I’ve been doing a fair amount of reading lately, going through the Gospels again and reading through a couple of Christian books. I find that especially when I am reading through the Gospels that a number of different things happen. Often times I pray because God is making something within His Word very real to me or I feel His presence. Other times I pray about the things that I don’t understand, parts of the mystery of God that I don’t have a firm grasp on yet.
Healings is one area that I don’t fully comprehend yet. I’ve seen God heal against all odds and I’ve also seen God not grant the fervent request of many for a healing for someone. I wish that everyone that we prayed for would get healed but from my experience with God healing people, it doesn’t work that way today. God is always sovereign, sometimes He responds favourably to our requests and sometimes He chooses not to respond as we have requested. The way that Jesus healed so many during His ministry and what we see today within the Church, the body of Christ, bothers me. I wish I understood it better.
Knowledge about all the different things around us is another area of mystery to me. I’m not a biologist, nor an astrophysicist or a geneticist. I can read about evolution and the universe or DNA but there are limits to what my mind can comprehend in all the different fields of science and the knowledge that each of them has. When I used to work full time in my Information Technology profession, there were times when I would give a briefing to my superiors and they would tell me that they didn’t understand all of the words that I was using nor fully comprehend what I was explaining to them. It’s not that they or any of us are not intelligent, the short story is that all of the different sciences individually take a life time to get familiar with and no one can fully comprehend all the information that is available in all of them. I wish I could more fully comprehend the magnificence of God’s creation, in all of it’s various aspects.
Within the body of Christ, we have some brilliant minds and hearts available to explain things to us today. I’m grateful for that. I think of people like Dr. William Lane Craig, Dr. Hugh Ross, and Dr. Stephen Meyer, to name but a few of the many. These are people who’s minds leave mine in the dust, far behind and beneath their mental capability. I acknowledge that, I really have no choice, I know my own mental limitations.
And yet as I read through the Gospels or other parts of the Bible, I can’t help but feel that even with my limited abilities, God does understand me, He knows my limitations better than I do myself and the short story is that He still loves me. And it’s not just me, His love goes out to all of us, His creation. I see His plan unfold throughout the Scriptures, I see His Son Jesus Christ appear in history, I walk with Jesus in the Gospels through His ministry and I marvel at how Jesus would do what He did.
Six hours. That’s how long Jesus hung on the cross, from the time they stood the cross upright until He gave up His last breath. My mind has a hard time comprehending the pain that He went through. And that was after he had already been spit upon, punched, slapped, mocked and ridiculed, beaten with a rod and whipped with a lash. And that’s not the worst part. Because Jesus bore our sins, those are the many things that you and I have done, He who knew no sin, on that cross, the union that Jesus, as a man, had with His Father, had to be temporarily broken.
I’ve tasted the presence of God, small moments of time where God’s grace has allowed me to partially experience the absolute glory of being in His presence. If it was up to me I’d never leave His presence, nobody in their right mind would want to. But here, while we’re in these bodies, it doesn’t work that way. We only get to infrequently taste, to get a small glimpse of what the real reality is. It’s designed that way to stretch our faith, to draw us closer to Him. But Jesus was different, even though He was clothed in a body, His communion and oneness with the Father was much different than yours and mine.
John 17:1-5 NIV “After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.“
Jesus knew that communion with His and Our Father had to be broken. And He knew it would be restored again. In addition to the pain of being crucified, I think the pain of separation from the Father was the greatest pain of all. I don’t think we can fully comprehend that on this side.
Matthew 27:46 NIV “About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lemasabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
God placed the sins of the world on His Son, and Jesus for a time felt the desolation of being unconscious of His Father’s presence.
Jesus had a reference point that you and I have never had. That’s because Jesus is God, was God, always will be God, with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Our sin was on Him. We died when Jesus died and we will rise as Jesus rose. Ask me if my mind can comprehend that.
AND YET IT DOES.
It doesn’t matter how intelligent we are, whether we have a PhD or flip hamburgers, whether we’re climbing a mountain or raising a small child alone, somehow His Spirit within us tells us this is truth, this is what He came to show us, to actually do for us, and we believe. How do you truly comprehend and thoroughly understand something like this? How does one grasp the depths of God’s love for us?
There are different perspectives that we may disagree on such as Young Earth Creation or Old Earth Creation, healing, free will, to name but a few, but the reality of the promise of eternal life through faith in the death of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, on the cross for ours sins and the hope of eternal life in Him, is one that we all should share.
1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!