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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.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Seeing God when He seems so far removed

“And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.” (John 17:5).
 
Jesus had been wrapped in the glory of God since His conception.
“And the angel answered and said unto [Mary], The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35).
 
That holy Thing was Jesus at conception, and He was not only “great in the sight of the Lord, and…filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb” (Luke 1:15) as was John, but at conception He was holy, sinless. A greater than John was the One in Mary’s womb, with a “greater witness than that of John” (John 5:36).  “…For the works which the Father hath given Me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father hath sent Me.”
 
The saints will be “made…kings and priests unto God and His Father” (Rev. 1:6) “and…reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:10); “the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.” (Dan. 7:18). But, “the Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand.” (John 3:35). All power is given to Him. He is King of kings, and High Priest of priests.
 
He was not only “filled with all the fulness of God” (Eph. 3:19), He “was God.” (John 1:1). “God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him.” (John 3:34).
 
The Son was wrapped in His Father’s glory, marinated in His Spirit. In His continuous communion, He was like an infant surrounded by its mother’s love, settled and comforted. All of His life, every moment, He had His Father. And being sinless, His yearning for God was untrammeled. While none seeketh after God, He strove to have and to keep His Father constantly near. His propensity for the Almighty had no obstructions; hence, in Christ there was no frustrating the grace of God. The flow of divine love back and forth was uninhibited between Them. Because of His only Begotten, so grateful was God for this restoration of the union which He had had with Adam, that He rejoiced to make the declaration, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17), and to declare the decree, “Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Heb. 5:6). For 4,000 years sin had abounded, but now  God’s grace could much more abound.
 
Yet, the purposes of God for giving His Son to fallen mankind was more than simply to exemplify the original relation of the Edenic Adam to his Creator. God sent His Son to open again the gates of that first dominion. But, in order to do that, justice must be paid for Earths revolt revolt against the kingdom. The Son must pay the sentence of annihilation for our choice to rebolt. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23).
 
The Son of God must assume our guilt and infinite capital punishment, so that He could give us His eternal place next to His Father. Christ must take our damnation; He must risk losing His presence with us and imperil His own existence in eternity by possibly falling under Satan's temptations as Adam had. He must risk suffering eternal shame if He would enter unprepared into the sacrifice of His soul, and therefore abandon His Father’s plan for saving man and vanquishing the adversary, Lucifer.
 
Hence, the keynote of His thoughts and lifework: “I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened [restricted, afflicting My soul, denying self] till it be accomplished!” (Luke 12:50). He was made under the Law. The day of atonement was upon Him, and the challenges of Lucifer filled His thoughts during His life. Thus, throughout His life, He searched His soul day by day, moment by moment.
 
At last, the day arrived. All that the Father had put into Him in preparation for this event of the ages, all the goodness of God to which He had opened His heart, and which He had received from His Father, would be put to the test. The Spirit of fellowship and communion without measure, the glory that had enfolded Him all of His life, the packet of loving-kindness in which He had lived, the grace of God that had marinated and soaked into His innermost being, was all at once taken away.
 
The same argument which Satan had put to the Lord God concerning Job, Satan now put to the Father over the Lord GodJesus the Son of God. “And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered My [Son], that there is none like Him in the earth, a perfect and an upright Man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth [Your Son] fear [You] for nought? Hast not Thou made an hedge [of Your Spirit] about Him, and about His [ever growing multitude of disciples], and about all that He hath on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of His hands, and His [kingdom] is increased in the land.… But put forth Thine hand now, and touch His [body] and His [soul], and He will curse Thee to Thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, He is in thine hand…. So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote [Christ] with [the presence of sin] from the sole of His foot unto His crown.” (Job 1:8-10; 2:5-7).
 
Knowing this was the issue that was to be laid upon Him, Jesus endured every hardship that His Father had put in His way. He surrendered to every abuse, every shame and humiliation, every grinding upon His heart by coldness and harshness toward Himself and others. Although He must witness the acts of sin that were too painful for Him to disguise, He suffered it all in order to count the cost of His endurance that the atonement would require and be the perfect propitiation to His Most High Father for His beloved humanity.
 
Now, He has ended His public ministry filled with eternal life, and is bound to taste eternal death for every man. “And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with Me. And He went a little further, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” (Matt. 26:37-39). The “Spirit of glory and of God” (1Pet. 4:14) had eternally rested upon Jesus; but now His God left Him, taking His Spirit away with Him. All that was in Christ to bless His Father’s holy name was removed. Like a newborn abandoned by its mother, Jesus was suddenly struck with a loneliness, a homesickness, that burned in His every fiber. It disrupted His previous sweet peace; it disturbed His reason for existence. And like an abandoned infant that cries and cries and cries for its mother until it slowly stops crying and dies, so did the Messiah for His Father.

