Archive for April 11th, 2009

The Life He Secured For Me

John 1


Before Adam was enticed to think he could add to his life, he simply enjoyed God and all that God had given him.  Is that not at the root of all temptation?  If you have this, see this or do this, it will add enjoyment to your life.  Life is pretty good, but with that, it would be just a little better.


And so, for the next 4,000 years, not one person rose above this contrived means of luring away from God.  Not always a thought to do something evil, but always a thought that it will enrich life.  In the barrage of these enticements man was powerless to make the choices that would lead to real life.


But just as Adam in the first garden made a wrong choice that would start a chain that would last 4,000 years, the second Adam in the second garden would make a right choice that would break that chain.  Jesus was tempted to add to His life by avoiding the cross, but by choosing to endure it, He secured for us the right to know God as Adam did before the fall.  


John 1:12,13 says, ‘Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become the children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.’


It is no wonder that satan comes at us with such a barrage; he knows the extent to which God went to secure this life for us.  If he can keep us from it, he somewhat nullifies the suffering Jesus went through, and in fact, I think it adds to it.


Though Jesus broke the chain, still it is not automatic.  Though we may be, ‘born of God’, we still have an enemy and his ways have not changed.  But what has changed is that Jesus has shown by example how to beat him.  It is not on us to resist that we might then enjoy His fullness, but rather, it is on us to walk in His fullness that we might then have the power to resist.  You cannot do it otherwise. 


When John wrote this first chapter, all this was already over.  Jesus had already been to the cross.  He had already risen from the grave.  He had seen evidence of the life that Jesus made possible as it was born out in so many who had come to know Him.  I find it interesting that he begins his writing with such an emphasis.  John 1:4 states, ‘In him was life, and that life was the light of men’.


Tomorrow happens to be Easter – the day we remember the resurrection.  But this year I will be more mindful of an event a few days before where in a garden, He secured for me this life that I can enjoy now.  Looking ahead and knowing the ones who would find it, it so filled Him with joy that it enabled Him to endure the cross.  


I am reminded of the closing remarks in a sermon called, ‘Ten Shekels and a Shirt’ in which the preacher, Paris Reidhead tells the story of a slave plantation located on an island.  The owner would not allow missionaries to come to the island and once there, you were there untill you died.  ‘Two young Moravians heard about it.  They sold themselves to the British planter…’  As the young men were sailing away, and knowing they would not return, one raised his hand and shouted, ‘MAY THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN, RECEIVE THE REWARD OF HIS SUFFERING’.


In order that He would ‘RECEIVE THE REWARD OF HIS SUFFERING’, may I not miss the life He secured for me.


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