THE EXELLENCIES AND PERFECTION OF CHRIST - 2
The person Jesus Christ is the exact representation of God the Father who is the creator of the universe. In fact, Jesus is the eternal Son of God by whom and through whom and for whom the entire universe was created.
Abraham, the great patriarch of Israel, had been chosen to launch the nation that would course through history to prepare a context and backdrop against which this man's life would play out before men to demonstrate the nature of the God at whose command all things that are sprang into being.
In this dusty land adjacent to the Mediterranean sea, a peculiar man suddenly emerged. A man who was diametrically opposite from all men in all of History through all time. This man had no house, no property except the clothes He wore as he walked to and fro across the ancient homeland of the descendants of Abraham announcing the good news of the Kingdom of God.
He spoke of the words of the prophets which foretold His arrival as the savior of all of Abraham's descendants and indeed the saviour of all mankind. At his word, astonishing miracles of healing and wonders were performed before the poor and rich alike in the society that sought for signs.
Humble and approachable, He interacted easily with people from all strata of the society He served. Wherever He went, he mixed scintillating proofs of his mastery over nature and over demonic powers with social exchanges with friends, strangers, religious leaders and His group of hand-picked followers.
He both astonished people and endeared Himself to them as He regaled them with home-grown parables about farmers and soldiers and wheat and sparrows and wine and bread and seeds and water and friendship and loyalty and service and duty and love. He seemed to have come from another universe with the power to command storms to cease and desist but at the same time, he spoke with such familiarity with everyday life, he seemed to be the next door neighbor.
Jesus was a startling anomaly among men but how much of an anomaly would remain veiled until the last days of His life.
The society He was serving began to resist His presence as the words He spoke challenged the status quo. Plots were hatched to arrest Him and kill Him so as to preserve the delicate balance that the leaders of the day had established under the rule of the Romans.
Knowing of these plots, Jesus began to prepare Himself for the event of His capture and when He had completed His final lessons to His disciples, He deliberately placed Himself within reach of the authorities so that they could arrest Him.
Here is where the anomalous nature of Jesus starts its exponential divergence from the rest of mankind.
Consider his capacities: He could command natural forces to do what He willed. He could walk on water and presumably on anything else. He could make people fall to the ground under the force of His personality. He stated that all authority in heaven and earth had been given to Him which means He had the power to command powerful angelic forces to intervene on His behalf. He had the power to extricate Himself from any fate decide on by men.
It was with these God powers that He went into the custody of the Roman authorities. The Roman empire was a regime that maintained its power with a harsh brutality and it was within this inhuman system that Jesus was detained. He was alone as all His friends abandoned Him to his fate. Such was the reputation of the Roman empire that even the most steadfast man would scramble to get away from its soldiers. Jesus however, identified Himself to the soldiers and surrendered with no resistance while even the strongest men buckled in fear as the theory of a Roman arrest became a stark reality at 3:00 AM.
The brutality began immediately with a guard striking Him in the face. As he awaited the various mock trials He was subjected to, the soldiers pulled out His beard, mocked Him, spat on Him and hit Him repeatedly on the head with sticks.
The book of Psalms looks forward into time to describe Jesus as having "set His face as flint" while He unwaveringly endured the mistreatment and the knowledge of the upcoming flogging and crucifixion that would culminate in His death.
After hours of being dragged around from court to court, a political remedy imagined by the Roman Procurator Pontius Pilate was decided on and it was to have Jesus flogged.
Flogging is a Roman punishment using a bone and metal tipped flagellant to whip the back and legs of a prisoner. This punishment is hard to survive on its own. The blood loss and pain it inflicts on its subject can cause unconsciousness and heart attacks and other bodily reactions to the extreme trauma.
He must have been trembling in shock as his body tried to generate heat as the core temperature dropped but having endured this trial, Jesus was still unwavering. He remained placid and subjugated completely concealing the primal power He retained at His disposal through all these events.
After political wrangling between the Romans and the leaders of Jerusalem concluded, Jesus was sentenced to death by crucifixion. He had just endured what is already nearly a death sentence and now, in a fatally weakened state, was lead out of the city of Jerusalem to be crucified.
The process is easily one of the most brutal things ever done to human beings. With His back raw and bleeding from the flogging, He was laid on a wooden cross. His arms were stretched out across a transverse plank on either side of Him and His wrists were nailed to the wood with heavy spikes. His feet were spiked to the support post and then, once secured to the structure, He was lifted up and the cross was dropped into a post hole.
Jesus was now dying. He had been brought to the state of shock already and now was in the horrifically painful position of hanging by His limbs from spikes that were punched through His nerves and cartilage and bone.
Remember, Jesus is the singular anomaly completely different from all humans. He had the power the whole time to stop the process. He had the power to completly bring all of human life to an abrupt halt. He had the power to spirit Himself away and never be seen again.
He had all power but He did not waver. He obeyed the command of His father right to the point of death and there was nothing in heaven or on earth or under the earth that could make him change from the course that His Father had set for Him.
Jesus was publically exhibiting the absolute perfection of the Almighty God. Being the Son of the Most High God, He is the exact representation of God. The moral perfection of the God the Father is exactly replicated into the Son. The Father could entrust this frightening undertaking to His Son who He knew was so perfect that he would see the command through to the point of enduring a long excruciating death at the hands of the very people He was sent to save.
The people Jesus spent His life serving and teaching and healing were the same people who were calling for His death and mocking Him.
It is for these people (including us) that He gave His life for and He would not waver from the task. This is nature of Jesus: Complete and exact fidelity to the Word of God His Father.
If Jesus had failed to see through His own crucifixion to completion, the effects of this break between the Father and the Son would have been a catastrophe of an immeasurable scope. It is impossible to describe what that would have meant for us, for all existence and for God Himself and so I will not attempt to do so but the Father, with perfect knowledge, placed the whole undertaking into the hands of the Son and knew He could not fail.
He is Lord and God. He is King and Master. He is the Supreme King of Zion. He is the mighty and Majestic Lord of hosts.
By the death He willing subjected Himself to, He earned the right to save men and to rescue them from their fate of destruction.
His demand of those of us who sense our desperate need to be saved by Him is that we simply believe in Him and believe that He died for us and that His majestic act of dying for our sins has given Him the power to redeem us.
Do this: Act on the gift of faith that He has given you. The seed of faith in your heart to believe in Him is a gift given freely to you. Accept the gift and believe in the Lord Jesus and be saved.