“Hear the Bells ringing, their singing, Christis Risen from the dead!” Jimmy and Carol Owens choral piece from the musical “The Witness, a favourite in churches around the world in the 1970s and 80s.
The morning of the first day of the week after the passover celebrations in Jerusalem and the disciples of Jesus were scattered. Despondent, disheartened, depressed and desperate (How’s that for alliteration?) three days before they had seen their master, after being arrested the night before by the High Priest’s guards, held for trial, like a common criminal, on trumped up charges, before the Roman procurator, who wanted, desperately, to let him go free.
They had watched as his body had been torn to shreds by the scourge; his emaciated body forced to carry the timber cross, the tool of his execution; weighing less than the shame and guilt and sin and pain that had been placed upon him as the scapegoat. Yet, he still had a word for the women of Jerusalem, not so much a rebuke, as a sign of the sadness in his heart for their rejection of hope.
Those who could, stayed around and watched him crucified, cry out to the Father and finally give up the life, all of them unaware of what was happening before their eyes, even though he had striven to help them understand what was about to happen. Unlike Abraham, who had maintained his vision of the promise, who had hoped against hope, this motly crew had abandoned all hope and were at a loss as to what they were supposed to do next.
In the realm of the spirit a whole different scenario was being played out. Every principality and power, every dominion in the heavenlies were in rapturous celebration. They had won. They were ecstatic. For 3 long arduous years they had battled, fought, tempted and inevitably lost, at every turn, as they had come against this man Jesus. In point of fact, although they knew that he was “The Son of God” they had not actually clued into the fact that he was in fact God in the flesh. A prophet, they acknowledged; a powerful and well informed prophet, they knew. But, God himself, no. All that Satan could see was his next step. He had defeated God’s best shot and he was about to succeed in achieving his original goal to ascend the heights and to place his own throne above the throne of God himself.
In the very depths of Hell itself; in the midst of the darkness; in the very place of experiencing the pains and torture of Hell, where they had dragged this prized trophy, The Lights went on. In 1Cor 2:8 Paul outlines the hindsight view that Hell probably holds: “Had the princes and powers of this world known, They wouold NOT have crucified the Lord of Glory!” You bet!
Jesus certainly had taken upon himself the sins of the whole world. He had allowed himself, by a very act of his will, to become seperated from the Father. The pains of all sickness and disease, for all of eternity and ALL of humanity had been laid upon his back with the application of each and every one of those stripes from the scourge. But, commit sin? No! Jesus Christ was sinless in thought, word and deed. The punishment that he had allowed himself to endure had been totally unjust. Hell had taken possession of the one thing they had no right to; a perfect, sinless man, the last Adam.
Unlike his disciples, Jesus, in Gethsemane, had set his vision and applied his Faith in the same way as Abraham had done with his son Isaac. He had “set his face like flint” to fulfil ALL that the Law and the Prophets had proscribed. The one thing he did not desire to do, was to be seperated from the Father. Yet “like a lamb before his shearers is dumb, he opened not his mouth.”
If you want to get a greater insight into what happened over this important period get ahold of E.W Kenyon’s book “What happened from The Cross to the Throne.”
All of this, the entire process involved in the Life, Ministry, the Death and the Resurrection of Jesus. As well as the subsequent Ascension all took place to fulfill the requirements of the Covenant that God originally made with Adam, Abraham, refined with Moses and culminated in Jesus, to establish his “New and Better Covenant, Built on Better Promises.”
The Believer, the follower, the disciple of Christ who does not know all of these things regarding their covenant with God and its origins is ill equipped to live the abundant life that Christ spoke of in John 10:10. In truth, they will scorn and speak out against any who do. But, as I said at the begining of this journey; once you do get to know and understand, what you really have , in this life as a result of the covenant with God, through Christ:
YOU WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN!
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This is the final message in this current series: Covenant of Blood. The complete series will be available soon on CD for purchase. Watch this space for more details.