Today, we come to the concluding part of our series on the subject of Christ and the Christian suffering…
In the first part of the series, I had said whilst focusing on the sufferings of Christ that Jesus’ “humiliation” did not end at the Cross, or for that matter, even after the resurrection and ascension. Let me use an illustration which in a minor way mirrors the greatest sacrifice of our Saviour transcending even the Cross:
A father and his son put up a beautiful bird sanctuary, housing a variety of doves spouting feathers of various hues. Sadly, one day these doves turn into crows, and in their new ravenous nature, start harming and even killing one another oblivious to repeated appeals of both the father and the son to not to do the same.
The father comes up with an idea to remedy the situation. His son would go amongst the crows as a bird himself, speaking their language in order that they would understand him and hopefully mend their ways. Hey from a human perspective, would not that be a case of lowering oneself by two notches (stooping below even the mammalian order)? When Christ condescended to become man, did not He lower himself below his own “second-ranked” created angels (Psalms 8:34-36/Heb 2:7) that are superior to men but inferior to the Almighty (Job 15:15)?
Now once the son made up his mind to do become “a bird” (Philippians 2:5-8), the father comes up with three realities which would come His son’s way. The son willingly agrees to take them all in stride:
a) The crows may eventually kill him, not giving a hoot to any of his pleas to change themselves for the better;
b) The father, by giving a kiss of life, would bring back the son, now confined in the bird’s body for life; and
c) The son in a bird’s body would then be elevated, exalted and even glorified, but he would still remain in a bird’s body…worse…would continue to bear the wounds that caused His death (Rev 5:6-TLB) throughout eternity. His being throughout eternity would be a far cry from the far better state he had possessed before His incarnation.
Dear Friends, is the enormity of Christ’s sacrifice of coming down in a mere man’s body and being confined in it for eternity registering in your minds and spirits? His condescention meant that He would forever remain man, albeit in a Glorified body (Rev 1:12-16).
Consider these Scripture portions (in present tense), penned after Christ’s ascension, which are a “clincher” as it were, substantiating this “chilling” truth:
“For in Christ there is all of God in a human body” (Col 2:9 TLB)
“That God is on one side and all the people on the other side, and Christ Jesus, himself man, is between them to bring them together.” (1 Tim 2:5 TLB)
Now for a subject within the subject. What was the Father’s response to such a submissive, sacrificial obedience?
He made His Sons Name a Name above all names (including His! See Philippians 2:9). Boy, if you are wondering where the role of the third person in the Godhead, the Holy Spirit (oh, He never clamors for attention) is in all these, let it be said that every word that has ever been written in appreciation of the Almighty’s Grand redemption plan has been inspired By Him…including this one of yours truly. Of the perfect unity that exists within the Trinity in using the “redemption plan” to save the lost (1 Peter 1:2), it was said by a ransomed soul, “The Father thought it, the Son bought it, the Holy Spirit wrought it, though Devil fought it, Praise God I got it”.
Coming back to the main track, even as Easter is around the corner, let us reflect on the truth that Christ’s hands and legs still retain the scars we inflicted upon Him, and let us respond with a resolution of life-long loyalty, purely out of love, for the one who has given His all to us, come what may! What a Saviour! Hallelujah!
Prayer: Father, by Your Grace alone, we have been saved and have a living relationship with You by being in Your Son. We love You and declare our inability in saving ourselves from all our spiritual enemies. Carry us through the nail-scarred hands of Your Son into Eternity. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
(To access the entire “Gospel of Adversity” mini-series, please click here.)