Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Reflections on My Utmost February 14 Part III

After every time of darkness there comes a mixture of delight and humiliation (if there is delight only, I question whether we have heard God at all), delight in hearing God speak, but chiefly humiliation – What a long time I was in hearing that! How slow I have been in understanding that! And yet God has been saying it all these days and weeks. Now He gives you the gift of humiliation which brings the softness of heart that will always listen to God now.

No one can speak of humiliation in connection with Jesus Christ!

He took our shame -- He has none to impart or impute to us!

"Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.

"And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.

"And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

"And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.

"And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him." (Matthew 27: 27-31)

There is our shame. He took it for us. There is our humiliation, on the night that Jesus was crucified. Jesus the Creator, the Beloved of the Most High, was stripped naked and bleeding, wounds ripped afresh a second time. At least one hundred soldiers spat upon Him, not just four or five as depicted in the superficial Passion of Jesus produced by Mel Gibson (I write this facetiously, for Gibson's 2004 depiction of our Lord's graphic Passion was the most accurate in its bloody accuracy to date)

With humiliation comes condemnation and the punishment that accompanies it, all of which Christ has removed from us:

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. " (Romans 8:1)


"Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." (Romans 8: 34)

Jesus presently and forever sits at the right hand of the Father. He justifies us now(cf Romans 4:5, Romans 8:33) and He makes intercession for us, turning our prayers into perfect ascents to the Father. He does this Now -- he justifies and prepares us Now. So, why would He be humiliating us, too?

"How slow I have been in understanding that!"

There is one cure for one slow of heart: See and hear more of Jesus!:

"Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

"Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

"And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself." (Luke 24: 25-27)

Even when Jesus "upbraided" his followers, it was an exhortation to receive more of His grace:

"And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

"Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28: 17-20)

He is with us "alway", and the love which receive from Him by the Power of His Holy Spirit (cf John 20:22) is a certainty of security for the believer:

"And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." (Romans 5:5)

God is love (1 John 4:16), in whom there is no darkness -- there is nothing in Him to make anyone ashamed!

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