For some reason, which I do not thoroughly understand, God keeps bringing back to my memory, as of late, an event that happened to me many years ago, which you can read about here if you are interested. That event had to do with three things, God’s holiness, my unholiness and God’s completely overwhelming love.
As I read through God’s Word, especially as I really focus on all of the words that Jesus actually spoke that are recorded in the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament, I am mindful of those three realities. The reason for that is that Jesus is the personification of those realities, His holiness, the difference between His holiness and myself, that being my unholiness and of course God’s love that actually defies description because there is no possible way in which that love can be expressed in words. You just can’t.
When I say that Jesus is the personification of those realities, what I mean is that in Jesus we see those realities in a human body. And when one really focuses on the words that Jesus spoke and the things that He did, and the sacrifice that He was willing to make on our behalf, so that the will of our heavenly Father God would be put into effect, it really is mind boggling.
There are two verses in particular in Scripture that are burnt into my mind (I admit there are more), that state this reality to me and they are found in Colossians 2:9-10 NASB, which reads as follows: “For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over every ruler and authority;” (emphasis mine) and the second Scripture verse is found in Hebrews 1:3-4 NASB, which also reads: “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, to the extent that He has inherited a more excellent name than they.” (emphasis mine).
I know that it is difficult to comprehend the holiness of God but you will recall numerous instances within the Old Testament and even the New Testament as it pertains to the disciples worshipping Jesus, that sometimes the sheer presence of God’s holiness and majesty just causes one to drop to our knees. It’s not a matter of thinking, “I think I will kneel.”, it is way beyond that. When I was brought into the presence of God as per the link I gave above, I knelt in my spirit, there was no question, you can do nothing else but.
And obviously I am no authority on God’s holiness, and my personal lack there of, or the wholeness of God’s love. I was just given a brief taste but it was a taste that I shall never forget.
There are a whole lot of things that I do not understand. I cannot fathom the patience of God, nor His wisdom, nor why He puts up with us, considering how easily wayward we can become. But the biggest thing I do not understand is God’s love and the depth to which He will go to bring us back to Himself. And He did that in and through His Son, Jesus.
Do you remember when Jesus was on the cross and those passing by yelled to Jesus, telling Him to come down from the cross if He was truly the Son of God? (Matthew 27:40)
Jesus could have if He had wanted to, literally, but He didn’t. Jesus could have shown them right there and then who in fact He was, but He did not. And why, because that was not the will of His Father and Jesus knew in fact, what He was accomplishing for humanity, on that cross. He did have to die so that we might live in Him. That recognition of the personification of God, walking on this earth, that He had created, demonstrating God’s love in a manner that defies the comprehension of most who look but do not see, that love, completed the task He was given by the Father, so that Jesus could say, “It is finished.” (John 19:30) where the Greek word translated “it is finished” is tetelestai, an accounting term that means “paid in full.”
The short duration that I experienced that completely overwhelming love of God that completely consumed me, has never left my mind. I often think that those who say they would not enjoy heaven because they think that they would feel out of their element, so to speak, do not understand what they are saying. The closest thing that I can liken it to is the internal feeling one gets when you do something really good for someone, without any thought of getting a return and the goodness that you have done is felt inside when you see the gratitude of the individual you have helped, times about ten thousand. It is completely overwhelming, beyond all words.
If I had of had my way, I would have stayed there in God’s presence, I would not even have to think about it, no contest, no decision to make, but God in His wisdom did not leave me there. That “presence” slowly departed and the sound in the room that I was in, slowly came back. But I remember.
There are some who will say that faith is not based on feelings and I agree. But I did not chose to make this happen, God did, and as much as it burned a memory in my mind, I still walk by faith because I am still in this world, seeing, hearing, experiencing the physical. That is a reality.
That same God who briefly allowed me to experience His presence, still hears my prayers, still answers the anxious thoughts of my mind and still orders my steps. And when all is said and done, the long and the short of it is, that Jesus is the Son of God and there is none like Him. And I may not have a clue about many many things but I do know who does and who He is and I do trust in what He did for me on that cross. Listen to His words. Look at what He did. Understand that He truly did rise again from the dead and it is because of this reality that happened that the Apostles and disciples do testify, and they then literally, through the grace of God, changed the then known world. This is history.
I truly don’t know all that much, but I do know who does, and if God in His mercy could look upon someone like me and allow me to faintly see Him, as He truly is, then He can do this for anyone, if they but truly look and consider and believe.
I think of a relative of mine who is dealing with cancer. I think of some of my own children who say that what I believe is not for them. I think of some of my relatives that think as long as they have those check boxes checked, that their church says they need to check, that they are OK. I think of my own inabilities to always show patience and always go that extra mile when I should. I don’t understand why God puts up with us, but He does and the reason for that is His love that we just simply do not comprehend. But He demonstrated His love to us in the person of His Son and His Son did it all, right to the very end of willingly giving His life and then He rose from the dead, as a testimony and promise of what is to come, for those who believe in Him, as the Father has decreed.
Consider the words of Jesus as recorded in John 3:16-21 NASB:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him. The one who believes in Him is not judged; the one who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, so that his deeds will not be exposed. But the one who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds will be revealed as having been performed in God.” (emphasis mine)
How does one adequately express God’s love in words? I don’t think you really can. But somewhere along the line, one truly takes the time to look at Jesus and one moves from doubt to belief and then everything changes. It may take some time and appear to be slow but it does change and one does indeed move from darkness into light. And that light is the love of God, being extended to those who will look to Him.
Worthy is the Lamb. Blessings!