Wednesday 14 October 2009

The Absolute Profundity of the Blood, Cross, and Resurrection of Christ: Part 3

The Absolute Profundity of the Blood, Cross, and Resurrection of Christ: Part 3

From: Daniel Yordy
I chose these words as a title to emphasize how we have limited the reality of the blood, cross, and resurrection of Jesus as they work in our lives and in creation. 'Profundity' means 'depth' or 'extent'; 'absolute' means that there is no limit to what the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus has already accomplished.
Of these three, the cross is a negative, that is, it brings an end to something. The blood, while positive (the life is in the blood), makes the payment against all debt owed. The blood redeems us. But the resurrection is where we live!
These things cannot be theology for us: "Sounds nice - reality in heaven." No, these things have already changed all reality. It is our minds, our thinking, that must now change to fit what is.

The Resurrection

Christian thinking has focused much more on the cross of Jesus applied to our lives rather than the resurrection.
Consider death. When a person dies, you briefly honor the life of the person and then quickly get the corpse into the ground. From then on you no longer think about that which is dead. Yes, you remember the person as they were, but not the corpse. You don't spend time thinking about what is the present state of rot and decay. That which is dead is over with; it occupies no concern whatsoever.
Consider life. My nine-year-old son is alive! Which is an understatement. He has all the energy and drive and love of "wind in the hair" and chasing balls down a field that a young boy can have. Containing and directing the life that is inside of him is a full-time job.
Paul says, "You are dead." He says, "Consider yourself to be dead indeed to sin."
It's over with. It's buried. It's corrupt and decayed. Yet we have thought that to be good Christians we needed to labor over the death as if it is not actually dead, but dying. And so with our theology, we have given life to a corpse and raised it to the level of concern that a normal person reserves to the living.
I watched a British detective show recently that casts Christians in an incorrect light; real weirdo's who have nothing real or meaningful to contribute. One of the characters, in dealing with a murder inside a church, looked at all the emblems of Christianity around him and said, "What a death cult!" He was not wrong.
God said, "You are dead." But we insist that God is wrong and that what He should have said was, "You must die." And by doing so we give the essence of 'life' to a corpse instead of leaving it in the grave where it belongs.
That which needed to die is dead.
But when I quoted Paul above, I left off the most important parts of these statements. Paul says, "You are dead, and now Christ is your life." He says, "Consider yourself to be dead indeed to sin, but consider yourself (even more) to be ALIVE unto God." (I paraphrase.)
The life of Jesus inside of us is all that there is. And that life works its way through every part of our humanity, right now. Jesus is alive as me!
The resurrection is the most profound thing in the universe. It has already swallowed up everything. It is all there is in us. I am alive unto God! I am alive unto God! It is life that consumes us, that takes our focus and energy and time.
God left us in these weak human frames because that was His purpose from the beginning. He wanted to reveal His Son in the midst of and out from human weakness. The fall of Adam changed nothing of God's purpose. You, as you are right now, are God's original intent apart from the fall of Adam. He wants you to know weakness, that the power of Christ might be revealed first to you as you and then through you as a tender touch in a weary place, as a cup of cold water to him who is thirsty.
This is the glory of God, as we are right now.
The Christian who says, "But I am a sinner, I sin," is openly working against God's intent in their lives.
Forget about death, except that we let it be complete in our understanding. I loved my father, but I do not spend any time or energy considering the present state of his corpse. Yes, I know where it is and I know that it is dead. And there I leave it. It is finished.
But my living son consumes much thought and energy (mostly from his mother).
We do not walk with the consciousness of sin or of Adam, anymore than I walk in the remembering of the state of my father's corpse. I use that graphic image to get across the clear picture of truth. Christianity is a death cult only by the deceit of our enemy. Christ is life.
But we boast in our weaknesses, our infirmities, our limitations and lacks, we BOAST in these things, because this is God's glory and intent. Not that we spend undue time considering our weakness, but we glory in the power of Christ revealed in us as weak humans.
And that leaves us free to be that kind touch, that cup of living water, that is Christ revealed through us.
It is so easy for our human minds to picture and illustrate and think about death, but for some strange reason, life is not quite so easy to grasp. The absolute profundity of the resurrection life of Christ inside of us and throughout all creation!
The life that fills me right now is the essence of the Father from out of His innermost heart.
The life that fills me right now is actually a greater measure than the life that filled Mary's womb.
