Nothing is an intriguing subject, especially when we consider it in light of the exchange that took place on the cross of Jesus Christ. It is, after all, the venue for a trading session that is the only one of its kind that exists. ‘Nothing’ has an intriguing definition in that regard, because it is precisely the commodity that was traded.
Having just reminded His disciples again that His departure was imminent, Jesus said, “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me” (John 14:30 NKJV). What He was saying is that
Satan was coming after Him, and that there was ‘nothing’ in Him that the devil could claim as his own. No other human being in history has been able to say that with any honesty at all. Ever since the Garden of Eden, we who were created in the image of God have been conformed more to the image of the serpent than that of our Creator. We are naturally bent toward acting like the one who deceived us, to think and act like him—disobedient, dishonest, selfish, rebellious, deceitful, obstinate, destructive, etc. Anything that looks like God in us has to be imparted.
The Apostle Paul had a ‘nothing’ statement as well, but it was different. He said, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.” (Romans 7:18 NKJV). Paul declared unequivocally that apart from qualities that were imparted to Him from God, there was ‘nothing’ in him that was good. To say it simplistically, Satan could find ‘nothing’ in Jesus that was like him—nothing to claim that was sinful or less than pleasing to the Father. On the other hand, God could find ‘nothing’ in Paul’s natural state that was good, in spite of a life of passionate religious fervor. They both had, if I might say so paradoxically, their own abundance of ‘nothing’. On the cross, a trade was arranged, and God held back nothing in order to give those like Paul, and me, who had nothing, everything. Now, because of the cross of Jesus, Satan looks at me and gets, well … nothing.
© 2014 Gallagher’s Pen, Ronald L. Gallagher, Ed.S. All rights reserved.
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