by adetunji ABIONA
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For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life
It is a true story. My heart is gladdened each time I consider its reality. In it, every piece is fitted together by unimaginable love. The account itself is full of intrigue and exhilarating action. The characters are more real than anything you have ever watched in movies or read about in any book. It is a multifaceted story with interesting turns that follow such a simple pattern that even a primary school pupil would easily understand. Yet the wisdom contained in it is such that would baffle the greatest professors of all time. Try to see yourself as one of its characters, and you can imagine the rush of emotion and suspense. This story is one that many generations have waited to hear. It is an intricate part of the eternal gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to Jews and Gentiles- an everlasting gospel that dates back to the ageless past.
IT ALL BEGAN IN TIMELESS ETERNITY when the Ancient, Invisible, Immortal Spirit whom we now know as the Father, sent His Word into the world or universe as some would prefer to call it(John 3:16). This event first took place in the realm of eternity, in the Spiritual Territory within which time and distance do not exist; in the Heaven that was before all heavens were created, a place where no creature has ever been. No angel has seen this great Heaven of the Father (John 1:18). None of them even knew the Father or anything that belongs to this particular Heaven. The ONLY PERSON who knew the Father or this Heaven was the Word whom the Father had sent.
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
THE WORD WAS NOT A CREATED BEING. He came directly from the bowels of the Father. He was an intricate part of the Ancient, Invisible, Immortal Spirit who dwells in Heaven (John 10:30). Therefore, He did not only know Him who is the Father, but also had His nature, heart and wisdom. He was not His servant, but an extension of His very person.
God sent His Son (the Word) into the world with the aim of expressing the glory of His person to creation (John 17:26). The Father wanted to extend His kingdom by allowing creation to share in His glory. So, He gave His heart, wisdom, glory, love, beauty, power, mercy and His entire will to the world in the person of His only begotten Son.
THE GOSPEL IS A LOVE STORY! It was not only founded on the platform of unconditional love but also built up by the same. This story is the account of how some have sought the Kingdom of God by way of force, obedience to the law, manipulation, pretence and impure motives but failed. And how others sought it by way of love and faith, and were freely given the opportunity of sharing in the Fatherís nature. Keep following this wonderful story; it will touch your heart.
The Son was given as the Fatherís Word- the expression of all that the He takes delight in. He was His exact image and likeness. Just as a son takes up the nature of his father, so did the Word take up the exact nature of the Father. The Ancient of days made the Word appear in such a way that if anyone should see Him, he would not need to be looking for the Father any more. He was the express image of the Eternal Spirit who dwells in the Heaven that is far above all heavens. The Son was made the exact copy of all that He loves and takes pleasure in. He represented His entire will and desire for all generations. He was His heart throb. Everything that He loved was Him. He was the sum total of all that the Father has to say to creation and all that He wanted the world to learn about Himself. See the Son, and you have seen the Father- the likeness was that serious.
If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the father, and it sufficeth us.
Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? John 14:7-9
The Word was all that was required to bring creation into all of the Fatherís glory. He was everything that the world needed to know in order to learn about the nature and requirements of the Father that safely leads a person into His glory. Since the reason why the Father sent the Son and the Spirit was to share His nature with creation, then it meant that the Word was the reason why all the worlds were framed.
All that the world needed was to see the Word and she would have seen all about the Father that would make her qualified to enter His glory. The world needed to hear the Word speak and she would have heard all she must hear from the Father in order to inherit His kingdom. If the world would receive the Word, then she has received all that the Father has to offer to prepare her for His inheritance. All that creation needed was to hear Him, see Him and receive Him (John 6:27).
Even though, the Word (the Son) was in the exact form that was required to accomplish the Fatherís will, there remained one more thing. The only begotten of the Father was still carrying the glory of His presence. With this glory, no created being would be able to stand before Him let alone waiting to hear from Him or even receiving Him. Yet the plan was that creation would see Him, hear Him and receive Him before sharing in the Fatherís nature. How can this be possible? How would the Son relate the will of the Father to Creation without destroying her by the brightness of His glory in the process of doing so? Something significant had to happen. And of course, it did. The greatest sacrifice of love had to be made. This sacrifice took place right there in that great Heaven of the Father before the worlds were framed. It was performed by the unimaginably great hands of the Father Himself.
