Peace by Bloodshed
Posted on August 10, 2018 by America's Keswick in Freedom Fighters
I charge you never to give up the old doctrine of the blood of Christ, the complete satisfaction which that atoning blood made for sin, and the impossibility of being saved except by that blood. Let nothing tempt you to believe that it is enough to look only at the example of Christ, or only to receive the sacrament which Christ commanded to be received, for which many nowadays worship like an idol.
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in Whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. … He is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the Head of the body, the church. He is the Beginning, the Firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent. For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross. … And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, He has now reconciled in His body of flesh by His death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before Him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
~ paul, The Least of The Apostles, in Colossians 1
Oh beloved, it is true.
So much of our world wants to fight against bloodshed… and this is good in so many ways. But, the truth is that sometimes battle is the only way to peace.
This fool of a writer has just been through seven of the toughest months of his life. We have just had a dream career in China fall apart. We were treated really badly by the company that had invited us to join them in the Middle Kingdom. The situation tore us up in many ways. And, it still keeps our family separated. I am in the US, starting a new job – While my beloved wife and our youngest son are still in the Philippines.
But, this entry is not about our pain. It is, rather, about the pain of One Who has so mightily brought us through the pain.
Actually, the last seven months have also been some of the richest of my life. I have, like so many of you, had seasons of great trial. But always. Always. Those trials are loaded with the upgrades that G_d is working in us, through them. And one of the great riches of the past seven months has been Him restoring me through the limitless depths of the basics of the Gospel.
Can we see it?
When things get tough, a soldier, or parent, or any other variety of human being – falls back onto their training. The time for contemplation and thinking sometimes gets radically shortened in emergencies. And so, the important stuff needs to be hardwired down into our programming.
And, for me, one of the things I keep going back to in my devotional life, my worship, and my prayer is the deep truth that all of this really is not about me. As the theologian, Hans Urs von Balthasar, spoke about. Life is not an ego-drama. It is, rather, a Theo-drama. He is the One on the stage, moving the play forward.
But, the way that this same G_d is playing out the story of our salvation is a story so mind-boggling, and so condescending that it will (if we truly allow it) drive us to our knees in thankfulness. Jesus, King of The Universe, reconciled the world to Himself through what many would consider to be: losing.
Jesus, “… one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages. Light of light, true God of true God, begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father, by whom all things came into being…* ” entered into our fallen estate and poured out His own Blood to make things right for us, and to reconcile us to Himself.
G_d did not need a sacrifice. We did. And so, in an act of astoundingly Loving and serving submission to our need to be saved, Jesus conquered death by dying. Jesus instituted eternal life for humanity by grabbing the keys to death and hades, and now keeps them in His never-ending grasp.
Said more simply: Jesus overcame death by spilling of His own lifeblood. And then, He poured that same sacrifice out on anyone who would receive it, and simply follow after Him. So, what was once a sign of life draining away, is now a flood that washes away death.
It’s been a very good seven months. Tonight is your night, beloved. Time to allow the blood-bought Peace of G_d to wash over your life.
Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.
Daily Quote: Cowards never won heaven. Do not claim that you are begotten of God and have His royal blood running in your veins unless you can prove your lineage by this heroic spirit: to dare to be holy in spite of men and devils.
* from the Apostle’s Creed
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12