Friday, May 5, 2023

Orange Moon Friday, May 5, 2023 "The Worst Thing. The Best Thing"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…  

"The Worst Thing.  The Best Thing" 

   On the cross of Calvary, the Lord Jesus Christ suffered and died at the hands of both God and man.

   "Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain" (Acts 2:23).

    Who delivered the Lord Jesus to Calvary and its horrors?  The divine or the human?  Both declared the Apostle Peter in the first sermon of the church after the imparting of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.  The cross fulfilled God's prophecies and His "working all things after the counsel of His own will" (Ephesians 1:11).  This does not absolve human hands of their wickedness in wielding the weapons and forging the nails that assailed the Savior as He suffered and died in obedience to His Father, and in redemption of us.  "God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man" (James 1:13).  In the mystery of His wisdom and way, God determined that Christ should die as He did without determining the sin that led to His death. 

    "Ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you, and killed the Prince of life… But those things, which God before had showed by the mouth of all His prophets, that Christ should suffer, He hath so fulfilled" (Acts 3:14-15; 18).

    How could such love and hatred merge in the same place, as executed upon and within the same innocent person?  How did divine righteousness and human unrighteousness both result in the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus?  No one has answered, or will answer this question.  We would not understand if our Heavenly Father offered an explanation.  We therefore resolve to realize that God was and is able to fulfill His purposes, regardless of whether human beings work with or against Him.  Wondrously, the worst thing that ever happened, the most grievous of human sins, became the best thing that ever happened for human sinners, the most gracious revelation of Divine righteousness.  "When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son" (Romans 5:10).  

   Apply this truth to what we see in the world.  Sin is sin.  Evil is evil.  Devils and humans originate and practice such darkness that arises from within themselves, misusing by their own determination the freedom God formed when creating conscious beings (Ezekiel 28:15; James 1:14-15).  "Do not err" to believe otherwise, counsels James (James 1:16).  God nevertheless works out His eternal purpose in Christ amid all.  He is that wise, that present, that involved, that powerful, that faithful, and that loving.  We will never fully know how He does so.  We just know that He does so.   Therein, we rest our hearts when we see evil.  It rightly concerns, grieves, and motivates us to action when we can rectify wrong.  When we cannot, however, we remember the marvel of grace and redemption that flowed from the wounds inflicted on the Lord Jesus by wicked human hands, even as the righteous hand of God worked to execute purposes that could have been fulfilled in no other way.  The worst thing, the greatest evil that ever happened, became for believers the best thing, the very basis of our salvation and the brightest revelation of God's faithfulness.  All other wrongs pale in comparison, and we will one day better understand the wonder of our Lord's righteous ways and workings in all things.  Or perhaps we will not…

"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!"
(Romans 11:33)

Weekly Memory Verse
     Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, who comforteth us in all our tribulation.
 (II Corinthians 1:3-4).





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