On that great day of unspeakable pain, humiliation and sorrow, the Father took His Son to the altar of sacrifice. The Father loved the world so much, even before it was created, that He was ready to pay the greatest price to bring it into His eternal glory. Even before anything that we know or those we do not yet know ever came into existence, He had this great love for creation that He was ready to give out His most valuable possession to save it. Words cannot describe the greatness of the Love that the Father had for the world and how much He longed to make her His own.
This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. John 3:16
The Son of God was there. He observed the way the Father longed to extend His love to the world. This kind of love is greater than what mortal man can understand, but He understood the Fatherís love because He also had His heart. He knew the greatness of his unconditional love and understood that it is the MOST IMPORTANT aspect of his nature.
The love of the Father is an unconditional love because it had been since the ageless past before any condition we now know came into existence. It is a type of love that existed before anything called Jews, Gentiles, obedience, sin, judgment, justification or death came into existence- a kind of affection that is not tied to any condition. It is the purest form of love- THE FATHERíS LOVE (Rom 5:8).
The only begotten Son is the Fatherís greatest treasure and this love was so great in His heart that He would not mind giving Him out for the sake of the world He loves. But more interesting was the fact that the Son Himself was not less ready to give up His place as the only begotten Son of the Most High to embrace whatever love would require Him to do or become just to fulfill the Fatherís will. Just as the Father was ready to sacrifice His Son, so also was the Son ready to willingly give Himself for the sacrifice of love(Rom 10:17-18). All that was in that great Abode of the Father were in one accord as the sacrifice was ready to be performed.
The Father stripped the Son of the glory of His presence. He took Him to the place of sacrifice and carefully rid Him of that glorious look that creation would not be able to withstand. This sacrifice was the most painful thing ever, yet the most glorious (Isaiah 53:1-7). It was certain that the Word, who is the only begotten of the Father, must go and show Himself to the world before creation can enter into the Fatherís glory. However, He was still carrying that glory which He had with Him. With this glory, those to whom He had been sent to present the Father would be destroyed by the brightness of His appearance. But God loved the world so much that He had to slay Him to make relationship with Him possible.
After the sacrifice, the only begotten Son of the Father became Ďso ordinaryí that one beholding Him would definitely consider Him robbed, stricken, forsaken, unattractive and lowly. He who once sat with the Father in unimaginably great glory now became as a lamb. And not just a lamb, but one who had been slain, stricken and humiliated. He was stripped of the glory that He had with the Father, and was left with His intricate nature as the only begotten Son of God.
HE WAS STILL HIS ONLY SON AND WOULD FOREVER BE, but He no longer looked like it in terms of glorious appearance. He still looked exactly like the Father; He still had all His nature, but no longer did He possess the brightness of His glory. In appearance, He became as a mere man and though He did not have any earthly father, He was known all over the world He had made as Ďthe son of maní- a title which He had gladly embraced for the sake of love.
One would actually think that being slain only meant that He was robbed of the glorious look which He had with the Father before the world began. But He was stripped of something far more than just the glory of His presence. As one coming from the Father, He was so holy that He could not look on a faulty thing. He was not only perfect, but could not bear with nothing but perfection. Anything that is yet imperfect would be consumed to ashes before Him. The only begotten of the Father, could not behold anything that has the slightest spot of imperfection. Just like His Father, He had such a personality that was too great to imagine. Whatever He says must happen immediately; His words cannot wait. His commands must be carried out at such a speed that is not possible for even the fastest angel. He WOULD NOT change His mind over anything He has purposed to do. He was too perfect to overlook the slightest sin or provocation.
