Friday, November 19, 2010

The Dark Side of the Moon

The mission of Apollo 8 was to reach the Moon, enter into orbit, and successfully return to the Earth. It would be the first time humans would leave the orbit of the Earth, and it would be the very first time a human being would lay eyes upon the dark side of the Moon. Since the Moon rotates once every 27.3 days, and since it revolves around the Earth the same amount of time, only one side of the Moon faces the Earth.
But when the men looked upon the dark side of our Moon, they discovered that it was similar to the lighted, or near, side. It had distinguishing craters and the basic soil makeup as the opposite hemisphere. The visible side of the Moon revealed with great accuracy how its far counterpart would appear. With a few features that would distinguish them, they were completely alike.

“No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.” (NIV)

Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father;

And therein lies the greatest mystery of all. Jesus is separate from the Father and yet the same. Go ahead, explain that; dissect that. Some Christian sects suggest that Jesus is the Father and the Spirit, and there is no Trinity as we understand it. I can excuse such a theology since the mystery is far greater than can be captured in some systematic theology. Like explaining the color “red” to a person born blind, with what words do you use to explain a spirit, much less the Godhead? The inexcusable theology is when men suggest that Jesus was not divine.
And it is that very spiritual truth that I want to explore. Exploring a mystery is a daunting task, but when the mystery is the Lord Jesus then it is also exhilarating and glorious! And we have as our guide the Spirit and the Holy Words He wrote through the hands of men. I do not speak of some scientific exploration or fact finding mission. How many believers treat the scriptures and the Christ as they would treat mathematical problems or instructional manuals? But this is much more than an expedition, this is a pilgrimage.
We are not searching for God in the abstract or in a vacuum. We are looking for God through the exclusive looking glass of His Son Who is both the window and that which appears through the window. Do you understand that concept? Jesus is the express image of the Father and yet John says He was with God in the beginning. I hope you can feel how sacred and ethereal the ground is becoming as we step carefully into this spiritual expanse. So often we are guilty of making God a set of do’s and don’ts.
Any religion that seeks God without embracing Jesus as His only begotten Son looks in vain. They are man made houses of cards that use the glue of morality, ritual, intellect, and the works of man as its foundation. There is no wiggle room and there can be no negotiation; Jesus is the one and only Creator God. He is not just the way shower, He is THE way. Through Him and His death and resurrection there was provided an escape, a rescue, through which any sinner born of woman can believe and be saved. And if you are searching for God, look no further than Jesus.

Like the near side of the moon, Jesus reveals the Father whom we have not seen. This is no ordinary mystery; this is THE mystery. But Jesus Himself publicly claimed to be the answer to this mystery, and He made sure His words were etched in paper and preserved throughout history. Even though wicked men attempted to eradicate and destroy the Scriptural record of His teachings, He was faithful to preserve them. And faced with the open and obvious teachings from His own lips, other wicked men attempt to change and distort what the Christ has said.
Look at Jesus. See the Father God. Two as one. Profound. Deep. And for our benefit God has given Himself names that mean something to us like Father and Son, and yet God is a spirit. The revelation is expansive and beyond human capture, but it has also been presented in childlike form. Man craves technology and knowledge and he rejects things that seem beneath him and without the necessary intellectual challenges that draw self applause. To the post modern mind, Jesus is way too simple to be the complete definition of the Creator. Sinners demand a hearing and are way too sophisticated to embrace profundity when it appears in simplicity.
Things that tingle the mind feed the fallen nature. Philosophy and imaginations fueled by “what if’s” and “How about’s” are gobbled up by the fallen masses educated by heathens and infidels. And the simple and humble man born to a peasant woman who allowed himself to be murdered is not even worthy of honorable mention when it comes to who is God. But He will be mentioned only if He is stripped of His claims and presented as a good or great man who had good ideas and probably manifested some divine traits.
But if a man stands and declares that he does not believe the far side of the Moon resembles the near side he is called a fool. But men who declare that God looks nothing like Jesus are called intellects. But every once in while one of their own countermands that dictate and leaves the reservation. Every once in a while the Spirit soars the wall and lights upon one of these intellects, and in a miracle that sinner comes to childlike faith in the Lord Jesus.
And when asked what is God like, the born again follower replies, “God is like Jesus. Jesus is God.” And that is usually unpalatable to the carnal mind and the fallen religious mind. It is not that God is simple. He is deeper and more profound than human minds could ever comprehend, but He has lovingly condescended in order to reach us. And God wasn’t satisfied with reaching out to us; He became one of us. Coming to us as a man, and in the likeness of sinful flesh, God says through the lips of Judah’s son, His own lips, “I AM. You who seek God, look at Me. I am God."
John tells us that it does not yet appear exactly what we will be when we get to the eternal dimension, but we do know we will be like Him. Who? Jesus. Read the Book of the Revelation and you will find something very curious. The Father and the Spirit willingly take a back seat, and the centerpiece of the book is Jesus the Risen Christ, the Lamb of God, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. The unseen side of God has now been revealed. And He doesn’t just look like Jesus…He is Jesus. The mystery is solved as the mystery continues. Halleluiah to the Redeemer King!!!

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