[Editorial Note: Throughout the month of April, we’ll replace our normal Key Connections with one Key Connection from the Puritan era. Today, we have an excerpt from William Perkin’s Exposition of the Symbole or Creed of the Apostles (Works 1.123-127). This is an edited and condensed excerpt, and you can find the original here.] Faith......
Think of the evils that were perpetrated against Jesus.
We usually think about the injustices we endure. But, what about the injustice he endured? What about the violence he suffered? What about how he faced all this alone because he was abandoned by his friends?
Think about the physical and verbal abuse that was poured out on him. Think about how people mocked him and spit on him and think about how he was beaten over the head again and again. None of us has endured evil as Jesus did.
But Jesus Christ was not overcome by evil! He overcame evil with good. What was the good with which he overcame evil?
It was the good of faith.
He trusted the Father, even when he could not see what the Father was doing. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).
Yet he later said, “into your hands I commit my Spirit” (Luke 23:46).
It was the good of hope.
For the joy set before him, he endured the cross. And he was able to deal with the shame (Hebrews 12:2).
It was the good of love.
Right there on the cross, Jesus prayed for the enemies who persecuted him. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). And in that prayer, he created room for them to repent.
A good response to the Scriptures today would be to come to God and say, “I don’t want to be overcome by evil! I don’t want to be defined by the evils I have suffered. I don’t want to be shaped by the evils of this world in which I live.”
There is hope for you in Jesus Christ today. Evil did not overcome him, and if he is with you, and he is for you, and he is in you, it will not overcome you either.