I am going to speak plainly, not theologically.
I was not saved by the Lord’s grace until I was 43 years old. Before that, I lived in New England and lived a very liberal life. I’m grateful to my patient and loving Savior who elected me, drew me, and lifted me from the pit of sin in which I was living.
Until that time, during my adult life, I could not understand the phenomenon of Jesus. Oh, I understood it to be a phenomenon, all right. No one can dismiss Him, least of all the unsaved. He is a pervasive presence that simply does not go away. I used to actively wonder about His staying power. Buddha comes and goes as a fad, Allah wasn’t even around until 600 AD and wasn’t popular for a long time after that. Pele the volcano goddess waned and Ra the sun god is passe. And whatever happened to Aphrodite and Mars? But Jesus never waned and He is worshiped in every culture throughout every era.
So anyone with a brain would wonder, why Jesus?
When I thought more deeply about it, which was rare, I’d think that God wasn’t all that much to talk about, either. I mean, He sent the two humans to the Garden, supposedly, and then kicked them out of the garden
for one little mistake. He messed up again by allowing things to get out of hand and had to do an etch-a-sketch erase by sending the Flood. And He messed up again by picking the Jews, who continually messed things up throughout the Old Testament, and God had to send Jesus to do a do-over. And if the Christians were to be believed (not that I actually knew any), things would deteriorate once again and God would have to wipe out the earth and start again. I thought God was an ineffective bumbler, didn’t know what He was doing, and Jesus was just some spaghetti thrown on the wall to see if God’s latest band-aid approach would work.
Of course I was completely wrong. The depraved mind cannot even think straight. The unsanctified mind cannot know the things of God. I was a classic example of 1 Corinthians 2:14-
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
And of Ephesians 4:18-
They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.
One of the things I glory in knowing now, on the other side of the veil, is that Jesus wasn’t a piece of spaghetti God threw against the wall to see if it would stick. It is of enormous comfort to know that God ordained His plan since the foundation of the world. (Rev 13:8). That Jesus was with God since the beginning, and that Jesus IS God (John 1:1-5).
Jesus willingly gave up His life. Let that sink in. He did it out of love, and volunteered for the cross.
It is written, “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” (John 10:18)
As John 10:15 says, “he lays down His life for the sheep. Luke 23:46 says in the KJV, where the Holy Spirit used to be called the Holy Ghost,
And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
It doesn’t say “the Ghost departed from Him.” It doesn’t say “He died and the Ghost left Him”. HE GAVE IT UP. He was in total control of His life until the moment of His death and beyond.
What a beautiful moment. He knew when scripture was fulfilled and when the moment came, He gave up His life for us, in obedience to the Father.
Now next, if that wasn’t enough, think of His sacrificial death. It was monumental, even as the God-man.
|The Incredulity of Thomas, by Caravaggio, 1602
But wait, there’s more. After He was resurrected, He remained in His body He had taken on as a flesh-born babe. He showed Thomas the nail holes in His hand and His pierced side. (John 20:27). He ate with the disciples on the beach. (John 21:13). He walked and was visible to people. There is no reason to think He is not in His glorified body.
Philippians 3:20-21 says,
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
It staggers the mind tho think He descended from pure, holy glory to live in the pigpen that is earth, just because He loves us. It is stupefying to know He dwelled in human form and in obedience to the Father for 33 years. Think on this: He poured Himself into the form of a man, lived and died. Wow. He is still in that form and will be forever!!
When He was resurrected, He remained in the form of a man, in flesh. Glorified flesh, but flesh! THAT is a sacrifice. To dwell for all eternity in the likeness of the Last Adam, as a permanent reminder to the Father of His obedience and bringing many sons to His glory. He is glorious not just in taking on our human nature but in remaining our brother (Hebrews 2:10-11, 17) and continuing as the visible “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15).
Jesus was resurrected bodily and He is still in that body
He voluntarily poured Himself into flesh, lived a sinless life to fulfill the scriptures, died an agonizing death – in our place – so as to exhaust God’s wrath, and was resurrected bodily forever to be in body as our brother, friend, and Lord.
My heart melts within me at this love! I faint from its strength! I bend my knee to its holiness! Praise our precious, loving Lord! Worship Him as He richly deserves!