The Rejection of King Messiah

This was Satan’s hour. Our Savior said to those who came to arrest Him in the Garden: This is your hour, and the power of darkness (Luke 22:53 KJV). On the day when sin entered the world, ADONAI announced that He would put enmity, or hatred, between Satan and the woman, between the Adversary’s seed and her Seed. The Destroyer of souls will strike the heel of Messiah at the cross (Isaiah 53:5). Now being bitten on the heel is very painful, but not fatal. The figurative language here is based upon the way snakes are killed in the Middle East. You step on its head and crush it. The picture being conveyed here is that the heel of the Messiah is coming down on the tempter’s head. But the Serpent, controlled by Satan, lunges upward and bites the heel of the Lord, causing pain, but not permanent loss of life. Meanwhile, the heel continues to come down crushing the head of the deceiver. The great promise in this verse has long been known as the protevangelium, or the first gospel, promising the ultimate coming and victory of the Lord Jesus Christ.

That enmity was unmistakable when the Holy One was born in the flesh, for we are told: The dragon stood in front of the woman (Isra’el) who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child, the Messiah, the moment it was born (Revelation 12:4b). This attempt to devour Christ was seen in the slaughter of babes of Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16-18). The Adversary’s attempt to destroy Christ both before His proper time (the Passover), and by the wrong means (stoning in place of crucifixion) continued throughout the course of His life.1495 Satan failed, however, because she gave birth to a son (Isaiah 66:7), a male child who was destined to rule all the nations of the world with an iron scepter as ADONAI (Psalm 2:8-9). And her child was snatched up, or ascended up to the LORD and to His throne (Revelation 12:5), where He presently sits at the right hand of God the Father interceding for His holy ones (Romans 8:34).

This spiritual battle of the ages was foreordained. Jesus is the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8 ESV). At His birth, Miryam used what she had, and wrapped Him in strips of burial cloths (Luke 2:7b). So His rejection was all a part of God’s plan. Up to this point ADONAI had foiled Satan’s scheming. But now the Father hindered it no more. The hour had arrived when the Serpent would strike the Savior’s heel.

Perhaps nowhere in Scripture is there a more vivid demonstration of the sovereignty of God than Pontius Pilate’s treatment of Christ at the Praetorium that day. First, Pilate proclaimed His innocence no less than seven times (John 18:31a; Luke 23:4, 23:14 and 15; John 19:4; Luke 23:22 and John 19:6).

Second, Pilate wanted to release Jesus (Luke 23:20); I will let Him go (Luke 23:22); Pilate tried to set Jesus free (John 19:12); Pilate had decided to let Him go (Acts 3:13), all prove God’s sovereignty in the matter.

Third, Pilate was urged by his own wife not to sentence Him (Matthew 27:19).

Fourth, he actually tried to bring about Messiah’s acquittal when he told the Jews: Take Him yourselves and judge Him by your own law (John 18:31). He sent Him to Herod Antipas, only to have Christ returned to him (Luke 23:7); and he tried to persuade the Jews to have him convict Barabbas instead of Yeshua (John 18:39-40). Yet, in spite of all of this, Pilate ultimately sentenced the Lamb of God to be crucified!1496

From the moment the Anointed One was born . . . the great dragon wanted to kill Him. And at the cross, the evil one’s plans were seemingly accomplished. But as Joseph said to his brothers: You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives (Genesis 50:20).

 

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