When some Greeks wanted to see Jesus, He ignored their request because seeing Him would do them absolutely no good. He said, (I paraphrase) "If I die and am buried, then I will come forth again in the life of many who will be just like Me. That is how I will do you good."
We are the life that came out of His death. Yes, some of that seed is for planting again, but most of it is for feeding the hungry.
"As He is, so are we in this world."
The resurrection of Christ is the greatest thing in the entire universe. The resurrection of Christ swallows up everything else. We live in that reality in all things. Every part of our being is found nowhere but in His resurrection. There is no part of us that is not flowing out of that resurrection.
This is something we must know. We cannot know it by reason, which is why I am groping for words and illustrations. We can know the full reality of His life in us only as He reveals Himself personally to us. Yet that knowledge must work its way out into every part of our reason and consciousness until we see and see out of His life alone.
We do not 'make' ourselves His life, we already are. We reckon it to be so.
God made me the way I am because that is how He wants me to be. Almost all people in my life have thought that I ought to be different than what I am. And all the years that I believed they were right were years of hopelessness and separation from Jesus. Yes, I knew Him as my Savior; yes, I heard His voice and I sought after Him, but Oh, Father.
At a very difficult junction in my life (I have known many) a dear and precious elderly sister said to me, "You would have more friends if you would just be friendlier." I honor the memory of this dear woman of God who has since gone on to be with the Lord, but she had no idea the hopelessness and despair and emptiness that was sealed in my heart by those words.
I suspect that this is one of the greatest lessons the Lord wants me to draw from my eighteen years in Move of God community. Christian community contains many wonderful experiences and I believe that the Lord will restore us to that way of life, though with significant differences from what I knew. But in the communities in which I lived, I realize now, being something 'other' than what you were in yourself was everything. There was a definition of 'Christ,' how He looks and acts, but what we were in ourselves was flesh and shameful. The result was an entire culture of pretending to be something other than what we were. Yet, for all that pretending, nothing ever changed in reality. Yes, there was mighty anointing and many powerful demonstrations of the Spirit through all those years. God was with us. But we could never be real. Always, what we thought other people expected of us was the face we wore. Near the end of my time there, I thought of it as a 'dance of fac es.' A different face for a different situation or set of people. And oh, how we were skilled in putting on those faces.
Pretending is not life.
There is no question that there is above human power in Christ in us. But not one ounce of that power will ever be real until we are real. And when we are real, the power is not of us. And we are as blessed as the next guy as the river of life flows out.
Life is being yourself, as you are, comfortable and real, Jesus living in you and through you - as you.
The fascinating thing is that, through all those years and my close relationship with dozens of different elders and apostolic ministries, three men were different. This is how the Lord brought me out of that experience still sane. (Not all had that privilege, to come out still sane.) I could look back at 21 years of difficulty and heartache and loss and failure, with great glory, and see three brief periods of time during which I was different. During those three brief times (each less than a year), I was filled with confidence and joy, I moved in the Spirit, and there was good fruit in my life. I long pondered what made the difference and it was coming to believe what made the difference that brought me out in the Lord and with a sound mind.
The difference was three particular men elders, who were my 'covering' during those brief times, separated by many in-between years. These men were real, they were tender and kind, without pretense. But the biggest difference was that they treated me as if I were real, as if I had an anointing and calling equal to and alongside of them. They always encouraged me, shared important things with me, and related to me as if I were a vital part of their life and ministry. The difference between them and almost all others was enormous, day versus night. And it was during those times that I saw peace and fruitfulness in my own life.
Coming to understand why I had those three good times in the move is what brought me out into this present understanding of Christ as my life. Remembering and thinking about those times was the anchor, the life-line, which held me through the years of emotional chaos of separating my mind and heart from that culture of pretending, that culture of death.
I have been learning to just trust Him in me as me, utterly, in spite of the cauldron of emotions that I live with. I know that this resolution of weakness that He brings us to is both the doorway into and the foundation for all the glory that He also shares with us.
His life is revealed in my weakness, as I am right now. I refuse to pretend, to put on masks to meet the expectations of other people.
I am alive unto God. Nothing else is real.
I am alive unto God.

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