Friday, November 22, 2013

It Is Finished - Part 5

When Jesus said 'It is Finished' it was also the completion of His full identification with each individual person.

"Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.' " Genesis 1:26 ESV

As creator God designed mankind. We used Himself as a pattern and breathed life into us with His own breadth. It a sense He knew us from the outside in as a race. He knew us empirically.

"And Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.' " Luke 23:34a ESV

Once the cross Jesus knew us from the inside out. By emptying Himself and walking where we walk to He understood us and saw our motivations, pains and triumphs as a race of individuals.

"He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness." - 1 Peter 2:24a ESV

His identification was utterly complete... individually. All of our failings became His failing. The template of each individual life was placed on Him. He became sin. He walked in our shoes.
It was no longer 'they' now it was 'us'.

It is one thing to laugh with someone. It is amazing how many fun you can have with a person and still not know them at all. Bars, resorts and work places are filled with people who laugh together but lack any real identification.

"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep." Romans 12:14-15 ESV

Ah, But when you laugh and cry with them. There is something more isn't there. Still... What Jesus did goes where no one else could go. He brought identification to it's completion. He took our place dressed up in our sin. He died in our place and took our bullet. That is final finished identification.

"So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin." Hebrews 4:14-15 NLT

Religion offers a cookie cutting method. The best a dead society or system can offer is to treat us like people who were similar to us in the past. 'If you bought this book and shop at these stores then we suggest these offering to you.' or 'Others who show your symptoms were helped by this drug so we are prescribing this and that.' That is the best they ever could do.

"For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers" Hebrews 2:10-11 ESV

Jesus suffered as us and now He knows and ministers to us with full knowledge of who we are.

If we can sit where people sit and rejoice when people rejoice and cry when they cry. It is because of this... Jesus does. He does not see us as 'other' or 'they'. He is the head of a body of people organically connected to Himself.

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:" Ephesians 2:8 KJV

"I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies." Song of Songs 6:3 KJV

Saving faith touches this truth. We in some small, but real, way identify with His identification. Jesus' death, burial and resurrection goes from being an external thing to being an internal one. It registers and resonates in our soul.... He died for us.... wait, wait.... HE DIED FOR ME! God saves us the moment we connect and believe that. Amazing.

If we then choose a life of discipleship (It is presented to us by grace not in commandment form) we are given the option and privilege to identify with Him. To have a reciprocal exchange.
He gives us beauty for ashes every time.

"This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away. I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord." 1 Corinthians 7:29-32 ESV

Identification with Him is a life free from anxiety.

Who will identify with people? If they do... What more can they offer but a bunch of opinions and a bag full of statistically proven remedies.

"Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you." 2 Corinthians 13:11 ESV

 "Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NKJV

If any of this is done it is done because we have 'been all made to drink into one Spirit.' the Christ's Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 12:13)

Christ will identify with people. He already has completely identified with people. He desires communion... fellowship... Not because He needs it but because out of love He desires to 'tabernacle among us' (see John 1:14) we get to share in that with Him.

We can never in bodies of death do that fully but God can. He knows how much we as individuals need that. By God's grace in great compassion we can live a life of stewardship in identification. Spirit led identification.

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