Wednesday, August 15, 2012

“I Will Not Go Out Free”     

During His earthly sojourn, had we asked the Lord Jesus Christ about the timing of history’s end, He might have responded very simply, “I don’t know.”

   “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matthew 24:36).

 This offers a different view of our Savior than we normally consider.  He was and is God.  However, He was and is man.  As such, the Lord Jesus voluntarily took upon Himself a limitation that should fill us with wonder and loving appreciation.  He didn’t know everything during His life on the earth, and since He will forever retain His humanity, the same may be true in eternity.

    “He hath put all things under His feet. But when He saith, all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which did put all things under Him.  And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all” (I Corinthians 15:27-28).
We have no frame of reference for such condescension.  That a member of the triune Godhead should become man and forever remain man speaks of a truth we will never fully fathom. “Without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifest in the flesh” (I Timothy 3:16).  The thought that always comes to mind upon this consideration is the sacrifice that must be involved in such humility. For our sakes, the Lord Jesus did not surrender His Divinity.  He did, however, take upon Himself the garb of our humanity in full knowledge of the consequences in both time and eternity. 

In the Old Testament, an indentured servant was obligated to serve his master for 6 years (Exodus21:2-6).  In the seventh year, he could freely leave, with one exception.  If he had married during the time of servitude, he could not take his wife and children with him when leaving his master.  He must go out alone.  He could chose to remain a slave, however, and if he did, his master would pierce the ear of the slave, leaving tangible scars to indicate his permanent indenture.  Far more, however, the servant’s love for his master, wife and children shone forth as a shining jewel of his heart’s devotion.  “The servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children.  I will not go out free” (Exodus 21:5).

     Our Savior is this servant.  “I will not go out free” declares the Lord Jesus of the limitations taken upon Himself in order to bind Himself unto us forever.  “Behold I and the children which God hath given Me” (Hebrews2:13).  He bears upon His body the tangible scars of His determination, wounds imprinted by the Father who smote His beloved Son for our sakes.  Few considerations will more humble us with heart-filling awe, and few will more instill in us the desire to love this one who so loves us.  “I will not go out free.”  For you and for me, the Lord Jesus made this sacrifice in time, but far more, He makes this sacrifice forever.

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”(Philippians 2:5-8)

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