“Take, eat, this is My body, broken for you.” “Take, all of you. This cup is My blood of the New Covenant, shed for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood will live because of Me, even as I live …
The Love of God is so good and the worthiness of Jesus is so great that no other motivation is required, or even desired, to come to Jesus or to tell others about Him. No treasure compares to the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ. No happiness compares to the joy of knowing Jesus. …
Jesus said, “I came not to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it.” It is a repeated theme, that Jesus died, was buried, rose again, and ascended, “in accordance with the Scriptures.” The Apostle Paul writes, that all God's promises are “Yes” and“Amen” in Jesus; He is God's “Yes” and “Amen” to all His promises. …
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet is without sin.” “For in order to be a suitable high priest, He had to be made like His brethren in every way, …
I love the thought that God is completely sovereign over all the details of my life – and the world. It is, to me, a great expression of His love and a necessary ground of my great confidence in Him. I need not fear any failure of mine, any sin, any weakness: God in love …
“He is coming, and His reward is with Him and His recompense accompanies Him.” Whenever I read or remember these words I see two pictures in my mind, that mean the same thing: I see Jesus, coming, with all His holy ones, redeemed by His blood, around Him, the reward of His suffering, the recompense …
“The Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had blessed it, broke it, saying, 'This is My body.' In the same manner, after supper, He took the cup and said, 'This is My blood of the new covenant; do this as often as you drink it.' For whenever you …
When we are plagued by our failure, by our abominable imperfection which we hate, where do we turn?
The salvation which God offers us in Christ Jesus is exactly what we want – and more. It is, more importantly, what He wants. It is in accordance with His nature. What Jesus Christ died to do is to give us His own righteousness. When He sends His Holy Spirit into our hearts, He makes us new creations. The reason that He became sin on our behalf was that we might become the very righteousness of God in Him. In Colossians, we read, that “you are perfect in Him.” When God says something, it is true, it is truer than we can understand. His word is truth.
“Be perfect, therefore, as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
“What shall I render to YHWH for all His benefits to me? I shall take up the cup of salvation and go into the House of YHWH.”
“The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.”
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.”
“God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
“If we confess our sin, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
“Rejoice in the Lord. I will say it again, rejoice.”
“Your righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and the pharisees.”
“I press forward to the prize of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
“All things are lawful, but not all things are edifying.”
“For them I sanctify Myself, that they too may be sanctified in Truth.”
As Christians, we are not content with anything less than spotless holiness. What we want is to be like Jesus Christ, our Master and Redeemer. The Holy Spirit lives in us, and we hate sin – we hate sin to the death, literally. We would crucify the flesh and its passions. Indeed, we want to be perfect for our God: anything less than absolute, pure perfection is abominable to us, as it is to Him. It is for this reason that I hate the term, Christian morals. There is no such thing. Christianity is not about morality. Even the strictest code of morality is minimalistic from our perspective; we do not want to be moral, but holy. We are not content with rules we can pass; it is our desire to be spotless, perfect and righteous throughout our entire being, in our thoughts, in our attitudes, in our words, in our actions, in all things. The absolute holiness of Jesus Christ Himself is our standard and our desire. Any imperfection, any falling short, seems to us a horror and sin of unfathomably abominable evil. We detest and hate it. Anything other than the glory of God is unsatisfactory and must be thrown away. We have begun to see God, and so we are beginning to see reality from God's perspective.
When we fall short, we cannot live with it. We must be perfect and holy. In our inner being, we agree with God. It is His holiness, He Himself, that we want. Yet, we fall short constantly. The imperfection we hate with all our might lives in us, and we do not know the extant of this abomination that seeps into everything we try to do, and mars the inmost attitudes of our hearts. It is not a matter of 'Am I saved?' or 'Will God let me into Heaven?' (Such a thought may even appear nonsense to us.) It is a matter of, 'God is holy. I must be holy because my God is holy.' It is a matter of, 'I am in love with Jesus. I am enthralled by my Savior. I must be like Him.' (This is why I would never preach morality. The point is not repentance from sins, but turning to God and repentance from sin.)
