what I do when the enemy comes to my door with suffocating threats. However, my most common reaction is to panic and cower in fear. There’s often some emotional thumb sucking and a tantrum or two. So if Jesus is my example, anything less than a “Go ahead, Devil. Make my day” attitude is not reacting as He did.

So why could Jesus run at the threats and throw down a challenge when He was opposed?  Because He knew Who He was and what He was called to do.  And He knew the One Who promised resurrection life to Him is faithful to execute on every word He’s spoken.  That’s the perspective that is going to give me the courage to stand up to all threats and fear and even face down death if I have to.

Speaking of facing down death, there are people in the world who are in physical peril for the Gospel right now.   Their lives and the lives of their families are on the line every day because of their faith in and service to Jesus Christ.  This scripture must be so encouraging and comforting to them as it reinforces their faith that Jesus conquered death, hell and the grave, triumphing over all of it.  If their lives are required of them, the Firstborn from the dead has assured them of resurrection to eternal life. That’s not a myth or a happy thought.  Until we’re faced with those decisions, we’ll never know how real heaven is – and how close it is to each of us.

As for me though, up to this point, I have not lived a life in danger because of the Gospel. My life and lifestyle have not been in jeopardy because of my faith in Jesus.  However, with the state of the world and national affairs, I am foolish to think that the day couldn’t come when I am asked to  choose between my life and my confession of faith in Jesus. Only my relationship with a living Lord will cause my mouth to speak the truth in that moment.  Anything less will not sustain and hold me fast when my life is on the line and I am faced with the possibility of death.

To be continued…

Come back for Part 2 on Friday!