Summary: Jesus is the warrior who rises to defeat the enemy, satan.
The Warrior Rises
October 14, 2012
Do you ever watch wrestling? Some people are afraid to admit they do. I’m not, actually, I used to watch it. I watched wrestling back in the day when it was not quite as popular. It was on TV every week.
I remember watching some of the meanest wrestlers imaginable. There was The Crusher, Baron von Raschke and my favorite was Dick the Bruiser. Although, the Baron was known for his deadly claw grip. They were some of the dirtiest wrestlers on television. It was great to watch and my high school even hosted an event with some of these wrestlers participating. It was amazing to see them close up.
Well, for thousands of years, the nation of Israel looked for guys like these. Guys who had a famous claw, or were called bruiser. But they weren’t looking for a wrestler; they were looking for a warrior. They expected him to be a bruiser because he was predicted to be one.
Last week, I spoke about when satan caused the world’s greatest tragedy by successfully tempting Adam and Even to sin. War broke out between good and evil, between God and satan. The only hope for this world was that a warrior come, fight this war, and defeat the enemy. He would do it by being a bruiser, as we read in Genesis 3:15: And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel (Genesis 3:15). Remember, this was God talking to satan.
From that single prophecy, the picture of a warrior began to form in the minds and hearts of rabbis and Old Testament scholars throughout the ages. They expected this warrior not only to defeat satan, but to take over this world and usher in a kingdom where Israel would be restored to its rightful place as the most dominant nation on earth. No one could touch Him. No one could pin His shoulders to the mat. No one could hurt Him. He was the Warrior, the bruiser, the one with the deadly claw grip which nobody could escape.
God did send this warrior. He didn’t just send a soldier. He sent His Son. He sent Him to fight a battle He didn’t ask for, to finish a war He didn’t start. But to Israel’s surprise, this warrior wouldn’t fight and win by killing. He would fight and win by dying. When you understand why Jesus died on the cross and what happened after His death, you understand why He’s the only one who could give us the ability to conquer the two greatest problems this world faces: sin and death. Jesus is the only warrior who could defeat sin and death.
It’s difficult to imagine the shock, the confusion and the despair people felt when Jesus was tortured and crucified. Many people believed He was the Warrior they longed for. But how could this be? How could this warrior die without firing a shot, without throwing a spear, without shooting an arrow, without wielding a sword. Only Jesus could be this warrior, and you won’t understand that until you understand why Jesus died.
One reason why many people don’t take Jesus seriously is they either don’t understand why He died, or they understand, but don’t believe. Most of us know where Jesus died, when he died, and how he died. But have you ever stopped to think about why he died?
The Old Testament gives us clues. Any Jewish rabbi will tell you the greatest night in the history of Israel was the first Passover. Israel lived in slavery under Egypt for 400 years. God promised to free them so they could begin their journey to the Promised Land. Moses repeatedly warned Pharaoh to let God’s people go. Moses warned Pharaoh what would happen if he didn’t.
On the night that God was going to free Israel, God sent an angel into every home in Egypt to kill every firstborn child. This would force Pharaoh to let the Israelites go. At the same time, each Israelite household was instructed to kill a lamb and paint the blood over the doorpost. When the angel saw the blood, he would pass over the house, and everyone in the house would be safe. From that time until this very day, Jews have celebrated the Passover in remembrance of their exodus from Egypt.
After the Passover, God instituted a system of animal sacrifices to continue the principle of blood covering sin. People could bring a lamb to a priest and have the priest kill the lamb and take its blood as a symbolic covering for the their sins. For hundreds of years, people went to the tabernacle to make sacrifices.