Posted by: William | April 9, 2008

All of Jesus Went Home

Growing up, I always had this really narrow man-view of Jesus. I can remember thinking, and verbalizing at least once, that it seemed awfully arrogant for us all to pay so much attention to Jesus’ death since it probably wasn’t even as bad as what some other people have had to go through. What’s more, I can remember thinking that it seemed unfair that we’d pay lots of attention to Jesus giving up his life for people, when we don’t pay any attention to soldiers who give their lives, or for police officers killed in the line of duty. Obviously I was peering at Jesus through the very muddy lens of a depraved human mind.

After becoming a believer, it didn’t necessarily make all that much more sense, except that Jesus’ work some how meant that I wasn’t damned anymore and that was enough for me.

It wasn’t too long before reading lots of the bible helped me to grasp the idea of Jesus’ dual existence, both as God and as a person. Along with that came some understanding of atonement, sacrifice and propitiation. I came to understand that it couldn’t be just the high priest offering sacrifices, because he offered imperfect sacrifices not only for the people, but being imperfect, also offered sacrifices for himself. So, in the same way it couldn’t just be some soldier in a war giving his life for his countrymen, or for a noble police officer for the civilians.

But still remained was this itching idea that God came as a man, but in span of all eternity, what’s 33 years of suffering? So he came, did his deal, gave us a lift and then he went back to things the way they were. It seemed a bit dramatic.

But there’s always more to Jesus—what I neglected to consider in my proud mind is that Jesus did not stay dead. After three days in a tomb, he was risen. Following that, in both Mark and Luke’s account of the Gospel, Jesus takes his body with him back to heaven, where he is seated in flesh and blood at the right hand of God.

If I were to think that anything was spared in making a way for me to be brought back to God, I would be gravely mistaken. The God of the universe, in the second person of the Trinity, from eternity chose, at just the right time, to step down into his own created being—the man Jesus, both fully God and fully human. In the likeness of sinful flesh, he lived perfectly according to the Law so that when the time came, he would be a both perfect and blameless priest, as well as the perfect and spotless sacrifice. Then, when his job was done, he didn’t simply abandon the body to the grave, but rose it from the dead and took it back home with him! The God of the universe didn’t simply inconvenience himself for a 33 year stint on earth, no, the second person of the Trinity would remain in the flesh forever with the Father, glorified.

That is an amazing sacrifice, not only that he would die as one of his created beings, but that he would choose to continue to live in the form of one as well!

Jesus, help us to behold your glory, just as your prayed in the garden before your death. Jesus, open our eyes to see the transforming power of the Gospel. Rescue us from these bodies of death and hasten your return so that we may be with you where you are. In the meantime, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and for your glory, sanctify and satisfy your church.

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