April 2, 2015

How Deep the Father's Love For Us

This is an Easter post that I wrote a couple years ago and read at our church service. I don't remember how I got the inspiration, but I have always liked the idea of supernatural warfare. I pray that you remember this morning how much He loves you, and how deep His love will go. Happy Easter, and He Is Risen! 

How Deep the Father’s Love For Us
Janelle Spiers
March 2013

Icouldn’t look.  I had to turn my face, because I knew if I saw him, I would move.  If I moved, I wouldn’t be able to stop myself, for I would have given into the temptation that tortured me.  If I had given into temptation, I would have ruined the plan, the plan that would bring salvation to the world.
            I didn’t think it could go like this.  I was sure something had gone wrong.  How could God intend this to happen?  But he didn’t give the word.  He didn’t unleash the angelic army waiting by his side to rescue the suffering Prince.  He just watched.
            I felt that I should have done something.  My Prince was down there, suffering for all humanity, but I couldn’t go.  I was obeying the High King of Kings, the Emperor of All, and so I did nothing.  But when I heard the cry of pain that escaped his lips, betraying the utter agony and torment he endured, it made me angry.
            I had been sorry to see him leave.  Thirty-three years before that cruel day he had entered the world called Earth.  I was overjoyed when I welcomed him, singing, “Glory in the highest, Peace on Earth, Goodwill towards men.”  I watched him carefully as my Lord was trapped inside the little body of a human child.  I watched him longingly as he grew, waiting for him to become a man.   I cringed when he was scorned and mocked, and I smiled when he was accepted and loved.                    
             They had come for him in the night.  The soldiers had arrested him, giving him a trial while the sky was dark, because they were cowards.  They couldn’t face a crowd that might have saved my Prince the pain he was enduring.  They found a guiltless man guilty, though they themselves were guilty of breaking the laws ordained by God.  The darkness hid more than the sun, it hid the demons lurking, back and forth, pacing the room where they testified against him, jumping gleefully when they led him away to the governor’s house, and darting quickly through the gathering crowd.
             I was furious that they treated him so.  I fingered my sword, but stopped, knowing that if my Prince wouldn’t fight back, neither would I.  I knew that my Lord could see the beings; he could see their beautiful faces, their scarlet robes, and their shining wings.  I knew he could see us, too.  Our beautiful faces, our jade robes, and our shining wings, but our faces had a different expression.  Instead of happiness, scorn, and mockery, there was pain, determination, and anxiety. 
            We were anxious to go, anxious to do something as he stood silently before the man called Pilate.  Why wasn’t God doing anything to save his son?  Was he not paying attention to what was happening on the earth he had created?  I had glanced at him, during our long vigil that night, breaking into the terrible day.  He sat high on his throne and he watched.  He was fully aware of what was taking place, but he did nothing.
            Then they took him to a courtyard where blood from human men was spattered across the walls.  And then, as they flogged him with a cruel, heavy whip, human blood flew, but it was mixed with something greater, far more powerful than the life source for humans.  It was the blood of Jesus. 
            He was brought out and placed along side a murderer and the crowd chanted.  The demons shouted with them, whispering to the undecided, changing the minds of the ones who had called him their king days before.  And the cold-blooded killer was released, set loose to continue his gory deeds.  And they took the guiltless man, at the crowds affirmations, to be crucified.
            I wanted to scream when they drove a crude circlet of heavy thorns into his head.  Blood streamed down his face and I wept to see my Prince treated like a criminal, when he had done nothing but good.  They gave him a purple robe, and hailed him as their king, but the empty lies they taunted him with were their own demise.  They hit the King of the Universe and laughed.  But the King of the Universe said nothing.  Though he knew that all of heaven would have swept down and stopped the unbearable pain, he said nothing.  He endured it.
            And so they led him to the hill stained with the blood of sinful men.  But as they nailed him to the splintered, rough wood and placed him upright for all to see, innocent, pure blood poured from his body onto the accursed ground. 
            And so I stood in heaven in our battle lines, waiting..but he never called us.  When the sun was at its highest, God blotted it out.  He took hold of the corners of the earth and shook it, calling the people of the world to their knees, but though they fell, few fell to repent.
            And then the hardest part of all came.  After six hours of bleeding, suffering, and suffocating, God closed the curtain of Heaven to its Prince.  The curtain fell, forsaking the dying man on the cross.  He cried out in a loud voice, but we could hear nothing.  The demons screamed with laughter as the Father abandoned his Son. The sins of the world had fallen onto the Prince, and the King turned his back.  But as he gave up his spirit, the curtain tore. 
            The curtain between God and Earth was ripped like the skin on my Lord’s back, and the curtain in the temple separating Earth from God was cut in two.  Jesus Christ took on the sins of the world, and flung them as far as the east is from the west. 
            For three days the demons celebrated their triumph.  They laughed and screamed with glee, for they thought their battle was won.  But on the third day, the earth shuddered, the universe groaned, and the heavens shook.  For out of the earth where they laid him, my Prince came out. 
            He was no longer confined to the body of a man.  My Lord was himself, the God of Heaven, the God of Earth, and the God of Life.  The demons shrieked and fled in terror as Jesus proved to the world, that no power, not even death, could defeat the Son of God.
            I watched with joy as my Prince appeared to his friends and followers, because I finally understood.  It had been so hard for God to watch his Son suffer, but it was his plan.  His humans were sinful and they needed a savior, so Jesus paid the price.  He gave up his life as a ransom for many.
            The sacrifice was immeasurable, the pain was unimaginable, the separation was unfathomable, but the results were unsurpassable.  The Prince loved his people so much; he was willing to take up their sin, and to carry it.  He carried the weight of the world upon his shoulder, and as it was washed by his perfect blood, it dissolved like snow.

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that left Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

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