Posts Tagged ‘ Calvary ’

Thoughts From a Young Man: Battle with Sin and the Garden

Father if it is possible let this cup pass from but your will be done not mine.

The cross was not the battle Jesus faced. The cross was not what killed the Christ. It was and it wasn’t. The Cross was pain it was suffering and it was the REAL demonstration of the REAL battle that BEGAN and was WON in the garden. No the battle was not done but it was won!

In the garden Christ was faced with the temptation to flee the suffering promised him in Isaiah 52. Imagine him, as a boy, as a 12-year-old sitting in the temple reasoning with the scribes. These were the teachers of the very men who would kill him. Caiaphas may have been in the temple that day, watching the perplexity of his teachers as they reasoned with the 12 year son of Man; a mere carpenter apprentice. “God” was an apprentice to a trades men a factory worker, Selah.

Jesus knew his end. Jesus knew he would be crushed by God. Here in the garden he was tempted to walk away. And the battle begins. Wrath pouring through his body. Death infecting the Perfect One. Sin slaying the GREAT I AM. Like a child amidst the fire he cry out, “ and Christ says thus, “Father, Oh Father if you are willing please remove this cup from me; but not my will be done, do yours.” It is the bleating of a child, “Daddy rescue me.” For Christ cam, setting emptying himself of power and walking in humble submission a man to God. The temptations of the wilderness are illustrative. The Christ is not trapped there amidst the flames as a helpless Child; the angels must have stood a breath away limbs out reached ready to grasp their master from this horror, ready to lift him from the burden of wrath due the men killing him.

Jesus could have stepped through the flames unsinged but that was not the path he had come to walk. His temptation his fire is knowing that the crushing of God could be removed. His need of grace is to remain to walk the path. To bow humbly and take the pain that is not his. To drink the “cup of reeling” due the every man for everyman jubilantly swimming in miry pools of sin. This was the path he came to walk. He came, the Light of the World, the light of life, in the humble tent of human flesh a sojourner, from the land of heaven, in a world of death. God became a man and walked the line.

His word says,

“Although he was a Son [God’s Son], He learned obedience from the things he suffered.” His suffering what was not his own to suffer it was ours! He suffered in our place as we suffer yet more for he drank down the wrath of God so that, “having been made perfect, he became to all those who obey him the source of eternal salvation…” (Hebrews 5:8-9) Selah!
This is the battle before me cause me to stand to your glory. If it is your gracious will to remove I want that but your will be done.
And so, in the garden he begins his suffering. He asks that God would bring it to an end and he did not. It was there that he entrusted himself to God. God gave the supply that was needed to walk the line he came to walk. That was where the battle was one the rest was a fight to keep walking. So also it is for us. The battle is won when you see the lines drawn. When temptation comes you fall at the feet of the risen Christ crying out, “This is the battle before me cause me to stand to your glory. If it is your gracious will to remove I want that but your will be done.” This is what we are to cry out when we know we should not take another help helping  of food, another drink from the bottle, when we know the images before us will lead us to sin. This is what we ask. We can walk away from these and we should but even more this is for those times when anger rises and we need grace to not lash out. There is not walking away then it is a path we must go down. When someone in the group in the group is dressed in an overly sensual way and we must stay there is grace; our way of escape is the cross. When our wallets have the ability to meet the needs of another but at the cost of our comfort there also is the cross. When confession of ones sins and failures will bring pain there the cross is also. For in all of these we cannot walk away but must walk the path.This path though is not that of Christ’s. We have great hope. For Christ left the garden and we know the agony of wrath he left with. The strain burst forth from the capillaries of his brow in streams of blood mixed with sweat, he was not yet on the cross. Then there is the beatings. the torture and the mocking scorn, then the long path to Gethsemane. All the while he walked in obedience looking for His way of escape. Then the nails and the slow ragged breaths. And the final series of utterances that which breaks the heart of Men, the cry of the helpless child in the flames. The Father perfectly able to rescue his dear child watches and does not move. The Child cries out,  “Daddy, oh Daddy why do you leave me in this flames? I need you but stand afar watching me amidst the flames.”The truth is God was the flames consuming His Son. He was the weighty stone, the scepter that crushed his Son. He didn’t look on He was the active killing force. And Christ cries out “Abba, Abba, why have you forsaken me?”

He was forsaken by God but God shall never leave you. Wage war against your sins, they will not kill you; they killed your savior.
With Christ’s final ragged breath the answer resound blasts of a clarion calling all to battle “IT IS FINISHED” This was the cry of the savior the battle is one! Here is your way of escape. The wrath of God was drank in full. Not a drop left  and death had not overcome our savior. He was yet a live death was dead he had won. It was then that he willing exhaled that final breath and surrender his life so that new life would be given to all who believe. It is here that we escape for he has fought the battle. He won in the garden and you to win there. He was forsaken by God but God shall never leave you. Wage war against your sins, they will not kill you; they killed your savior. Therefore, fight for fidelity to him in every temptation and we walk in that grace waiting for HE WILL provide the way of escape!
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Thoughts From a Young Man: The Silence of the Father

We speak much, as we should, of the silence of Christ before his murders. Have you stopped to think of the silence of the Father? He himself was walking those paths to the cross watching seeing, knowing feeling, the crushing of the soul of His own son. He Yet was silent. The taunts the jeering, the anger, the vileness, the screaming mocking, reviling hate the foaming mouths screaming profanity not at but at God as he took each staggering step not on the weight of that physical cross but under the weight of your sins on his back. The crushing of your souls was the dying of his soul. We bellowing anger at God Himself. Vomiting forth sin by the lungs full. The wickedness of our hearts. Had we at that moment been able to carry the knife would we have jumped in and slit the throat of God? What kept them from it? The staying had on of God and blood lust to see God tortured just a bit more. This was the path to the Cross.

Why was it so? Why did we pronounce curses of death and damnation on God? Indeed, they sure called down heaven upon the bright and glorious radiance of heaven himself. What foolishness. But Why? Oh for a simple reason; truth. His life was such that light was cast about on our wickedness. His words were such that we saw what we were. His love was such that we see the hypocrisy of what we call love. He worked and lived and spoke in such away that what we call worship and service of a holy God was seen to be what it is “arrogant worship of self and men”. This is GOD HIMSELF. The very creator of those whom hurl abuse at him. They didn’t hurl stones for  if they had they would be morally guilty of his death; the Pharisees were smart enough to see to it that the Romans would bear that guilt before their YHWH. These are the potters blaspheming against the potter. The guilty killer standing before the Judge accusing him of the murder for which he is sentenced. Neigh, it is even simpler it. It is the guilty killer standing before the judge accusing him of being human. They crowded the streets abused the Son of God for being God. It is simply insanity; but what other word best describes sin.

What more could God to than reveal truth? What would you expect of the messiah to be other than one whom would forgive sin, one in whom is the authority to heal, one in whom right and duty to call men to worship God in spirit and truth would rest? Would not the Messiah call men to be honest about what they are? Liars, cheaters, hypocrites, perverts, swindlers, lovers of money, champions of immorality, drunkards, idolators. Would the messiah be the messiah if he said all that hogwash which God hates its fine just remember to give your yearly offerings of crippled useless animals? Just be sure to tell God occasionally that he is wrong and your immorality is good. Just be sure to show up each week to a building with a large group of people sing some pretty little songs that have no weight of meaning which proclaim things about yourself and your devotion to God which are not true. Indeed sing songs to me about your love for a God which, as described in your songs, is not me. Come  extol the goodness of vanity and the goodness of those who hate the cross. What ever you do don’t come honestly facing your depravity your sin and your need of God. This is what our churches and people what these days. It is these things which Christ preached against. He didn’t congratulate the self-loving, self-sufficient, arrogant, Pharisee that mocked the genuine prayers of the poor, sinner around the alter from him. Jesus said that man when away rightly judged, and under wrath and Jesus was honest about it. He said the brokenhearted, contrite man went away forgiven, saved, redeemed, blessed of God. It is that man who will see Gates of that heavenly City that is yet to be joined with earth. This why the people hated him, he helped them, in love, see what they were. He told them of the blessed forgiveness that he would purchase. He told them of the helper who lead them in the works of God. He told them of the new heart the new creation of being born from above. They didn’t want it. That was mystical hogwash; they wanted their sin.

Yet in all this the voice of God is silent. He bore their mocking and spoke not a word. His wrath was withheld. This is not a father who hears of a son being mocked at school or even pummeled by the school bully after the fact. This is a father who watches as the principal, leads the teachers and the students in cheering, jeering, mocking, and taunting his son as the police beat, abusive torture and kill him. This is that and more. This is a Father silent as he himself is in agony of separation from his son. No thunder bolts, no split open earth, no lions in a cave, no bears along the path. There is anger, there is fury, there is wrath but there is mercy, there is love, there is righteousness, the very core of his Character. For those who witness this spectacle and the subsequent resurrection and believe, the see their sins upon the Son, The Christ. Oh what a humbling sight. Paul says we have but one life to live and then the judgement. We have but one life in which we look to the cross for life. To come to God for mercy. For those who having eyes do not see and ears yet do not hear, who look not to Him who is high and lifted up as the serpent in the wilderness, there is an abiding anger, a fury yet unknown. A wrath abides, restrained by the gracious forbearance of a Holy Father, who watched silently as his Son was crushed for the sin of those who scorned him.

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