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"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee..." Psalm 60:4

A New and Living Way
By Judah Hutchcraft
Christ is always victorious. Whatever Christ does, it is done without effective opposition. When He came to earth as a man, He came with a work to do, and that was to put all sin upon Himself and bear it away.
The Devil knew that the fulfilment of this work would result in his head being bruised--as in the prophecy in Genesis 3:15--and did everything in his power to stop the work. He started with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. All three of the Patriarchs' wives were barren. Even Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a virgin, and thus unable to naturally give birth. In these cases, children were given miraculously, and the lineage was kept alive through divine providence. When Jesus was born, an assault on all children two years old and under was made for the surrounding cities by Herod, the king. Jesus, however, was not killed. These were all unsuccessful attempts by the wicked one at disrupting the line Jesus would come from, and preventing Jesus himself, from continuing. Unsuccessful because God’s will always prevails, and His will in this case was for Jesus to put sin away.
While Jesus was on the earth, several more attempts were made to kill Him before the time. On one occasion, when the people tried to push Him off a cliff, the time wasn’t right, so He walked right through the middle of them, untouched. In response to Satan’s temptations, Jesus put the scriptures to use and the Devil left Him for a season. After all of those futile assaults, Judas’ betrayal, the capturing of Jesus, and His trials before Pilate and Herod seemed like the culmination of what the Devil had been trying to do throughout human history.
When Jesus was on the cross, it must have seemed to Satan like he’d finally prevented the work. “After all that work, my head won’t be bruised after all!” is what he must have thought. What wasn’t seen in this particular circumstance by the Devil was that God’s will even now was being worked out. “It pleased the Lord to bruise Him (Christ)”, and in that, the Devil gave himself his own deathblow. It seemed like killing Jesus was the Devil’s idea, but in that happening, Satan only bruised Jesus’ heel, and Jesus bruised the Devil’s head. A bruise on the heel might hinder activity for awhile, but it will be restored in time and be back to functioning correctly, but a bruise to the head is deadly. Something to be seen in this is that God meant good to come out of something Satan did with evil intentions.  (Genesis 50:20...“Ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good.”)
Jesus died the death that we deserved for sin, but He couldn’t have done it if He had sins of His own. The fact that He lived a perfect, sinless life, a life we could never live, qualified Him for bearing the sins of the WORLD. Since none of the sins He bore were His own, it meant that the grave couldn’t hold Him, thus being the first-fruits of them that are asleep in the grave. Had Jesus not died in our stead, the toll of our sin would have resulted in eternal death, but Jesus’ death wasn’t permanent because the sins He bore weren’t His own. The result of this is the new and living way that was opened between us and God. The Temple veil was torn in two as a symbol of the way being opened because Christ bridged the gap between sinful man and God, in whom is no shadow of turning. We can now come before God on Christ’s merit because our sins were taken away by Him.  The physical partaking of the Lord’s Table was instituted as a shadow of what we do when we remember Christ. Matthew 26:26-28.
“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
In the fellowship of the brethren, we have a Lord’s Table meditation, which is when we consider Christ and make Him a part of us. We remember His death ‘till He come, and just as the physical partaking of the Lord’s Supper becomes a part of our physical constitution, so Christ becomes part of who we are.
(I Jn. 2:6- “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”).  Walking as Christ walked isn’t as simple as “What would Jesus do?” Rather, when Jesus lives in you, His will becomes your will and you will walk as He walked. This also means that walking as Christ walked doesn’t mean that you do what He would even if you want to do something else. You conduct yourself as Christ would because that’s who you are with Him living in you. When you’re truly in sync with Christ, walking as He did comes naturally.
We are made able to do this because Christ sacrificed Himself. He gave His innocent life for our guilty ones, and by His stripes we are healed. May we never lose the wonder of God’s mercy for us. An incredible price was paid for us to be made worthy to stand before God.

“I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Rom. 12:1).