The devil delights to mock us. When he isn’t filling us with pride, he tries filling us with shame. We are told by the serpent, often through his respectable mouthpieces, men like Marx and Freud, that religion is a superstitious reaction to forces beyond our control, an opiate. We are told that Jesus is a crutch, and that religion is for the weak. The devil wins best, however, not when we concede the point, but when we fight it. We beat our chest, and become macho for Jesus, showing ourselves again to be fools. We whip out our strength credentials, and the devil laughs. He shoves us to one side of the horse and we in response fall off the other.
Jesus isn’t a crutch for me, not because of my strength, but because of my weakness. A crutch is no help to a dead man. Jesus is more than a crutch, more than a wheelchair, more than CPR. He is life. Not only is He necessary to give my life meaning, but only in Him does meaning have life. Is He a means to help me face up to the harshness of this world? Yes indeed, but far more than that, He makes me able to face the harshness of the next world. It isn’t that He makes this world bearable, but that, because He bore my sins, He allows me to miss an unbearable eternity of anguish.
We are the fellowship of the weak, who rejoice in our weakness, for once we were fully dead. We were dead, and now we merely stumble. We are the ones who can’t face reality, the reality of His wrath. Because of Him, we won’t have to. We who once dwelled in darkness now live in light. And we who were once fools, are fools still.
When the devil accuses us, of weakness, of fear, of hypocrisy, of selfishness, let us speak with boldness that it is all true. We’re guilty as charged. But it is not true of Jesus.