Wednesday, July 24, 2013

"Christ - Made Perfect?"

     "Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him" (Hebrews 5:8-9).

    Perfect in His divinity, the Lord Jesus Christ nevertheless required a lifetime of experiencing and overcoming human challenge in order to become our Savior.  "Without shedding of blood is no remission (pardon)" (Hebrews 9:22).  God could not merely save us by Divine fiat, as it were.  In order to remain just in His justification of sinners, our Heavenly Father required an atonement to be made by one like ourselves in both our humanity and our experience as human beings.  In this sense, the Lord Jesus was not perfect or complete in His office as our Redeemer until He had lived such a lifetime, and more importantly, until He had died on the cross in obedience to His Father's will.  This our Lord accomplished, dying as a "Lamb without blemish, and without spot," and thus becoming the crucified, risen, and ascended Christ "able to save them to the uttermost them that come unto God by Him" (I Peter 1:19; Hebrews 7:25). 

    That our Lord "learned obedience" and was "made perfect" reveals the amazing condescension He embraced for our sake.  A Being of infinite and eternal perfection enrobed Himself with the humble and human limitation whereby He knew life as we know it (excepting, of course, our sin).  He experienced development and advancement - "Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man" (Luke 2:52).  Moreover, He lived a life of dependent faith such as God calls us to embrace - "I can do nothing of Myself... I live by the Father" (John 8:28; 6:57).  No consideration will more instill in us wonder and worship than this realization of Christ's lowliness, whereby His exceeding greatness is all the more revealed and exalted.  "Thy gentleness hath made me great" (Psalm 18:35).

     For a long eternity, we will gaze upon the wounds of nails in our Savior's hands and feet, and the print of a spear that once pierced His side (as one has said, the only imperfections of Heaven).  His marred body will tell us of wonders too glorious to comprehend and describe, and of a loving humility that may drive to our faces even more than His surpassing excellence and glory.  Such condescension, such a Savior, and such a joy to anticipate forever in His presence made all the more glorious by His sublime lowliness.

And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain."
(Revelation 5:5-6)

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