The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"The Man Upstairs?"
I do not feel at all comfortable with referring to God as "the Man upstairs." It seems trite, and not a respectful view of our glorious and eternal God.
"God…is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen" (I Timothy 6:13:15-16).
This being the case, it is true that "the Man upstairs" does reflect truth about God.
"There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (I Timothy 2:5).
"His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 1:19-20).
The God who became man and the man who remains God, the Lord Jesus Christ, forever abides in the Heavenlies as the exalted Son of the Father, and the beloved Savior of the redeemed. His place there as both Divine and human secures by grace our Heavenly citizenship with Him forevermore. Indeed, had He not ascended to Heaven as the man who "ever liveth to make interecession" for us, no hope would exist for our future ascent (Hebrews 7:25). Thus, while "upstairs" may be problematic regarding the phrase we consider, "the Man" actually describes one of the most glorious realities of our blessed Savior.
In the Old Testament, an indentured servant was obligated to serve his master for 6 years (Exodus 21:2-6). 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 in order to remain with his family. In such cases, the 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. He is forevermore "the Man Christ Jesus." "I will not go out free" He declares of the limitations taken upon Himself in order to bind Himself unto us forever. "Behold I and the children which God hath given Me" (Hebrews 2:13). He bears upon His body the tangible scars of His determination, wounds imprinted by both God and man. 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 the sacrifice of becoming human in time, but far more, He makes this sacrifice of remaining human forever. So, when we hear someone refer to "the man upstairs," perhaps we might use the occasion to bear witness to a reality far more beautiful than we can fully describe, the reality of the God who became man, and the man who remains God.
"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."
"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil."
Weekly Memory Verse
Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
(I Thessalonians 4:1)