Friday, April 9, 2010

Jackson and the Red Pen -- Conclusion

"I've got to tell" said our grandson Jackson upon learning that his grandmother Frances had given to him the rare treasure of a red pen.

Without realizing it, Jackson was echoing the sentiments of another beneficiary thrilled by a gift given from a loving benefactor.

"For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren, Saying, I will declare Thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto Thee. And again, I will put my trust in Him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given Me" (Hebrews 2:11-13).

The Lord Jesus Christ spoke these words of thrilled gratitude to His Father concerning the body of Christ. Our Savior considers us to be a gift given to Him by His Father. Let these words sink into your heart and mind for a moment, and then join me in being overwhelmed by the enormity of their meaning.

It is one thing to consider the Lord Jesus as God's gift to us. This He is, and eternity won't be long enough to extol the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for their bestowal upon believers of the freest gift ever given, the gift of salvation in Christ Jesus. However, it is another thing altogether that our Lord views us in such terms. There are fewer more spiritually counterintuitive thoughts. How can those such as ourselves possibly be God's gift to His Son?

First, our Lord lived, suffered, and died to be our Master and Elder Brother. Certainly He earned us as no one else has ever merited any hard won prize. This is true. Nevertheless, the Lord Jesus is of such heart and character that even a terrible, bloody, and forsaken cross is not considered in such terms. As Jacob's love for Rachel caused seven years of service to seem "but a few days," so does the love of Christ for you and me cause our Lord to view His untold sacrifices for us in far more limited terms than they actually involved. Amazing, and such love must cause in us a great deepening of how beloved we are, and how glorious is the Master who exults in the gift we are to Him. "For the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame" (Genesis 29:20; Hebrews 12:2).

We also look at ourselves and wonder how we can be viewed by the Lord Jesus as a gift. Too often we have distrusted, disbelieved, and disobeyed Him, and too often we have acted as if we were not purchased by a price so high that eternity will never fully tell its dark measure. Still our Savior refers to Himself in the corporate terms of "I and the children," and says that God has given us to Him. Such affirmation is based on what He has already done in us, but also upon what will be done. The good work begun in all His trusting children will be finished, we will be conformed to His image, and a forever of the Beloved and His beloved will reveal that somehow, some way, we are the gift of the Father to His Son (Philippians 1:6; Romans 8:29).

"I've got to tell!" - "Behold I and the children which God hath given to Me" - Jackson and the Lord Jesus unite to remind us of the wonder of a child, and the greater wonder of a Savior. Thanks to both, and we close by joining the Apostle Paul in expressing the gratitude of our heart to the Father who loves His Son, and who loves us...

"Now thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift."
(II Corinthians 9:15)

No comments: