|"In that moment when He suffered, when He forgave and died, there was no honor for it, and no one saw it as such."|
(1 Corinthians 1:2) “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are SANCTIFIED in Christ Jesus, called to be saints” | Sanctified: to make holy, that is, (ceremonially) purify or consecrate; From a word meaning “an awful thing”, sacred (physically pure, morally blameless, or religious), ceremonially (consecrated)
THE ISRAELITES WERE TO OBSERVE the Levitical laws in order to set themselves apart from the nations around them. These were a set of laws crafted to control man’s tendency toward sin, physical structures to give them a temporary holiness until the Holy One would come to earth and redeem them. They were never meant to be permanent or self-sufficient but relied upon the elements of sacrifices as laid out for them by Moses to bring atonement and a form of holiness. What was given them in demonstration was written to point men to the Savior who would come from their people. What was described in ceremony was demonstrated in reality and typified internally to deliver men completely from error. Their severity typified the error of the time and was not meant as destruction but a deterrent from evil. What was is no longer because it was fulfilled entirely in the sacrificial death of Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, who was and is and will always be God. God, in fact, wrote the rules intending to be the only one able to fulfill them. He did fulfill them and is now King of Kings of the line of David who was promised a king of his lineage forever. AND I AM IT.
“Then when Jesus received the sour wine He said, It has been finished and stands complete.” (John 19:28 Wuest)
FOR ALL THE GLORY of the tabernacle, for the beauty of its curtains and rings, for the gold of its vessels and the wood carved for its tables, and the fine linen prepared for the priests, for the grandeur of the temple prepared by Solomon, and the craftsmanship which went into its immense wealth, for all of these, the One for whom they were dedicated, whose service they pictured, was crucified on a cross, not an altar, was bound and beaten on a hillside, not at the door to the tabernacle by the priests in a moment of awe. There were none gathered in reverence for this moment of redemption, but instead, either mocking and jeering, or weeping and wailing.
He had on no fine outfit, wore no ephod lined with valuable jewels. No one raised the altar from the stones of the earth as they were commanded. The only meat offering given, the only flour mixed with oil, was in His flesh. He had no cleansing, was placed beside no curtain or vail. No mercy seat lay before Him, but instead a seat of man’s judgment. Not honored as the sacrifice, nor the scapegoat, nor the Passover Lamb, not seen as salvation, nor fulfillment of Old Testament text. And certainly not God. For all the Levitical Law pictures of this moment, there is a distinct difference between those and Calvary.
For all the people who had performed these rites for generations, and walked between the temple walls, and followed the elders’ traditions, in that moment when He suffered, when He forgave and died, there was no honor for it, and no one saw it as such. Not even those who loved Him the most.
Men saw honor in pomp and circumstance, in the wearing of robes and crowns, in being of the Levites, of descending from Abraham. They burnt incense, then spat hatred. They oiled their palms and not His head. Where death was needed for their forgiveness, they cried out for it to save their reputation. He was the widow’s two mites. They were pearls before swine. And yet, seeking them, He bought the field in order to protect the treasure kept buried there.
Beneath dishonor and hatred, beneath the weights of their sins, behind murderous intentions, and rampant selfishness, were living stones, molded in His image. And before them were generations, Jew and Gentile, bond and free, male and female, whose hearts He loved though they had yet to be. He saw the joy before Him, driven by the love within Him, not desirous of purple and scarlet and gold threads, but of the throne held for Him, of the Father who adored Him, and the Spirit who would raise Him from His graven bed.
He saw victory in that moment, left with iron nail prints and leathern lashes, His blood spilt, not on floors built for worship, before throngs gathered there for it, but on ground He’d created, underneath a sky which split for Him, top to bottom rent, and the Light of the world which was at the beginning, the darkness could not, in that moment, alone on a hill, overlooked and misunderstood, ever overcome.
Photo of the woman by Engin_Akhyurt at Pixabay
Photo of the lightning by WikimediaImages at Pixabay
Suzanne D. Williams, Author