Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Things into which Angels Long to Look

Imagine you are an angle, a righteous and holy being. You stand in the presence of God. As an angel, you watched as the Father created the heavens and the earth. You were there as He lovingly created man in His own image. Man had a body, yet he was made in the image of God. You saw God rejoice over man. You saw that God and man related differently than you and God. There was a closer connection. He loved man and so did you. Then you saw man sin. You saw the Father weep as He expelled man from the garden. You witnessed the Father’s sorrow as His precious image bearer fell deeper into sin. The sin was so bad there had to be judgment. When the flood destroyed the world, you watched God protect Noah and His family. You were there when God spoke to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses. You were there on the night the LORD passed through Egypt. You saw the army of Egypt destroyed in the Red Sea. You saw the people sin, repent and cry out to God. God sends a deliverer and then there is peace, for a time. Then sin again, repentance again, a cry for help again, another deliverer and so on. You saw this over and over. And the people said, “We need a king!” so God sent them a King. You watched Israel blossom in the days of David and Solomon. Then there was disobedience, civil war, idolatry, repentance, idolatry, repentance, idolatry and repentance. God sent prophet after prophet to warn the people. He sent prophet after prophet to call the people back to Himself. You were on the mountain with the chariots of fire as the army of Aram tried to capture Elisha. You heard the Lord say, “As I live!...I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back form your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel? Yet the people of God continued to sin. You helped Michael fight the prince of Persia so Gabriel could answer Daniel’s prayer. You were also there when the Glory of Lord left the temple and the Lord sent the executioners through Jerusalem. You saw God preserve His remnant in captivity and bring them back to Jerusalem. You saw the Father communicate through prophet after prophet that there would be a Redeemer – a Messiah. He will deliver the people once and for all. He will sit on the throne of David.

Then, in the fullness of time, you witnessed the most amazing events of history. You saw the Son born of a virgin. There he was, the Son of God, as a little baby. Your duty was to protect Him. When Gabriel announced His birth to the shepherds, you and the other angels shouted praises to God. Glory to God in the Highest and Peace on Earth to Men. You protected Jesus as He grew. You ministered to Jesus after he was tempted in the wilderness by Satan. You watched Him teach people, heal people, cast out demons and perform miracles.
When Jesus prayed in the garden and sweat dripped from His head like blood, you comforted Him. When Jesus was arrested, He said the He could call 12 legions of angels to help Him. You put your hand on your sword and thought, “That’s right! Just say the word and we will destroy the world!” You waited for the command. Jesus said nothing. You wanted to do something but you remained obedient. As they whipped Him, it became more difficult to remain obedient.
As Jesus was being nailed to the cross, He began to speak. This is it, you thought, get ready to save Him and make these humans pay with their lives! But all He said was, “Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.” Forgive them, we should destroy them! But you remained obedient. You waited for the command from the Father as He watched the Son in hang on the cross.

You saw the Father hang all the sin of mankind on Jesus. Then the Father turned His wrath on His blameless Son. The words were almost more than you could bear when Jesus cried out. What you wished, with all your being, would be a command to save Him from the cross was instead a cry to the Father, “Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani”. A few moments later, Jesus opened His mouth again. “It is Finished…Father into thy hands I commit my spirit”. Then Jesus died.
Words cannot express the grief you felt at that moment. When they buried Jesus, the order came from the Father, “Guard the tomb”. You stood guard three days. Then, as the sun rose on the third day, a new order came from the Father. “Show yourself. Move the rock and open the tomb.” You revealed yourself to the guards. There was an earthquake and you moved the rock. When the soldiers saw you they fainted from fright. Then, wonder of wonders, Jesus walked out of the tomb. His body was different yet the same. It was glorified. The sky was filled with angels singing praises to God and to the Lamb. Joy filled your heart as you humbly bowed before Him. He looked at you and smiled, “It is done.” He said. “The power of sin and death is broken forever. My disciples will come looking for me, tell them to meet me in Galilee.” Then He left.

I understand now. He had to die to pay for sin, but death could not keep Him…He is alive! Then the women come to the tomb. When they see you they are frightened. “Stop being afraid! For I know you're looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here. He has been raised, just as he said. Come and see the place where he was lying. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that He is risen from the dead. He is going ahead of you into Galilee, and you will see him there. Remember, I have told you!"

As the women leave, you think, “I don’t know why He died for these humans and I don’t care. This act of love is truly amazing.

He died for them, so that they could live. He restored what was lost so long ago. He died. My Jesus died. My Christ died, but death could not hold him. He is alive! Christ is alive!

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
Χριστος ανεστη! Αλεθως ανεστη!

Христос воскрес! Воистину воскрес!

No comments: