When He Came
The crucifixion was not a moment in time, but rather a moment in eternity. Natural laws, nor conventional wisdom, nor human intervention, could determine The Who, what, when or where of the crucifixion. It had already been determined in the eternal past by an eternal God in order to transform the eternal future. The entire human story was at stake and could not be left to chance or coincidence. So God took it upon Himself.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word with God and the Word was God. 14 And the word was made flesh and dwelt among us."
But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
When the Creator of all things laid down His life, all of His creation reacted violently.
The earth convulsed and writhed,
The sun darkened, the sky began to weep, the valleys whispered, the mountains moaned, the tides roared. The thunder blasted it's disapproval, the lightning reached out for the source of it's light. The birds stopped their singing and the animals bowed low.
Jesus, the creator, the One by whom and for whom all things were created, hung, at this moment in eternity, lifeless on that tree.
At that moment it seemed as if death had consumed the hopes of all humankind, relentlessly trampling under it’s heavy feet the possibility to ever be better, to ever be redeemed. The very one who breathed life into dirt at creation, now breathed His last breath on the cross.
Time stopped at that moment to see what would happen next. Angels could have been called to His rescue, they were not. The Divine prerogative could have preempted that moment and reversed the events, it did not. He was left there to die alone, forsaken by the human and the Divine. Death came and joyfully retrieved it’s grand prize, with the grave following close behind to seal it off forever. Creation wept and hell rejoiced and the grave closed it’s portal. But oh, the arrogance of death and the presumption of the grave.
For the scripture says in: John1:4-5:
“In Him was life and the life was the light of men. And the Light shines in darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.”
On the morning of the third day, the Light and the Life, Jesus came out of the grave alive forevermore.
And so that cross did not represent finality, but new birth. For even though the scriptures had heralded the good news for millennia, and Jesus Himself unfolded the revelation time and time again, His followers could not grasp the reality or power of the resurrection. The grave still made it's ominous threats and held humankind in fear of entering it's portals, never to escape, being held in the chains of darkness forever. But the resurrection of Jesus changed all of that. That place that should have been covered in death is now drenched in the life of Jesus. That grave where darkness held it's shrouded prey in the bondage of uncertainty, is now filled and saturated with the light of Heaven. That grave that was the very symbol of death is now the very testimony of the resurrection.
1 Cor. 15:55-57:
“Oh death, where is your sting? Oh grave, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
"But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you."
So now behind us is "the old rugged cross" and behind us also the empty tomb. Though both reveal the glory of God, they give us but a glimpse of the glory that is yet to be put on display. You see all that is going on in this present world pales in comparison to that time when Jesus comes back to this earth to establish His Kingdom.
Christ came the first time to initiate our eternal salvation, but He is coming a second time to fulfill that salvation in us in the fulness of His eternal Kingdom.
The first time He came He was born in a manger in an obscure little village. His birth was attended only by Shepherds of the field and calves and donkeys of the stall.
But when He comes the second time all the nations of the earth will behold Him at His coming and will marvel and stand in awe of the brightness of His glory.
The first time He came only a few of His closest followers knew Him and worshipped Him. But when He comes a second time "every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father."
The first time He came He was judged by humankind and hung on a cross, but the second time He comes, He will judge the nations of the earth with righteous judgement.
The first time He came His eyes surveyed the multitudes and He was full of compassion, but the second time the scripture says His eyes were a “flame of fire.”
The first time He came, He spoke words of compassion and healing and wisdom, but the scripture says that at His second coming that the words out of His mouth will be as a sharp sword to smite the nations.
The first time He wore a crown of thorns in mockery, but the second time He is crowned with many crowns as He establishes His eternal kingdom.
The first time He came He was called Jesus of Nazareth and on His cross the inscription Jesus, King of the Jews, but the second time He will be known as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The scripture says at His second coming He had a name that no man knew.
But those of us who are His followers know Him, we know His name. It is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the strength and high tower, the good shepherd, the Lord of hosts strong and mighty, He is counselor and Prince of peace, He is healer and deliverer, He is the savior, provider and keeper. He is the resurrection and the life. He is Jesus Christ our Lord and He is alive forevermore.
We have so much for which to be thankful even in these trying times. See a risen Christ during this season, and let joy fill your heart.