Torrent from the Tabernacle
Posted on October 4, 2018 by America's Keswick in Freedom Fighters
In what strange quarries and stoneyards the stones for the celestial wall are being hewn! Out of the hillsides of humiliated pride; deep in the darkness of crushed despair; in the fretting and dusty atmosphere of little cares; in the hard cruel contacts that man has with man; wherever souls are being tried and ripened, in whatever commonplace and homely ways—there God is hewing out the pillars for his temple.
~Phillips Brooks (1835-1893)
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This Man is calling Elijah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to Him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him.” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up His Spirit. … And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
~ The Beginning of The Neverending Kingdom of Heaven, in Matthew 27
Oh beloved, it is true.
Most of us understand the core (heart) of the Gospel. We understand (do you?) that we are broken and fallen. We were created in the image of G_d Who made us, and while that spark of potential is within us, we are utterly unable to light the fire He put in us – without His help.
This is the beginning.
The core stays where it is, but it is deep. In coming to understand the depth of our falling, we begin to see how powerful our Saviour is in His ability to save us. We conclude (rightly) that it is Jesus alone Who is The Way, The Truth, and The Life.
In being utterly convinced, our belief drives us to call out to Him. “Save me, Jesus!” And He does.
But, the cross is much more than being pulled out of a pit. It is much more than simply having our account settled with the One Who would rightly judge our sins. It is much more than now being “allowed” to be “nearer” to G_d. It is also the beginning of an ever-growing knowledge that Jesus was never far away from us, and will now Live within us – and us in Him – forever.
It was us that were pushing him away. We had been putting up these tiny little, flimsy defenses against the onslaught of His goodness. We were the ones who were consciously and unconsciously choosing to try to live life on our own. And in doing so, we kept Him away. Love does not force itself on another. But, it does pursue.
So much of our thinking remains backwards when we are first born again. We have so much to learn – and unlearn – that we might finally start to see our salvation for what it really is.
Jesus, in dying the death He did as very G_d and very Man, took all of our defenses, and sin, and pride upon Himself. He not only took it upon Himself, He became the we, we were – us builders of defenses against Him. But, when the Infinite takes on a problem, He tears it to shreds.
Can we see it?
All through our lives, we were so afraid in our sin and pride that we tried to hide ourselves from Him. But Jesus took the energy we formerly put towards hiding from Him, and put it to work destroying the very defenses we had built.
In the Old Testament, both the Tabernacle (and later, The Temple) were visible manifestations of the problem of our separation from G_d. The outer walls did indeed mark the separation we experience from His Presence. But, the walls were never meant to keep people away from G_d, they were designed to show His holiness, and our cowering behind some meager physical defenses as He pursues us with His Great Love.
This, when we see it, gives profound depth to the event of the tearing of the veil (the curtain that separated the world from the Holy of Holies). Jesus made the first move. In His death, He rendered our separation moot.
In place of our fear, G_d breaks through in saving Love.
In place of our sin and lust, He gives us the true pleasure of His Presence.
In place of our hiding, He opens the curtains and the Light of His Love pours into our lives.
In place of our broken cisterns, He now pours into us, through us, and out of us, the very water of Life in Himself.
Said more simply: He is calling our bluff.
Jesus is tearing down the walls of our resistance, and pouring over us in a torrent of His goodness. We have not been saved by some passive hero, who would now ‘allow’ us to get a little closer. We are being saved by a King Who has been pursuing us in in torrential Love – forever.
He goes even further. He showed us with the tearing of the veil, that not only is G_d not far away, but that now He is going to be even closer to us than we are to ourselves. We have become His dwelling place. We have become the temple. And this new temple, in this new Kingdom, will never end. All of Him, is within each of us who will allow it.
So, do you still think it wise to keep Him at a distance? He has already burst out upon the entire world. He stands at the door of your inner man, and knocks. Tonight is your night beloved. Time to allow Him to tear down the final barrier of separation between you and Him.
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.
Think About This: Don’t pray that God would teach you how to love like He loves; pray that He would fill you with Himself and that He would love in and through you. Don’t pray that He would teach you to have joy; pray that the living God full of joy would enter into you. Don’t pray that He would teach you how to be peaceful; ask for the God of peace, the Prince of peace to infill you. Because if you try to imitate in your own strength, you will be a miserable replica. But if you allow the impartation of Jesus Christ to overtake you, suddenly it all works because it is Him imitating Himself, and He is very good at being God. ~Eric Ludy
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: O Lord, the hope of Israel, All who forsake You shall be ashamed. “Those who depart from Me Shall be written in the earth, Because they have forsaken the Lord, The fountain of living waters.” Jeremiah 17:13