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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.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Killed with Jesus


“I am crucified....” (Gal. 2:20).

Not simply a ceremony, baptism means the soul turned white with death, struck dead with the centurion.

“And 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?…
Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 
And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;… 
Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. ” (Matt. 27:46,50,51,54).

This goliath hardened by years of warfare, what, in regard to commonplace death, could awaken in him anything noteworthy? Yet, his cry ejected from a mouth framed in abject astonishment and horror. Caught in his own death grip, not a hydraulic plug could have stopped the expressed dying within the centurion. “Aaghhh! My God! Truly this was the SON OF GOD!

This was no silent knee jerk reaction, but total loss of composure and whole body convulsions.

“These words were said in no whispered tones. All eyes were turned to see whence they came. Who had spoken? It was the centurion, the Roman soldier. The divine patience of the Saviour, and His sudden death, with the cry of victory upon His lips, had impressed this heathen. In the bruised, broken body hanging upon the cross, the centurion recognized the form of the Son of God. He could not refrain from confessing his faith.” Desire of Ages, p. 770.

“What hath God wrought!” (Num. 23:23). Conviction! From the Holy Ghost, the power of the Most High! When He cometh He will convince the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment! The centurion saw through his objective eyes what resistant priestly eyes would feign see. He saw a principled Prince, a well-mannered, merciful Commander. He saw a conquering King in the final throes as a victim of collateral casualty while His loyal soldiers would all take the battle forward without Him, and in honor of Him. The centurion was floored.

Could we be there with the centurion, what would our own death to pride and emptiness of self sound like, look like?! What testimony would eject from our mouths before we could think to keep it in? “If these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” (Luke 19:40). I’ve been hit by hornets before and my feet took me away without my consent or command. Before I could tell them, “Giddy up, now, pronto, hurry!” (and my brain did catch up with my feet), I was quite a distance from ground zero. But, in a spiritual sense, when the soul is shell-shocked by a long blitz of evidence, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matt. 12:34), heart stony or not. Though sound bytes and bits of stone come hurling out of the mouth, God will be praised.

Could we be there with the centurion, what would our own death sound like, look like? What demolitions of soul and slaughter of pride?! Total devastation, total wreckage. “Blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke” (Joel 2:30)?

“Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations He hath made in the earth.” (Psa. 46:8).

“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?” (Rom. 6:3).

Were you ever baptized with death, “baptized with the baptism” (Matt. 20:23)?

Were you ever baptized into Jesus death like the centurion was? Have you ever died beside Jesus?Have you been crucified with Christ? Have I been? Lately? And nevertheless live? Is this what drove Paul to the ends of the Mediterranean world and to the height of the Imperial government? Is this what gave the apostles boldness and courage in the face of often deadly situations? The image of the dead, victorious Son of God branded on their minds, just behind the skin of their foreheads? Is this what made the Reformers lay down their lives? Is it what will bring in the Latter Rain? Baptized into dying with the crucified King?

The knife of the Passover was to take the life when the second hand of the hourglass on the 14th of Nisan moved across the singular moment that the last gleam shined forth from the sinking Sun into the shade of Nisan 15. Timing ranked high for this unique sacrifice. It was exactly the very, very, very end of the day, simultaneous with the very, very, very beginning of night.

That requirement must have signified our focus on the very point of death for the Prince of life, slipping under eternal separation from His beloved Daddy. At that moment with all heaven looking on in stunned awe at their High Priest, He still maintaining mercy for all His murderers who potentially could be struck with fear and repentance, and might accept His gift, His greatest pleasure and joy with the holy Father “for ever, even for ever and ever.” (Dan. 7:18). The beginning of a dark, everlasting end for the Son of God would mean the beginning of unending day for His grateful, beloved children.

“The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father’s acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father’s wrath upon Him as man’s substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.
With amazement angels witnessed the Saviour’s despairing agony. The hosts of heaven veiled their faces from the fearful sight. Inanimate nature expressed sympathy with its insulted and dying Author. The sun refused to look upon the awful scene. Its full, bright rays were illuminating the earth at midday, when suddenly it seemed to be blotted out. Complete darkness, like a funeral pall, enveloped the cross.” Desire of Ages, p. 753.

“At the ninth hour the darkness lifted from the people, but still enveloped the Saviour. It was a symbol of the agony and horror that weighed upon His heart. No eye could pierce the gloom that surrounded the cross, and none could penetrate the deeper gloom that enshrouded the suffering soul of Christ. The angry lightnings seemed to be hurled at Him as He hung upon the cross. Then ‘Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’ As the outer gloom settled about the Saviour, many voices exclaimed: The vengeance of heaven is upon Him. The bolts of God’s wrath are hurled at Him, because He claimed to be the Son of God. Many who believed on Him heard His despairing cry. Hope left them. If God had forsaken Jesus, in what could His followers trust?” Desire of Ages, p. 754.

“Christ did not yield up His life till He had accomplished the work which He came to do.” Desire of Ages, p. 758.

In utter insentient hopelessness, but filled with the scripture promises, He cried with a loud voice, “IT IS FINISHED!”, and died.

And so did the centurion’s atheism and unbelief die.

And so will mine and yours.

“For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.” (Rom. 6:5).

“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” (Rom. 6:6).

“For he that is dead is freed from sin.” (Rom. 6:7).

“Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him. For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God.” (Rom. 6:9,10).

“Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.” (Rom. 6:8).

“Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 6:11).

“Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” (Rom. 6:18).

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” (Rom. 6:12,13).

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