Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Unimaginable Majesty


Heb.1: Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:

How do you describe that which the human mind cannot even imagine? Even if we let our minds escape the realm of the possible and soar into the realm of the impossible we still can never touch the reality of the eternal majesty of the Risen Christ. God is an all powerful, all knowing, all present, and eternal being who is a spirit. So when that Spirit is made visible the majesty of that visible revelation is beyond imagination to say nothing of human words.

The entire divine plan is beyond reason or comprehension. We can understand that God created everything. When the Scriptures say that God created man in His own image it begins to be a little more complex. We can fully understand that Adam sinned and the earth and all mankind was cursed. That is very easy to understand.

We can grasp the concept that God desired reconciliation. And that some justice had to be fulfilled is also something we fully understand. A crime was committed and someone had to pay for it. We understand crimes and punishment. So far we’re with God in this narrative. Now the Old Testament Scriptures give some prophetic glimpses into a future event. Without the luxury of foresight many of them seem mysterious and unclear. That is why no one fully grasped the enormity of what God had planned. I mean the concept of a coming Messiah was well received by the Jews, however many still assigned a nationalistic quality to Him. They assumed He would come and fight for Israel and lead the country into freedom.

But the concept of the Messiah was always thought to be a man anointed and called by God. So when the Scriptures reveal this concept of an incarnation, well that is where we are just along for a revelation ride since we have no precedent, no logic, and really no intellectual place to which we can retreat and find some understanding. The thought of God becoming a man, a God-man, actually is beyond all human understanding. It is one of the main truths which cause men to stumble and reject Jesus even today. I mean who can believe such a thing? No one. Only the Holy Spirit can break through a man’s earthly intellectual pride and reveal to Him who Jesus was and is. And even then we must still receive it by faith because the glory, the enormity, the magnificence, and the monumental essence of the incarnation is so profound and so past human knowledge that only faith, given by God, can make a connection.

So now we can understand by faith that the Baby born to a virgin in the city called the House of Bread was the place where the Bread of heaven breathed His first breath. And with the Holy Spirit’s illumination we can believe that at least on our simplistic level. God did come and take on human flesh. A soaring mystery to say the least, but we can understand the concept and embrace it through faith.

But now what? I mean God now walks as a man while still being God, but what will He do to defend God’s people Israel? Israel is in captivity in their own homeland. Just how will the Messiah defeat the Romans and like Moses lead His people out of captivity and into freedom. Maybe He will use violence, but probably it will be like how Moses did it. God will work some miracle and destroy the armies of Rome just as he had done to Israel’s enemies in the past. It was still so unclear and even confusing.

But now we hear this Messiah, this God-man, claim that He was to be killed. What is this that our ears hear? When the leader of an army gets killed usually the army scatters. And here the Messiah is telling us before the battle even begins that he will be killed and still He expects us to fight alongside of Him? The conundrum deepens and widens. But then He hints that He will come back to life. Now we really are mystified and confused. How can all this be? Ok, our minds still can grasp some scenario where Jesus, the God-man, is killed in battle and God raises Him up. Yes, we can receive that and work it out in our minds. So let the battle begin.

But as the redemptive narrative unfolds we think we hear Him say that He will lay His own life down. What? He will allow Himself to be killed at the hands of our enemies? What a stretch of the human imagination, but we have come to believe so much I guess we must believe all this. He perhaps is going to die voluntarily and when He resurrects the Romans will flee in fear? Yes, that must be it.

But Jesus knows that we have worked it out in our earthly minds. You see, without the indwelling of the Spirit we can only go so far in our understanding. There is a glory, a majesty, and a mystery that will astound the angels of heaven to say nothing of fallen man. So fast forward to today. As the gospel is presented to our hearts and minds we are asked to believe that this God-man was a sacrifice for our sins and that He resurrected from the dead which proved Who He was and what He had done. Hey, we have watched men walk upon the moon. We have seen a vehicle maneuver on the surface of Mars. We have seen miracles in medicine. But now we are asked to believe this archaic religious notion as fact?

And in the midst of our fast paced and self consuming life we pause for an eternal moment. And within our hearts, our innermost being, the divine Spirit somehow communicates an unimaginable and majestic truth. We do not know completely how it all works or all the eternal details, but in a moment we believe that which is unbelievable. We do not understand it like we can understand the dimensions of our room, but through revelation we understand the gospel. And in that one eternal moment, as men would say, we get it. Simple, profound, clear, mysterious, but we get it. We will never be the same.

