The cancel culture is getting out of hand in our world. It seems that the slightest misstep or offense gets answered with boycotts or cancelation. The Church is no different. However, Jesus cannot be canceled.
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This world we live in is crazy. It seems that many have lost the ability to respect one another and have civil discussions about things we disagree on. People are more and more becoming intolerant of anyone or anything that does not agree with them completely. One look at the news around the world will show the call for boycotts of companies and cities all because they took a political stand one way or another.
Social media sites are silencing people because of the things they post. We are not talking about illegal things, just posting stories, thoughts, or opinions that do not fall in line with the site’s thoughts and ideas. There is nothing illegal about that, but it continues to fan the flame of this cancel culture we find ourselves living in.
The Church and Jesus are prime targets of those that want to cancel everything they do not agree with. This is nothing new. God’s people have been under attack since the day Adam and Eve disobeyed God and allowed sin into the world. The devil has his sights set on the Church and will stop at nothing trying to silence her. But guess what friends, Jesus cannot be canceled. We are going to look at a few passages of scripture where an attempt was made to cancel Jesus, and it did not work.
Trying To Cancel Jesus at Birth
Satan started right out trying to cancel Jesus before he was born. He started out trying to discredit Mary and the miracle growing in her womb. Let’s read Matthew 1:18-21.
(18) This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. (19) Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. (20) But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. (21) She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
The first thing the devil tried to do to cancel Jesus was to try and get Joseph to divorce her because she was pregnant and not by him. But an angel of the Lord came to him in a dream and told him not to worry. Mary was carrying the Son of God. If he had divorced her and sent her away, her credibility would be nothing and Jesus would not have the lineage necessary from both parents to fulfill prophecy and take the throne of his ancestor, King David.
We then learn that King Herod wanted to cancel Jesus because he was jealous. He instructed the Wisemen who traveled from the east to tell him where and when the Christ child was born. He then had all male children born in that area under the age of 2 killed hoping to kill the Messiah before he could fulfill his purpose. Let’s read Matthew 2:13-15.
(13) When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” (14) So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, (15) where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
God was making sure that Jesus could not be canceled by encouraging Joseph and Mary to flee to Egypt and keep His son safe.
Trying To Cancel Jesus With Temptation
Once Jesus had grown and was ready to start his earthly ministry he was baptized in water by his cousin, John the Baptist. Once Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River he was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness where he fasted and prayed and was tempted by Satan for 40 days. Let’s read Matthew 4:1-11.
(1) Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. (2) After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. (3) The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” (4) Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” (5) Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. (6) “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'” (7) Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'” (8) Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. (9) “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” (10) Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'” (11) Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
Satan tried to tempt Jesus through hunger, selfishness, and power. Each time Jesus responded with scripture and did not fall to the temptation. Satan then retreated and waited for another opportunity to cancel Jesus.
If Jesus had fallen to even one of the temptations, we would not be able to stand on the promise of salvation through his sacrifice. For us to be forgiven once and for all and brought back into a right relationship with God, a perfect sacrifice had to be made. Jesus is that perfect sacrifice on the Roman cross. Jesus could not be canceled through temptation.
Trying To Cancel Jesus Through Crucifixion
Satan finally tried his best effort to cancel Jesus. He got the people all angry and convinced them that all their problems were because of Jesus. He had a lot of influence over the religious leaders and teachers of the law. They had fallen to the temptations of power and selfishness and Jesus stood in the way of that. They wanted Jesus canceled. They wanted Jesus dead.
We read the story of Jesus’ betrayal, arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection in John chapters 18 through 20.
Jesus was brought before the Roman government to be tried and executed for violating the Jewish law, which he had not done. The religious leaders lied and found people who would bear false witness against Jesus. Satan must have been so pleased with himself. He must have thought he finally was about to get God’s plan to redeem mankind canceled. He was about to cancel Jesus.
When Jesus died on the cross, the world went dark. The devil had won, or so he thought. But God did what God does. God resurrected Jesus. He brought him back from the dead. Jesus beat death. You could say Jesus canceled death!
The work Jesus did on that Roman cross and spending three days in the grave was the sacrifice necessary to fulfill our sin debt once and for all. This was why Satan wanted Jesus to be canceled. If Jesus did not pay our sin debt, we would still owe it. We would not have access to God eternally. We would spend eternity in Hell with Satan.
John 3:16 – 17 says it so well.
(16) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (17) For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Satan could not even cancel Jesus with death.
We could go on and on about times that the devil tried to cancel Jesus or after the Church was born how he has repeatedly tried to cancel the Church. We may go into more depth on that in the future.
The devil has been trying to get the world to cancel Jesus since he was born. He continues to try. But guess what; he will not succeed because Jesus cannot be canceled.