Thursday, April 21, 2011

Samson and Jesus - a quick look at both

What if Jesus had been just a man, come to save the Israelites from the Roman oppressors? A powerful man, perhaps. A wise man. Someone people looked up to.

We have an example of what that would have been like in Judges. Let's compare Jesus & Samson.

BOTH:  Births were announced to parents by angels.
BOTH:  Were filled with the power of the Lord.
BOTH:  Caused quite a stir by their activites.
BOTH:  Willingly chose to die in the hands of their enemies.
BOTH:  Were buried in a tomb by family and friends.

But, that's where the similarities end.

Samson was a sinful human being, full of weaknesses and pride.
Jesus was almighty God, perfect in every way, and the picture of humility.

Samson thought only of his own desires, how to please himself. Bound in chains, as the Philistines were praising their god Dagon for delivering him into their hands, he only thought of vengence for himself, not for the name of God.  "...O God, that I may at once be avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes." (Judges 16:28).

Jesus came to do the will of the Father, as in the garden He prayed, "Not my will, but Yours be done."

Samson, in his death, defeated the Philistines by killing 3000 lords that were there. This is where his story ends. "Thus he judged Israel 20 years." The End.
Jesus, in his death, defeated sin, taking the penalty for it onto himself. And His story doesn't end there. Three days later he came back to life! He is also returning again, and his followers will be raised, just as He was raised, to live with Him forever.

At this time in the narrative leading up to Easter, the Jewish people are still seeking a ruler to give them political relief.  Like them, you might want Jesus to create for you a peaceful home, comfortable life, or success at work. But these "issues" pale in comparison to our biggest need.

Only Jesus, God's Divine Son, can take care of our greatest issue: The separation we have between ourselves and God because of our sin.

That if you confess with your mouth, 
"Jesus is Lord," 
and believe in your heart that God
raised him from the dead, 
you will be saved. 

Romans 10:9

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