Abandoned by God and also by the world which He came to uplift and save, His last statements on the cross were made from a stark void in His soul; and a complete darkness was upon His face. His look of confidence and happiness was gone; and the sorrows of 10 billion widows replaced it. Winter replaced the previous springtime from His most trusted Father; and His eternal well of water springing up unto everlasting life, now was bitter, undiluted gall and wormwood poured into His cup. The smoke of His torment ascended up forever and ever; and He could find no rest for His soul, day or night. He had lost His resting place. The infinite depression upon His mind prevented Him from even a single erg of comfort and sympathy, or a single photon of stimulation and hope. Not one gleam from heaven would pierce the gloom. Cut off completely from His Father, surrounded by satanic and sinful elements, naked of His Father’s holy hedge, and in painful humiliation, He must accept this lot in order to open the door again to Eden for Adam and His children.
 
As much as the Father desired to restore His immeasurable Spirit to His Son, this torment was the only way to save Their most precious kingdom that filled the cosmos and Their most precious world in that kingdom, Earth. The torture of separation that was killing His most pleasing only-Begotten was the only way to resolve the difficulties in the minds of the faithful angelic hosts, who Lucifer had entangled with issues and subtle doubts of their Father’s character.
 
The Son of God, as go-between for God and man, must know the double wrath of God in order to represent the King. During His life, Christ had experienced man’s infirmities and had carefully dealt with his rebellion toward God. So, as go-between, the Son could represent mankind with all His heart, mind, soul, and strength. But, the only way to satisfactorily represent the King also, the Son must know His Father’s infinite love for the principles of His Law and the equally full repugnance in His Father’s heart toward the indulgence of the principle that is the most abominable to His kingdom—the principle of sin, of selfishness, self-exaltation and self-indulgence. Christ the mediator between God and man must know the King’s sorrow and horror toward the principles of Satan’s and Adam’s kingdom on earth.
 
Leaving the communion with His Son, no longer answering His Son’s continuous interaction, and compounding His Son’s terrible loss through breeching the Son’s hedge by the hosts of darkness, which bruised every part of His body, was the only way to get the full sense of the agony the Father suffered. He removed His glory from the Son of His bosom, and left Him in utter darkness. He left His Son in the same darkness He left us, “the chastisement of our peace was upon him.” (Isa. 53:5). But, the darkness had also been the Father’s since the moment that sin began in Lucifer’s heart. God Himself had suffered darkness because of sin and the loss of full trust from His children in heaven and earth, even from the faithful ones.
 
Under the hottest, combined wrath of God, of Satanic hosts, and of careless man, Jesus looked for the joy of life that He’d always known. He had no one from earth to sympathize with Him except memories of people who He had freed from bondage to the evil one. “A bruised reed shall He not break, and the smoking flax shall He not quench: He shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till He have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for His law.” (Isa. 42:3,4). “I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.” (Ps. 42:4).
 
If He could not see His Father anymore, if He could not sense the presence of His Father’s eternal Spirit, then He would use the infinite dearth of Spirit to remember the fullness of Spirit that He had had with His Father. He would use the empty shape of what had been His Father, and make the best of it to remember His missing eternal Friend. “He endured, as seeing Him who is invisible.” (Heb. 11:27). If He could not have His Father, He would make use of His Father’s shadow. He would grasp for any evidence of His Father’s love and righteousness. Though it would be a losing battle, but He must have His Father again. Hunger for the love and righteousness from His God was eating Him up.
 
Despite His efforts to regain the lost love of His God, the lost love drained away His strength. He died while striving to get His Father back again, at the same time keeping this beloved world. He wanted to have His cake and eat it, too; but having both Father and children was impossible because of the great rift that sin had made between God and man. He could have regained His Father’s love quickly by letting go of His earthly children and escaping the Father’s condemnation that His just God and Saviour had laid so heavily on them. But then His Father's glory would have been minimized at the less than full destructino of sin. Sin would have forever remained a potential, future threat to every creature throughout the vast kingdom. And His Father’s glory upon Him throughout all eternity would also have been lessened because He would not have done all His Father’s desire to save the hearts of mankind. Nevertheless, despite all that, it was impossible for Jesus let go of us even though knowing that His connection with us drew our damnation upon Himself from the Father. He was beside Himself in His love for us. He wasn’t being logical in the same way sin has taught us to be. He could not consider the end to which His love for His children tended; He wasn’t thinking of Himself. “He saved others; Himself He cannot save.” (Matt. 27:42).
 
In His death, the nightmare of great darkness in the Lord left upon His countenance the look of anguish and woe. With a ghastly expression He lapsed into shock. The multitudes, in complete incredulity and horror, stared at Jesus who was frozen in that horrific look of being damned into extinction. “All His acquaintance, and the women that followed Him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.” (Luke 23:49). Like so many today who cut themselves to undo their inner pains, the people fled Calvary, the place of the skull, beating themselves in the attempt to remove the image from their minds. “And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned.” (Luke 23:48).
 
“Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” (1Pet. 2:24). We become “dead to sin” because of “the body of Christ” (Rom. 6:2; 7:4).
 “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? …Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 7:24,25).
“I am crucified with Christ.” (Gal. 2:20).
 
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2Cor. 4:6).

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