“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Jesus like no other

I hear agnostics say, Jesus was just another nice man, another prophet, another martyr. He’s no better than Gandhi. Socrates died for what he believed in; he was a martyr almost 400 years before Christ died.

I’ve even heard about Christians claiming that Paul was the greatest Christian, the second greatest was miles behind, and there was no third. (Christ wasn’t the greatest Christian, the original Christian?) What would Paul have to say about the acclaim so many well-wishers give him?

“Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.” (1Cor. 1:13-15).

“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” (1Tim. 1:12-15).

“I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” (1Cor. 2:2). Yes, Paul was great, but only because he was willing to be honest about his own real lack of greatness.

Paul was filled with the Holy Ghost, as was Christ, and others. “Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him….” (Acts 13:9). Peter was also, and the other apostles. “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel….” “and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 4:8;2:4). As was John the Baptist, “thou shalt call his name John…. and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb…. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias.” (Lk. 1:13,15,17). Moses was full of the Holy Ghost. “Then He remembered the days of old, Moses, and His people, saying, Where is He that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of His flock? where is he that put His holy Spirit within him?” (Is. 63:11).

“Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness…. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of Him through all the region round about.” (Lk. 4:1,14). So, what makes Jesus different from the others who were also filled with the Holy Ghost?

They were only stones crying out. (Lk. 3:8;19:40). Jesus, the second Adam “was made a quickening spirit.” (1Cor. 15:45). He was filled with the Spirit without measure. “He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: He that cometh from heaven is above all.” (Jn. 3:31). (Jn. 3:34). They were just hammers and saws; Christ was the skilled and intelligent carpenter. Moses was a wonderful servant in God’s house, but Christ was a Son over His own house. (Heb. 3:5,6). “And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.” (Jn. 8:35).

All the greats of the Holy Scriptures gave wonderful testimonies, set apart from the self-seeking spirit of the world through the spirit of Christ. But Christ’s testimony was infinitely better than Moses’ or Paul’s or Daniel’s or Enoch’s. Christ was God-breathed. The others tasted of that transfiguration and communion with heaven. They knew it on occasion, but Christ knew it non-stop. His every thought was inspired by His Father. Beyond all comparison, He had His Father’s continuous inspiration; “for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him.” (Jn. 3:34). As Mt. Rainier with the mountains which butress its base, Jesus had no peers.

Thus He was the Anointed One—from eternity never had there been a time that the Father and Son were not in a perfect bond of love. This was made visual for us in that at His very conception Christ was holy, (“that holy thing.”). Lk. 1:35. None of the others could say that, not even John the Baptist who was filled with the Spirit at 6 months in the womb, and that solely because the newly conceived “holy Thing” inside of Mary had come next to him when she visited John’s mother, Elizabeth. That “holy Thing” was the imperfect zygote of Mary held in a perfect state by the presence of God, who has been wanting to tabernacle with men again since the fall into sin.

Was it ever said of Paul, “Let all the angels of God worship Him”? (Heb. 1:6). Was it ever said of Abraham, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”? (Matt. 3:17). As holy as Daniel was, was he the Messiah? No, he trembled before the pre-incarnate Messiah (Dan. 10:5-9); and all Daniel could say then was, “There remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.” Compared to the Son of God, Daniel was dust and ashes. Paul needed a heavy dose of humble pie by means of a thorn in his flesh, lest his privilege of so many visions and deep knowledge of God should make him proud and destroy him. Christ needed no such thing; His nature was undefiled by sin and pride. Jesus received unlimited knowledge and constant vision without any danger of it making Him proud. “Butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.” (Is. 7:15). He had no fallen nature to contend with. He could be tempted, but after His victory in the wilderness the devil couldn’t get close to Him. “The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me.” (Jn. 14:30).

Abraham was glorified after passing his great test on Mt. Moriah. Seeing the plan of redemption through that experience so sanctified him that the kings of the land bowed in honor before him, to which he graciously returned the same honor. Yet next to Christ his achievements were nothing. “What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.” (Rom. 4:1,2). To the glorified Christ alone did God ever say from His bright cloud of glory, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.” (Matt. 17:5). Jesus, without penalty, gloried before God, being one like the eternal King. “No flesh should glory in His presence” (1Cor. 1:29); that is, except for His Son, Jesus Christ.

Solomon “spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes.” (1Ki. 4:32,33). And Paul “in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood…. “ (2Pet. 3:16). But Jesus ceaselessly found everything around Him to compare to heavenly things in parables. “All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake He not unto them.” (Matt. 13:34). Solomon and Paul in their deep insight couldn’t hold a match to the Messiah, the Holy One, the Anointed of God, the God-breathed One.

Moses walked with the Lord God for 40 years and saw the back of the invisible pre-incarnate Christ (Heb. 11:27). Daniel caught a few features of God’s blinding glory, “who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see.” (Dan. 7:9;1Tim. 6:16). Yet only the Son saw the Father up close and in perfect detail. “No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.” (Jn. 1:18). The apostles were sealed by the Spirit of Christ; but Christ alone was sealed by the Spirit of His Father. (Jn. 6:27).

John was a stone crying out—Jesus was God-breathed.

Paul preached the word with power—Jesus was the Word incarnate and spoke from the depths of divinity.

Moses declared the Law of God—Jesus declared His Father, the Author of the divine Law.

Abraham, Moses, David, and company, were just branches—Christ the true vine, in which the branches abode. “For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant.” “Holy Father….” Jesus lived from His Father’s life and for His Father’s love and glory. (Is. 53:2;Jn. 17:11).

We are all 5 minutes from death. If we were to stop breathing, in 5 minutes we would suffer mental damage, brain death and then full death. Breathing is so innate to life. Likewise was prayer the breath of Jesus’ soul. His life was so fully bound up in His Father, the Ancient of days.

When we are suffocating for air we fight with our entire heart mind, strength, and soul to get air. So Christ struggled and fought to regain His Father when the Father backed away from His Son in Gethsemane and until the cross. The Son of God searched for His Father’s loving eyes, but never could find them. Until the darkness covered the land, He analyzed the characters of everyone around Him, seeking for evidence of mercy and truth, the image of His Father in them. But He found no one to give Him encouragement to meet His deplorable needs, as Satan closed in. The Father had to separate from His Son, and Satan used that opportunity, when the Son was weakest, to amplify His misery and the mental and spiritual agony of an abandoned, fatherless child. The devils inspired the Jewish leaders with just the sentiments to torture Jesus in His most sorrowful point of the plan of redemption.

Jesus suffocated for His Father’s love. All His life He had known the joy of perfect communion with the impeccable God of heaven. In His human form, He had had to constantly strive for that connection, because of the weight of the sinful body He inherited from Mary. During the time between the sweetest inspirations of heaven, He spent yearning for that communion. Normally, when we breathe, we rest in between breaths. But if we were to be trapped in a smoke-filled house, we would gasp for air in that oxygen-starved space. When Jesus waited to connect with His Father, rather than waiting calmly, His soul yearned for communion as if for His very life. This world’s lackadaisical spiritual atmosphere was so foreign to His pure, divine soul.

Jesus suffocated for His Father’s love, especially on the cross, until His life ebbed away as His Father withdrew further and further. “Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin.” (Is. 53:10). The offering of His soul revealed the Father in the clearest rays ever. Seen was the strength of love that binds the divine Ones into one Godhead. The Lord our God is one Godhead because of love. And They welcome us to join Them in that same bond of love. “The Spirit and the bride say, Come.” (Rev. 22:17). His will can become the breath of our will.

“The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:24-26). Christ becomes our meditation as law is linked to love.


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