A great story unfolds of the coming Christ in the Book of Daniel. It points across the centuries to the coming of the Son of Man, from the beginning of His ministry to its end. He came in a time not unlike the three Hebrews Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; Nebuchadnezzar, the golden image, and the furnace. In the beginning of His ministry, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil and “the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory, and he said to Him, ‘All these things will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” All the kingship of the world is yours for the taking if you will submit to the world’s ways and forget God’s high demands. As if in a flash, Jesus saw the veiled threat behind the shiny promise if He should refuse the seven times heated furnace of the cross. “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘you shall worship the Lord your God, and serve only Him.” ‘Get out of here, Satan, God can deliver me, God will deliver me, ‘but if He doesn’t,’ I will not bow down to you.’ This is at the beginning of the story, but at the end Jesus is silent before His judges, Herod, Annas and Caiaphas and the rest. It is as though he were saying, I will not be careful how I answer you in this matter. My father can deliver me. He has legions of angels that come to His whistle, and to mine for that matter. But if not, if this cup does not pass from me, if the fiery furnace of Golgotha awaits Me, I will not compromise the truth.
We too can rest our case on standing firm. It may become a much greater stand if we are asked to participate in the ‘but if God doesn’t’ aspect of our standing. It may get hotter, it may be more painful, filled with more sacrifice, but we must stand firm, believing it is worth it and that compromise has no place in us.
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me. Yet not my will but yours be done.” Jesus