Jesus Never Tapped Out - Neither Should We
Updated: Dec 26, 2019
How to handle our battles like Jesus did
Ever feel like completely throwing the towel in? That despite how hard you try, you’ve got nothing left? That you’ve given every bit of energy you’ve had in the ring and you don’t feel you have the strength or energy to take one more punch? I’m there. Right now.
The one thing that I never expected to happen as I embarked on this ministry journey was the constant battles I was going to face. I was certainly overwhelmed and nervous about it all, but what I didn’t expect was the attacks. Satan, the big bully, pulling punches left and right. He’s been Mike Tyson…I’ve been little ol’ me. Getting pummeled. Gashes above my brow, black around my eye, and gauze stuck in my nose pummeled. Earlier, I was getting ready to tap out.
But then I was reminded of the Cross. I was reminded of the suffering of Jesus Christ. I was reminded of His sacrifice.
Imagine how Jesus must have felt leading up to his crucifixion. In the days leading up to His arrest, Jesus was so stressed He sweat drops of blood. Jesus told His disciples, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death”. His agony was so great, He even asked God to take it away:
“He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Matthew 26:39 NLT
But Jesus then accepted God’s will:
"Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, 'My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.'" Matthew 26:42 NLT
It was then that the most difficult battle started. Jesus was brutally scourged. A painful crown of thorns was placed upon his head. As He was weak from the torture He was made to carry the very heavy cross bar of the cross. His shoulders were dislocated. He was nailed to cross through His hands and His feet. And then made to suffer an excruciating death on the cross.
Jesus was pummeled worse than any of us could ever imagine.
But how do you think Jesus got through all of this?
First, He had to accept God’s will. Then He had to look beyond pain.
He knew how much the pain was worth it. He knew it was for eternal life in heaven with God the Father. He knew He was going home. But most importantly, He knew He wasn’t going there alone. He was taking His children with Him. Through His painful crucifixion, He was leaving this world behind and taking the sins of His children with Him, so they could one day join Him in Heaven. Jesus was not focusing on His pain in His final hours, He was focusing on God the Father.
Imagine if you endured your pain and suffering in the same way? If you accepted God’s will. If you saw beyond the pain. If you decided that the pain was going to be worth it. If you knew it was for heaven. If you knew that it was leading you home. Would it change things for you if you decided to take the focus off of your pain and instead focus on eternal life with God the Father? Would it change things for you to know that Jesus fought for our lives until the very end and therefore, we should never stop fighting either?'
Jesus never tapped out. Despite His incredible suffering, Jesus was doing God’s work until the very end. Demonstrating the forgiveness of sins on the cross in His final hours. When He uttered the words “It is finished” before He took His final breath, Jesus was declaring victory. The battle for our lives was over. Jesus won, sin lost.
But Jesus was not done declaring victory. He would stand in the ring and prove to all of us that He was indeed the greatest champion the world would ever see, the Son of God. On the third day, Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus defeated the grave and was resurrected.
Jesus conquered death!
It is through this feat that we can have the greatest confidence in knowing that Jesus will never stop fighting to bring His children home to Him. It is through this feat that we can be sure that our sins were washed away. It is through this feat that we can be certain that we will spend eternal life with Him if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. And with all that, we know that we can focus on God instead of the pain and we too can claim VICTORY.
1 Corinthians 15:54-58 NLT
"Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
'Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?'
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless."