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“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, November 15, 2011

Death for life, Pt. 2

The woman looked young again. Her bloated face lost the water retention and her body resumed its normally filled-out, beautiful petiteness. But within her heart raged an austerity that nothing except love could console. Each visit to her true friend and life saver perpetuated the pervasive void of self-exaltation and self-indulgence. She was emptied of self and this divinely-made program ensured that she would not fall again into selfishness.

Then, one day as the man lay meditating on the goodness of God and on His word, the urge came to wiggle his big toe. So he bent his will to do that and, to his great joy, he could see the sheet move. When his wife came in to speak to him, he showed her his toe. Hope sprang up in her and they rejoiced together.

A year later he was hobbling stiffly between furniture and doorways and his wife was taking him on walks outdoors. Within two years he was moving about weakly but fully functionally. By the third year he returned to his work.

Now nothing could break the bond between the young healed woman and the older healed man, especially after their suffering had ended. They had passed through a difficulty together. Forever would they be bound. She might relocate to the other end of the world, but her natural born pride would remain stanched. As also would his.

The purpose for all of God’s plans is the end product of “charity out of a pure heart.” (1Tim. 1:5). Since the beginning, Providence has used tragedy to break through the concrete-like barrier that man has had toward God and His righteousness. “Death Reigned” (Rom. 5:14) has been God’s subtle and all-wise antidote to shock and transform man’s haughty and hardened disposition.

What we need more than life and health is death to our self- sufficiency. We need this salvation today and will throughout eternity. Our health and life depend on humility and the willingness to forget self, to forgive our enemies, to give and be spent on others.

This is righteousness; this is God’s righteousness, His character and His will for creation. His righteousness is born of love for His creatures; His righteousness and love, His justice and mercy, always flow out of Him together, blended homogenously. Only sinful man, of all the creatures in this world, operates on the aberrant policy of “me first and foremost.”

We could never have escaped this self-directed, self-destructive mindset, built into us by inheritance unless we might see by inescapable revelation the suffering that our sinful mindset brings to God. Only when we are forced to look upon the pains He has endured—and even more so, the pains He has suffered to save us—does our love of sin, love of pride, flee from us.

We must peer into the blinding conviction of the price that God has paid to have mercy toward us in our faultiness and arrogant destruction to those around us. Our faults and short-comings slay Him. He could have performed our duties infinitely perfectly, yet He must endure with our grievous imperfection; and on top of all that, our arrogance and insolence in the face of His offer of forgiveness and acceptance, is almost more that He can bear. So He has appealed to advocacy in His Son. None other than the Son, and not even His imperfect holy angels can settle the Father’s pain and wrath toward our sinfulness.

But He endures the pain; He sacrifices self because that’s what righteousness is and righteousness is what the Father loves to do and to see. There is no self-sacrifice without pain. There can be no grace without the sacrifice of self; therefore, there is no grace without feeling the pangs of death. When one trespasses another, someone must die; it’s the eternal law. Either the trespasser dies, which would execute justice; or the victim dies, which, though sad as it is, deals grace to the trespasser. But a death will take place. It must. Either we, the victimizer, die or God, the sinner’s Victim, dies.

God’s grace, “grace that will cover all my sin,” as we sing it, comes at a great cost to Him. We need to never forget this. Though it comes freely from God, it does not come free from Him. He freely gives it to us, oh yes, He loves to give it; but it comes heavy with cost to His soul. As Christ rejoiced to suffer while hanging on the cross, “who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame” (Heb. 12:2), so does God love to be gracious, even in the eternal living death that He suffers in the presence of sin.

This makes the angelic hosts surrounding the throne sing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” (Lk. 2:14;Rev. 5:13).

Thus, the placement of a High Priest and a sanctuary. That we might comprehend the depth of our sin and the atrocity of our killing God’s Spirit in comparison to His holiness and purity and accepting our wrath toward Him; that we might conceptualize the price of His death in order for Him to legally, and in propriety, accomplish our forgiveness and reconciliation to Him, the heavenly sanctuary triage unit was put in place.

The Law that was given “because of transgressions,” (Gal. 3:19) has always stood as the herald of God’s pain in contradistinction to the degeneracy of the man who is willing to see that that Law is the door into grace if said sinner would look into it and continue therein. Then he could sense the pain of God; then he would be crucified with God and be counted worthy of justification. “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.” (Ps. 103:13). Through the sanctuary and the Law, God “might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Rom. 3:26).

God has forewarned, that He “will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” And, “For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me.” (Ex. 34:7;20:5).

But He will be “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin,” “shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments.” (Ex. 34:6,7;20:6).

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