Monday, June 29, 2015

“The Worst Thing, the Best Thing”

     Scripture records the greatest evil that ever occurred.

    "When he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto Him the whole band of soldiers.  And they stripped Him, and put on Him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon His head, and a reed in His right hand: and they bowed the knee before Him, and mocked Him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon Him, and took the reed, and smote Him on the head. And after that they had mocked Him, they took the robe off from Him, and put His own raiment on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him. And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear His cross. And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, they gave Him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when He had tasted thereof, He would not drink. And they crucified Him" (Matthew 27:26-35).

   Amazingly, however, this same event constitutes the greatest act of righteousness that ever took place. 

     "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed.  It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel… The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Genesis 3:15; Revelation 13:8).

    At the greatest cost to Himself, God made a declaration of grace immediately after the sin of Adam and Eve.  He promised a Savior, whose heel the serpent would bruise even as the serpent received a mortal blow to the head.  This promise was fulfilled during the great crime of the ages.  The suffering, forsakenness, and death of the Lord Jesus Christ, devilish and human crime as it was, also constitutes the most glorious display of God's holy and faithful character.  The Lord's righteousness shined forth even as the darkness of sin enshrouded the soul and body of our Redeemer.  "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself" (II Corinthians 5:19).

    The worst thing became the best thing for those who trust the Lord Jesus.  In the wonder of God's eternal purpose in Christ, the crime of the ages became the very basis of our redemption.  This principle applies in all things in our lives.  Sometimes our Heavenly Father grants to our enemies a long leash, enabling them to wreak evil and painful havoc on us.  Much may seem to be lost, and things may seem dangerous and out of control.  "Seem" is the operative word in the latter sentence.  Indeed, if the worst thing became the best thing, and if God's loving faithfulness was most vividly displayed in the tortured murder of His Son, all other devilish and fleshly assaults pale in comparison.  "In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us" declared the Apostle Paul regarding our sufferings for Christ (Romans 8:37).  Thus, we can trust with our hearts the Biblical assurance that "all things work together for good to them that love God," even in those circumstances and situations that bewilder our minds (Romans 8:28).

    When life flows in a direction that seems to threaten our well being in any manner, let us remember the cross of Calvary.  The light of God shone more brightly in that dark place than in any other.  There we see the character, nature, purpose, and power of God in the most vivid display.  Yes, the world, the flesh, and the devil cast their wicked worst upon the Lamb of God.  The greater truth, however, involved the redeeming love of God who determined to transform the crime of the ages into the salvation of eternity for those who believe that the worst thing and the best thing are one and the same in our Lord's wondrous counsels of grace…

"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!  For who hath known the mind of the Lord?  And who hath been His counselor?  Or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto Him again?  For of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things, to Whom be glory forever. Amen."
(Romans 11:33-36)
"The light shineth in darkness."
(John 1:5)

Weekly Memory Verse
    All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.
(John 1:3)

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