Lay weeping on the page...
Nothing was saved
Falling at the sight
Photographs of white
Bright grin and sunny days
And all was betrayed
And I think I know
The reason that your light would never stay
And all that's left to show
Are memories now, but I can truly say
I was king for a day
(If you've never heard of this relatively obscure song by Fuel, you've probably heard of their other super-hits: Hemorrhage, Shimmer, Bad Day, etc.)
Would it have mattered if Christ had chosen one little indulgence? Doesn't everyone need a quick snack or an ego boost every so-often?
Satan promised him the kind of fleeting pleasure that most people can hardly resist. But there was too much on the line. The tiniest hint of compromising would have nullified Christ's mission to glorify God and save mankind. He could have thrown it all away in that moment, as any average person would have done, but he proved himself. He stayed the Course.
Christ's flawless obedience saved and continues to save us all. His unyielding purity is so exceedingly pure that he makes up for all of our spiritual taintedness.
Christ obeyed God perfectly thereby earning His rightful place at God's right hand. So what do we have to lose by settling for less than perfection?
Every time we choose self-indulgence over obedience to God we trade immeasurable, spiritual richness for a much smaller pleasure. But at least we can look back, after we have lost everything, and quote Fuel, saying, "I was king for a day." Of course, after the fact, this statement is not comforting at all. Saying, "I was king for a day" is the same as saying, "I got what I wanted a while ago... now I am tired, poor and hungry and stripped of every good thing I ever had."
But there is a good kind of indulgence. Even if I die from exposure or starvation, if I am a Christ-follower, then I have filled up on the greatest pleasure in the universe. Even if I never accumulate worldly wealth, I still have immeasurable, unfading riches in Christ. Worldly wealth requires me to keep filling up, buying more... escalating my efforts to get that elusive "buzz."
But Christ is a transforming indulgence. The more I indulge in Him, the more he teaches me how to be satisfied. He is our the only true pleasure; everything else has either failed already, or is in the process of failing.