Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Open Hands - Part 3

We are not told that we must go out looking for suffering.  It will come in God's time, int eh measure He meets out.  We must hear the call (He calls His sheep by name) and we must answer, even if it means taking a solitary way, misunderstood and even scorned by others of the same flock.  We will then find our chance to know Him, to reproduce the pattern as He relinquished His hold on all that was His, emptied Himself to share our lives, came to earth where even His own did not receive Him, and was finally obedient even to the point of death.

Why this waste ---of His perfectly pure life?

So that through death he might break the power of him who had death at his command, that is, the devil; and might liberate those who, through fear of death, had all their lifetime been in servitude.  It is not angels, mark you, that he takes to himself, but the sons of Abraham.  And therefore he had to be made like these brothers of his in every way, so that he might be merciful and faithful as their high priest before God, to expiate the sins of the people.  For since he himself has passed through the test of suffering, he is able to help those who are meeting their test now.  (Hebrews 2:14-18).

Whatever today's test may be, through accident, physical disability, our own mistakes or failures or disobedience, perhaps the hostility of others, He is able to help us meet our test.  He was made like us.  He had to be in order to die.  He had to die in order to break death's power.  His was a surrender, not to a fate He could not avoid, but to His Father.  When we open our lives to the will of the Father, we enter into that same mystery.  It is true that Jesus was put into the hands of evil men.  There are times when following Him means just that, as it has in a radical and costly way.... for a numberless others in the history of the church who have been imprisoned or killed for their faith.  It is not the external circumstances themselves that enable us to reproduce the pattern of His death, but our willingness to accept the circumstances for His sake.

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