When we are plagued... In Christ Jesus – which means, in truth – we are the perfect, spotless, holy righteousness of God. We are the reward and the righteousness of the Savior who became sin in our place. We are more righteous and holy than we will ever be able to understand.
Yet, we see sin everywhere in our lives. We hate it and struggle against it, and we know we would rather die than continue to sin, and yet we sin. Our love is imperfect. Sometimes, we are afraid to trust that we really are the righteousness of Christ, perfect in Him. We would not only cry for an hour about this horror of imperfection, but we feel like sitting in misery over our failure, our abominable inadequacy, the unspeakable evil of the sin which still infects us. We do not want to rejoice.
We rebel against trusting and believing God, living in the freedom that He has bought for us, and rejoicing in what He has done because of pride.
On the cross, the perfect Son of God took upon Himself all our sin. In some sense, remaining wholly innocent, pure, and righteous, He became our sin. When He was crushed, sin was crushed. When He died, sin died. When He was destroyed, sin was destroyed. He did away with our sin, so that it is no more. When He rose, He had filled death by His life – His blood – and sin by His righteousness – His blood. All our imperfections are simply gone in the sight of God – which means, in truth. He won the righteousness of God for us – this is absolutely amazing! We do not have the righteousness of a creature, but the righteousness of God Himself – of God as Man. This is more than we could have ever imagined, ever imagined that we longed for, and yet, honestly, anything less than this would be unsatisfying to us. God made us for Himself.
In the light of this, we have no right not rejoicing. Jesus, by the price of His own blood, saved us from sin and hell. He suffered what no mere man can ever suffer. He did everything, He paid the greatest price. God Himself died. Think about that! God Himself – always righteous and holy – was made sin for us. This is the most horrible, the most terrible, the most glorious, and the most beautiful thing that ever was done! The righteous and ultimate Man was forsaken for us. He DIED. It would be the greatest insult to His sacrifice and His love not to rejoice in what He has done for us. It would be to say, 'No, what You did isn't enough. I am not content with this gift You give me.' Is that not a horrific insult to pay to Love Himself? It would be say, 'No; I am not content with You. Your righteousness is not good enough.' Could there be a more terrible insult to pay the Eternal King, the All in All, the Righteous One? It would be to say, 'No; I don't believe what You did is real.' Can there be a more abominable insult to pay Truth?
Whatever we may feel, however we may fail, Jesus Christ is the Faithful and True. We really were crucified with Him. We really were buried with Him. We really were raised with Him. We really are seated in the heavenly places with Him. This is the truth. Let us rejoice in Him! Look to Him and what He has done. It is satisfactory. It is more than satisfactory. It is real! “Let God be true, and every man a liar.”
We rejoice because He deserves that we rejoice. He is enough.
Let us rejoice in everything – even our view and experience of our own abominable imperfection – because it helps us to see more truly the amazing wonder of what Christ has done for us and in us – that He makes sinners perfect saints – in every opportunity to trust Him.
“Worship YHWH with trembling; rejoice before Him with fear.”
Copyright 2018 Raina Nightingale
“And in the midst of the throne, there stood a Lamb, standing as if slain.”
“Put your fingers here in my hands and your hand in my side.”
“Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, let us hold firm our confession of faith. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we ourselves, yet without sin.”
“It was fitting for the Messiah to suffer these things, and so to enter His glory.”
“He who descended to the depths is He who ascended to the heights, in order that He might fill all in all.”
Enthroned in heaven, His humanity glorified with the glory of God, Jesus bears the scars of His crucifixion. God is everywhere, and all of God is everywhere. “All things were made through Him, and apart from Him was made nothing that was made.” Again, it is spoken of the Word, “Who upholds all things by the word of His power.” Again, it is written, “In Him all things hold together.” In a beautiful psalm, we read, “If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there, even there Your right hand will guide me. Behold, if I take the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will uphold me.” All of this, we may infer from the Name that God gave to Moses, YHWH, the One Who Is. There is no existence, there is nothing which is, which is not in Him, the One. Again, it is said, “For in Him we live and move and have our being.” His presence is the foundation and the sustenance of our existence – indeed, of all existence. Jesus prayed, “Glorify Me with the glory I had with You before the world was,” and so we know that His humanity is glorified with all the glory of God. In His humanity, He is present everywhere. It is with this omnipresent humanity that I am concerned, here.
