(Friends: thanks for bearing with us in this lengthy series. What you have been reading are actually brief versions of chapters of a book I am working on along the lines of the theme. I'll finish the series in the next day or so, and we're not sure when the book may become available. But I'll keep you posted. Thanks, Glen.)
A poignant devotional truth exists in the theme we have recently pondered considering the swans we become, as it were, when we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
"He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21).
When we trusted in the Lord Jesus, God not only forgave our sins and assured us of eternal life with Him, He also changed the very person we most deeply are. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new" (II Corinthians 5:21). In order to birth the new person we are, our Savior had to become who He is not. Not only did He bear our sins. He was made "to be sin" (emphasis added). "The King of righteousness" became everything He is not for the sublimely wondrous purpose of spiritually birthing us as "the righteousness of God in Him" (Hebrews 7:2).
What could such aberration involve in the pristinely pure spirit and soul of the Son of God? What dark and cataclysmic horrors transpired when the One who "loved righteousness and hated iniquity" become for us the very essence of sin? (Hebrews 1:9). How terrible was the wrath of God experienced for us? We cannot know. We can only bow in worship, adoration, love, and the solemn awareness that our redemption cost our Redeemer infinitely more than we can ever know or imagine. As the hymnwriter eulogized concerning such wonder, "But none of the ransomed ever knew how deep were the waters crossed, nor how dark was the night our Lord passed through e're He found His sheep that was lost."
We cannot fathom the depths of those waters or pierce the darkness of that night. We can, however, believe in the gift purchased because our Lord made such a journey for our sakes. We can realize and affirm that to the degree He became who is not on the cross, we become who we are in Him forevermore. We can also acknowledge that failure to requite such a gift constitutes a somber omission on our part. So much was sacrificed to birth the "new creature" we became when we trusted the Lord Jesus. Unlike the swan who merely matured into his identity, the shedding of blood and the rending of a soul made possible our transformation from fleshly to spiritual in our innermost being. Our birth into newness of life required the aberration of being that led to our Lord's experience of the judgment of God and death. We cannot know what such horror involved. But we can believe, and thus increasingly and more consistently walk in the spirit, even as we live in the spirit" (Galatians 5:25).
Every spiritual truth and reality begins with the love of God, proceeds therein, and never ends because of the everlasting nature of our Lord's blessed nature of devotion to others (I Corinthians 13; Jeremiah 31:6). The truths we consider together in this series bear monumental impact on the life of faith and faithfulness to which the Bible calls us. However, their most powerful implication concerns the depths of our Heavenly Father's devotion to us and our subsequent capacity - through Christ - to respond in reciprocal affection, devotion, and commitment. Realizing the sacrifice that made possible our change from fleshly to spiritual fosters in us a far greater yearning to love even as we are loved. Moreover, the truth empowers us to do so as excuses melt away in the light of "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27). We are not who we once were. We can love God with a growing ardor and a corresponding walk of faith and faithfulness. Love made such change and its holy fruit possible. It will make it actual as we embrace the blessed and grace-given truth of a "new man, created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:24).
"I will love Thee, o Lord my strength!"
Weekly Memory Verse
Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.