Like Lazarus, the Spirit has called us to come forth, and in the realm of the spirit our dead bones rose from their mausoleum of sinful death and we became a new creation in Him. Oh my. God spoke and the worlds came into being. But it cost God His own Son to redeem one soul, and here we stand, alive in Him. Now allow your mind to make some connections. I want you to imagine millions of people bring animals to the Tabernacle or the temple. Listen to the animal sounds of squealing and grunting and bleating. People are talking and the air is filled with animal smells. And these animals are literally slaughtered. Thousands upon thousands of gallons of blood are shed. Priests are covered in blood. The entire scene is a crimson carnage.

But there came a day when God came to be that Lamb. Please, let us cast off all our religious pretentions and Biblical pompousness. This is foolishness to the fallen mind. It is barbaric and bizarre. It is so much religious folklore embraced by an uneducated and superstitious people. It really makes no sense today. All of us know that. But that is exactly why no one, even those who studied the facts and became apologists for the faith, can believe such a thing without the enlightenment and power of the Spirit. Again, it is foolishness. Absurd. I mean let us have our religion and even call it Christian but please do not ask us to believe that outdated story.

But we believed. On a severely uninformed basis we believed the gospel. That Jesus as God, and that He died for our sins, and that He rose from the dead. Yes, we believed that like a child. Picture a man with his back pressed up against the Empire State Building. He looks up and he can see the building is very high but he cannot see its shape. But as he walks away, and the further he gets away from that building, he sees the shape of the building and he can even see the top in the distance.

And so it is with our faith in Jesus and the gospel. We believed the gospel like a child and as the days went by and we began to be taught by the Word and the Spirit we began to make out a spiritual shape. The Spirit took Scriptural pieces and added them more and more to the overall picture. We understood Isaiah’s prophecy about a virgin. We understood John the Baptist’s identification of the Lamb. We understood all the animal sacrifices pointed to Him. We understood His mission was spiritual and not national. We understood His death was a sacrifice and payment for our sins. We understood the reason for His resurrection. We slowly began to understand things about which we were so ignorant. We understood the overall spiritual narrative and how God had planned it all before there was the first light.

But as we thought about the love that drew salvations plan, and oh the grace that brought it down to man, and the mighty gulf that God did span, at Calvary,

We once again were in uncharted territory. We could now see the form and the shape and the sacrifice of the plan, but the clearer it all became the more we were spellbound by its unimaginable majesty. Who could have even imagined such a thing? Look at it. God has suffered and died for mankind, and for you and me. This unmasks us for the doctrinal frauds we sometimes pretend to be. That truth alone should makes us weep often. And if we can say it and print it and preach it without being moved by its unimaginable majesty then we are still with our backs pressed up against its truth with little understanding of the sheer weight of its eternal glory.

Without a true revelation of what Christ has done and Who He is then the gospels become a sort of religious Lord of the Rings adventure. I do not speak of knowing facts. I speak of Knowing Him through a revelation which can only come from the Spirit. I am not attempting to be spooky, and there are those who wish to project themselves as more spiritual and with a greater pipeline to God than the rest of us. But I am speaking of opening your heart with a humble surrender and seeking His face with a relentless hunger and thirst. I am speaking of receiving knowledge that does more than fill your brain cells. I am speaking of a knowledge which moves and breaks and changes you. I chose not to rehearse the vision of His wounds in this post, but I do ask you to receive the Spirit's revelation of the God of All Creation dying in a bruised and battered and crimson covered human frame. That, my friends, is what God knew, what God planned, and what God suffered.

This is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. He is the embodiment of all truth and in Him is the unimaginable majesty. We can receive the backside of His glory while still clothed in human skin, but please do not make the mistake of underestimating the colossal nature of His glory. His Person and His glory fill the infinite expanse of heaven. Oh yes, we have been given by His grace a wonderful and life changing glimpse of the Christ, but there is more than the human mind can imagine. It exists in an eternal realm that defies any earthly definition. And He who sits on the throne is literally clothed with unimaginable majesty that is unlike in essence and experience and visual expression than anything which can enter the heart and mind of the most dedicated servant of Jesus. So at the end of all this, what awaits us who have trusted in Jesus Christ?

Unimaginable majesty. Selah…


Lorena said...

Wow! I am so small in myself and in my thinking, compared to Him. He is, as you described, "Unimaginable Majesty".

Anonymous said...

Oh, that awesome day when every soul that once or yet drew breath will kneel in abject reverence to His Majesty and every mouth will proclaim the Name Above All Names!
That I CAN imagine!

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Maran atha!