Jesus' humanity is really human, and we have ample evidence that His risen body still bears the scars of His crucifixion: His passion, His suffering and death, were not merely the passage to His glory, but are included in that glory, part of the glory itself. He Himself said, the night before He died, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him. Now, if God is glorified in Him, He will glorify Him, and will glorify Him immediately.”
This is our great comfort, as we read, “Now, He had to be made like His brethren in every way, in order that He might become a fitting High Priest for us. In that He suffered when He was tempted, He is also able to help those who were being tempted.” In His glory, that temptation and suffering have their place, and in that we have comfort. When He rose from the dead, when He entered into glory, He did not forsake the humanity in which He grew, lived, was tempted, suffered, died, and triumphed in all this. No more did He forsake or remove the scars of His life, of His temptation and suffering, of His death, of His sorrow. He carries those wounds in heaven, and all He does is very Truth, for He is Truth. He is glorified and omnipresent in the humanity which suffered temptation no one but Himself as ever suffered (think about it: God suffering as no mere man has ever suffered! Yet, it was appropriate that the New and Better Adam should triumph in temptation far more complete, terrible, and comprehensive, than the temptation before which the first Adam fell; that His triumph should be more complete than the fall of His race).
Because it is in the same flesh that was crucified that He is glorified and lives within us now, He is able to give us strength and comfort. In everything that comes our way – in sunshine and play, in the temptations that accompany these things, in heart-crushing loss, loneliness, and searing pain, in the temptations that accompany these things – He has been there before us. He has been tempted! He has suffered! More, He has borne our sins themselves – not guilty, perfectly innocent and more, perfectly righteous, He bore our sin and all the agony of our sins. In His glorified humanity, the scars are still present, for us to trace. This is our comfort. He can give us the comfort of His own experience, of His own suffering, of His own glorified wounds. We need fear nothing: in it all, He is with us. We can never be alone. It would be very great indeed, but far, perhaps, beyond us, to know that God is with us and for us, but to know that God-made-Man is with us and lives with in us – that is, indeed, comfort and strength, sustenance and joy. When He rose from the dead – o, impossible thought! – He did not leave behind the scars and wounds of His life, His temptation, His suffering, and His triumph, but He bore them into glory, to be glorified with the rest of Himself. We live on His broken humanity – we eat His body and drink His blood, and proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes.
O glorious comfort, glorious life, far past my ability to describe or communicate, that we have in the Lamb standing as if slain in the midst of the throne. The Lamb, for He is the Sacrifice, standing as if slain, for He bears the wounds of our redemption, which is not simply redemption from sin but the redemption of our entire being, body and soul, in all its heights, and depths, and crannies. The midst of the throne, encircled by a rainbow like an emerald, with a sea of glass flashing with fire before it, is the midst of the glory, the center of all things, the very summit of heaven.
Yea, He is with us. “For He has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.' Therefore, we may say with confidence, 'What may I fear? The Lord is my Helper; what can man do to me?'” We read also, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever,” – and it is this that is our confidence, our confidence that He will never leave nor forsake us, our confidence that He is our Helper. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is risen from the dead, and can suffer and die no more, for He is glorified, and in His glory He bears His temptations and sufferings, and in this, by His life, temptations, and death, and by His resurrection, He helps us in our trials and all our sufferings, in all that we live and endure, and is our High Priest. It is by this, by the same life, temptations, death, and the same resurrection that we have confidence, peace, and joy. We will never be alone, for the Man who is God, the Man who suffered more alone than anyone has ever been or will be, is with us: He lives within us! Yes, the glorified Christ lives within us!
In the same flesh that was pierced with a spear, every eye will see Him and He will judge the nations. In that same flesh, He is with us now. It is not only in His Deity, but in His perfected and glorified flesh, the very same flesh in which He was tempted and crucified, that Jesus Christ is everywhere and dwells within believers – and we in Him. In fact, it is through dwelling in His humanity that we dwell in His Deity, for the Deity and the humanity are of one person: the Son of God. It is in Him – in His humanity, in His resurrection – that we are perfected and glorified. His death is our justification, but His resurrection is our salvation.