[Image: Contemplation, 2007, JA Van Devender]
Location: Seoul, SK
Hebrews 3:1–2 (NKJV
3 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, 2 who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house.
It's the "Final Four" days of the Easter season. Tomorrow is Maundy Thursday and the solemn remembrance of Jesus' last supper with His disciples. Then comes Good Friday and the somewhat paradoxical mourning/gladness that attends the most Christian of all Christian memorials. Easter dawns with shouts of joy as death's death is historically certified for all the ages.
In such a season it seems tawdry to me to think too much of the foolishness that is currently whirling about in the immediate teapot. I was tempted to comment on the Nevada cattle rancher (Cliven Bundy) business and the apparent foundation that it has in Harry Reid's son's prosperous relation with a Chinese solar energy company. I always thought the "House of Cards" series was essentially non-fiction and this issue bears a pretty close resemblance to episodes shown in this last season. [See HERE & HERE] But, quite frankly, this story is not going to go away and I think, especially this week, there are better things to think about.
Like Jesus, for example.... perhaps we should "consider" Him.
Consider Him who was faithful, to Him who appointed Him, in all things. Consider the magnitude of that idea. The Son of God's task, given Him by His Father in heaven, before the beginning of time and certainly before He became incarnate of the virgin Mary, was to enter this world as a man born under the law, subject to its full provisions, blessings and penalties, and be faithful to obey whatever His Father required of Him to do. He willingly undertook this task, being fully knowledgable of its magnitude, difficulty, pain and triumphal promises. Paul tells us in Philippians 2 that He humbled Himself to become a man, as a bond-servant, demonstrating the superlative qualities of perfect obedience "even unto death on a cross."
Consider the challenge as He faced it. We know pain, temptation and joy in this life... but in God's providence we are shielded from the ultimacy of pain and temptation and only have a taste of joy. Jesus was fully vulnerable to everything Satan could throw at Him. No man has ever been tempted, nor will ever be tempted, with the range of spiritual nets Satan used against this man Jesus. No man has ever been, in this life, subjected to the total absence of God the Father's goodness, even the most desperate sinner and most rabid pervert, as was Jesus on the cross, when the Father's full sentence of death, body and soul, was carried out and the fires of Hell were flooding His consciousness.
This was the Man who looked down from the cross and prayed for forgiveness on those soldiers who nailed Him there. This was the Man who cried out in anguished victory, "It is FINISHED", when the last and culminating act of obedience was finally over. This was the Man who lead captivity captive and removed the sting of death for all those He came to save. This was the Man who rose again from the dead with healing in His wings and a joyful shout to all the nations of the earth that the day of their salvation had dawned and that they were to draw near to God, through Him, and join together with their elder brothers from national Israel in the blessed and eternal feast prepared for Him.
This is Jesus, the builder of the house, Whose House we are. He was absolutely, unerringly, consistently faithful... in all that He did and His Father was pleased to reward His faithful obedience with the blessings of the eternal covenant established before the creation of time. He was pleased to elevate Him to His own Right Hand, where all authority in heaven and earth is vested in His Person, and from which position He lives and reigns, never to die again, and to continue the harvest, to continue the process of gathering His elect from every tribe and nation. He will have His harvest from every nook and cranny of this darkened, sin-drenched planet. And after He has done so, then the end will come, as He taught.
Consider Jesus... and let the Rory Reids do what they may, they cannot strip us of our hope, optimism and joy. We may grieve (and we should) over the injustices and disgraces that are so prevalent in a world consumed by idolatry. We may be called to stand for justice and to call out the corrupt (and we should), but we must not do so with a character of vengeance, for that belongs to the Lord. We are called to be obedient in all things, to be faithful in all things, as was our Lord, but, we must consider Him... whose obedience has removed the penalty of our own disobedience and whose pefect work has completely furnished our salvation.
Consider Him... let your mind dwell on HIm... no time of the year is more suited or empowered to the contemplation of Christ, than this season.