Imagine that there is going to be a general election in this country. There is a choice between two parties, a choice between two potential Prime Ministers: Jesus or Satan. Who would win? Jesus would win of course. Who in their right mind would vote for evil, and reject the most perfectly moral person who ever lived?
Satan would appear as a hunky, handsome man. He would be a sharp dresser, he would exude class and style. He would be charming and witty. He would employ flattery. He would act in such a way as to please the masses; he would tell them what they wanted to hear.
Imagine the electioneering, the press scrutiny. How would the two candidates fare? Take the question of taxes. What would Jesus say? He would tell the truth, he would say that if you want increased spending on health or the military or education or whatever, then you would have to pay more tax. What would Satan say? He would lie. He would say that you can have everything you want without having to pay more tax. He would even offer tax-cuts.
And how would Jesus fare when it came to controversial issues? What if his manifesto promised to take us back to Christian values that this present generation has abandoned. When questioned by the press he wouldn’t evade the questions or tell lies, and so he would lose votes because sections of society would feel that their lifestyle was under threat. On the other hand, Satan would tell bare-faced lies when questioned. He wouldn’t tell you the detail of what he would do after he gained power, his only motivation would be to get you to vote for him; he would do or say anything to win your vote. He’ll promise one thing to one constituency, and promise the exact opposite to another. Delivering both promises will be impossible, but Satan won’t worry about that so long as you don’t find out until after the election.
Jesus would attract many supporters. People would be impressed by his straight talking, his refreshing honesty, his compassion, his power with words, his wisdom. But how many people would vote for him? 5% certainly. 10% I would hope so. Perhaps even 15% or 20%. At a push 30%. But in a general election the one with the highest percentage of the vote is the winner. My guess is that many more would be taken in by Satan’s charm and wit, many more would swallow Satan’s hollow promises, and many would believe the lies and would vote in what they perceived to be their own self-interest.
Jesus vs. Satan. Who would win the election? A group of people were once given a similar choice. They chose a man who was a criminal, a terrorist, and a murderer; his name was Barabbas. Jesus they condemned to death by crucifixion.
Holy Week comes at the end of this month. From March 25th, Palm Sunday, we will be following in the footsteps of Jesus our Lord. On March 30th we will be remembering the fatal decision of that crowd on the first Good Friday.
I wish you a peaceful and joyful Easter.