“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.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

In His cross our glory

“For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” (1Cor. 2:2).
What is glory, but that which flashes into our dead souls and stops us in our self-centered thoughts and intents? What else than the revelation of love helps us lose our inborn wrath? What else sweeps away our dead self-sufficiency than love? What else shows love than sorrow for separation? When our hearts are contented with a comfortable life, we become mired in selfishness and implacable, and gain a misery that nothing can drown. We lose our capability of loving. The only remedy for this is to have in place a constant testing of that love by separation from something loved.
God has made life on Earth abounding in the tests for the hearts of men. We have death, we have suffering, in the animal and human kingdoms; and we have the medium on hand to keep our hearts revived, if we will avail ourselves of it all. Sin may have weakened our ability to grasp the potential for redemption in the trials and suffering that God sends us, and thus to make use of them to keep our love pure and our mercy alive. But, for our sake, God has given every man a knowledge of His suffering so that we can be revived from the dead.
“About the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46). Here, for all ages to come, we have the greatest display of love. We see infinite separation. We see the infinite bond between divine loved Ones. Like an atom split, we see the power of a nuclear explosion in the Garden of Gethsemane. Doesn’t that infinite separation redeem our lifeless hearts? Doesn’t the cloud of death upon the Son for the loss of His Father’s love bring us back from the dead? And if not, why not?
It’s easy to hear something so many times that it loses its impact. Even for Israel who had the purest sacrificial system, sacrificial death lost its power to redeem the sin-deadened heart and to conquer their self-sufficiency. “He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog’s neck.” (Isa. 66:3).
Such a far cry from the beginnings of that beautiful system. “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” (Gen. 3:21). “And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering.” (Gen. 4:4). They were broken in heart and in self-will. Redeemed, they were restored to the image of God. Justified, they lived for their Creator and His just Law until death overtook them.
In a previous post I’ve related the story of my wife and a kid goat that someone had given her. She immediately became attached to that little baby with its thick, matted fur; and it got deeply attached to her. But, she began to foresee the problems of raising a goat in the city, and when she met a man who had some land outside of town, she asked him if he would take the kid and he accepted her offer.
But, she never realized how attached that baby goat had become to her by her much handling, stroking, feeding, and loving attention. She ran across the man again two weeks later and asked about the little goat. He said that it had died. It just stopped eating and died.
It lost the only thing that gave it purpose to live, which was love from my wife, a source of love that it considered to be its new mother. And today as I ponder this, I read into that little animal’s mind. I see separation, a killing longing and desperation to have its mother again. I see a hopless sense of lostness; I see the baby crying for my wife day after day for two weeks, all alone in a back yard, cries that were not heard by the new owner. I see a young, disparaged heart ravaged with sorrow, a sadness with no sympathy. I see a little heart bursting with constant yearning that nothing could satisfy and unending, biting grief, grieving until death consumed it. I see an animal sacrificed. And in that kid goat I see the Lamb of God, slain since the Garden of Eden.
I also see a love so natural to the Son of God that is so hard for sinful humanity to manufacture. Sin has robbed us; service to Satan and all of his tempting idols have blunted our faculty of love. We need outside assistance to be saved from sin’s shackles. That little goat was more righteous than we are. Our little children, who retain the yearning to be loved and the need for our care, are more righteous that we are.
My wife was abandoned by her parents at the age of four. Ever since, she has starved for love and attention. Her grief and retaliation against the loss of the special love from her father, knows no bounds. She has tried to fill that gigantic hole throughout her lifetime, and never is it satisfied. Thousands have tried every chemical invented to fill that God-sized hole, to no effect. Only my wife’s father can fill her void like no one else can. Yet, even if she could find him living in that other part of the world, her heart will remain incomplete. She lost her childhood innocence that could receive the kind of love that only he was capable of giving her. Now, only someone bigger than her and her daddy can satisfy that gigantic need. Her Father in heaven, Jesus, and His almighty Father. Only They can fill her adult heart with the Comforter.
They have done for the entire human race the only thing that can fix all of its woes. They have shown us how much They have tried, with much failure on our part, to deliver us from the master that we have chosen. They permitted the great controversy to play out here on our planet, to let every member of the human race intimately know how They have suffered since our separating from Them.  In Gethsemane and at the cross, They separated from each other to cause the death of both of Them, and to reveal how terrible it has been for Them because Their children chose another father, and a ruthless one at that. The circumstances of that separation reveal a love for each other and for Their children that is inconceivable, and will be our study for eternity.
“My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46) will echo throughout the universe and through all eternity.


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