“Oh, No!” might be the cry of some English language purists to see the phrase “through gory.” Some might object, “Don’t you understand that “gory” is an adjective? It is inappropriate to use it in this way.” Exactly!
- Even as it was inappropriate for so many to cry out in answer to Pilate’s question about what to do with Jesus. They cried out, “Crucify Him!” and again “Crucify Him!”
- Inappropriate to take the Son of God who had come from glory [to live a perfect human life in this world and to die for sinners] and crucify Him.
- Inappropriate to take the Creator of the universe and nail Him to a part of His creation.
- Inappropriate for some of His creatures to shame and mock their Creator as He hung on a cross, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” Mat 27:40. He was not there to save Himself but to save those who scoffed.
- Inappropriate for them to demand He come down from the cross at their command. He wasn’t there to do their will in coming DOWN from the cross so that they might believe. It was in fact the opposite to what they demanded. He was there doing his Father’s will in being lifted UP on a cross so that people might look to Him in faith and be saved, “No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” John 3:13-15.
- Inappropriate for them to continue their mocking instead of believing.
The Easter story has a wonderful ending. Jesus rose from the dead. However the process through which He achieved that victory over sin and death was messy, gory in the extreme, but necessary for the salvation of sinners.
This is how the writer to the Hebrews expressed these truths, “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb 12:2.
1). FROM GLORY. The Goal To Be Achieved By Jesus
Jesus. “who for the joy that was set before him.” What joy?
- The joy of returning to glory with the Father. Joh 17:1 “When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
- The joy of knowing He had accomplished the work God had given Him to do on earth. Now He was about to return to His home in glory. Joh 17:4 “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.”
- The joy of knowing that because of His work of redemption, His followers would be with Him in glory. Joh 17:24 “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”
2). THROUGH GORY. THE GOAL ACHIEVED BY JESUS THROUGH A GORY PROCESS
Jesus. “endured the cross”,
- The Cross was part of God’s purpose for Jesus as “the lamb slain from foundation of the earth”.
- He predicted it would happen. “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” John 3:14.
- He warned His followers that He was soon to die. Mat 16:21 “From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”
- He humbled Himself to endure suffering on the cross. Php 2:8 “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
- On the cross He bore the sin of the world. 2Cor 5:15 “and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” AND 1Pet 2:24 “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”
- On the cross He, as the sinless One, was made sin, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”. 2 Cor 5:21.
- By means of the cross, His death brought about the possibility of a reconciliation between God and sinful humanity 2Cor 5:19 “that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”
Jesus. “despising the shame.”
- He knew He would be shamed. His parables foretold shaming and rejection of a son who was sent by the father. For example, in the Parable of the Wicked Tenants, Luk 20:13 “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14 But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ 15 And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Surely not!” 17 But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’? 18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” The parable predicted the rejection of Jesus, the Son of God and the Jewish Messiah.
- Reviling Him was part of their shaming of Him, 1Pet 2:23 “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” He would not allow Himself to respond to their attempts to shame Him as He fulfilled the Father’s will for Him.
3). TO GLORY. THE GOAL ACHIEVED BY JESUS (for us as well).
Jesus. “and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
- Jesus said He would rise again. We saw it above in Mat 16:21 “… and on the third day be raised.”
- He said that he would return to be in glory with His Father, Mat 26:64 Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
- Paul wrote that God showed His power in raising Christ from the dead and seating Him at His right hand, Eph 1:19 “and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.”
- Jesus included His followers in His Good Friday to Easter Day activities. They too have died with Him in their faith-union with Him, Rom 6:8 “Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” They too sit in the heavenlies with Him, Eph 2:6 “and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
- The title, (From Glory. Through Gory. To Glory!” The Easter Story In 6 Words) might sound a bit crude and a bit dramatic. However, we can never, in a lifetime of lifetimes, have any real appreciation for what Christ suffered on that First Good Friday. It was a “gory” mess as the Son of God who had come down from “glory”, was brutalised and crucified on that day.
- It was through that “gory” death that sin and death was defeated and Jesus was raised to return to glory with His Father.
- The marvellous thing for His disciples through the ages is that He wants us to see ourselves now as being “seated with Him” in the heavenlies, in the place of honour, acceptance and authority.
- We may not yet be with Him in glory, but the process of our glorification has begun. As we remain focussed on Jesus an inner transformation is taking place in us by His Spirit, 2Cor 3:18 “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
Blog N0.276. Posted on www.jimholbeck.blog on Wednesday 4th April 2018.