However, creature was meant to be made into the Fatherís image through love and relationship with His Son. The world was meant to grow from imperfection to perfection through the revelation of the Word (the only begotten of the Father). The Son was meant to be her coach, teacher, savior and Christ. So, if He is to bring creation from imperfection to perfection, He must be able to relate with her while she is still imperfect. The Son must be able to bear with sin and creationís flaws or failures, at least for some time.
Therefore, the Father also stripped Him of that Ďimpossible-to-beholdí glory which He had with Him before the world began. This made the only begotten of the Father to become just like Ďa man in search of his loverí. He became so tender and longsuffering that He could bear very long even with the most wretched sinner. Sometimes He got angry and would have destroyed the offender, but almost immediately, He would change His mind and forgive. He repented of many evil He had purposed to do at instances when he got angry. If not that He turns back from His anger, the entire world would have been destroyed a long time ago. This became possible because the Father Had stripped Him of that fearful aura He had with Him before the world begun.
One seeing the Son with His long suffering attitude would think He has become different from the Father. But this is not true as the Father Himself is the most longsuffering, forgiving and merciful God anyone can imagine. He had the nature of forgiveness but His glory and infallibility would not allow His merciful nature to be noticeable. The Father really longed to show the world that He forgives, overlooks wrongs and bears long with a sinner. But there is another part of Him (His glory and infallibility as God) that makes it impossible for an imperfect thing to be able to come near Him.
Even though the Father wanted to forgive or overlook imperfection, He would not compromise His position as the infallible unchangeable God. It is true that imperfection cannot come before Him, but deep down in His heart He longed to bring an imperfect world into His perfection and to make the corruptible incorruptible. When an imperfect thing comes before the Father, it is definitely destroyed. But this did not happen because the Father wanted to destroy it. It is destroyed simply because of the brightness of the glory of His presence. This glory was preventing His unconditional love from gaining expression. So, the Father longed to separate His glory from His person so that creation can experience His compassion towards sinners. THIS DESIRE OF THE FATHER WAS EVENTUALLY ACCOMPLISHED IN THE SACRIFICIAL SLAYING OF HIS SON.
Dear reader, I believe very strongly that this gospel story would change your life. Itís all about the Fatherís love and itís amazing how that we never knew the Father until the New Testament came and the Son began to tell us about Him. All the prophets of old longed to hear this love story, but they didnít because it was reserved for the New Testament believers.
With the sacrificial slaying of His only begotten Son, the Father was finally able to separate His glory from His person so that His love can be expressed to creation without any hindrance. The Son is the very person of the Father in character and nature but He no longer possessed all the aspects of God that would have made relationship with the world impossible. He took away everything that would make Him unapproachable, so that creation can be able to behold Him, who is the very image of the Father long enough to learn about the Fatherís longsuffering, willingness to forgive, compassion towards sinners and His eternal plan for all creation. THE FATHERíS DESIRE TO SEPARATE HIMSELF FROM HIS GLORY FOR THE SAKE OF LOVE WAS EVENTUALLY FULFILLED IN THE REVELATION OF THE PERSON OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON.
After the Father had slain the Son in Heaven, He sent Him into the world to commence the work of creation. Note that this event occurred before time began. The only begotten of the Father is the creator of everything that has existed, is existing and would exist in the future. In the beginning, the Lord was required to make and create the world according to the will of the Father. He made all things in accordance to the specifications that He provided. The Son and the Father worked together as one to bring the work to completion. The presence of God with Him was manifest in the person of the Holy Spirit.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
The Word was not alone, but He was performing in the fullness of the presence of the Father (the Spirit). Therefore, He worked because the Father was also working. In fact, nothing was made except the Father commanded the specific way it should be made.
But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
The Son did not do anything of His own, but only the things He saw the Father doing. He put materials which He required together in the process of making every creature with such accuracy that one cannot fully imagine. He had always been with Him and understood the dexterity required in carrying out His work. He did the Fatherís work in the fullness of the Spirit and was required to present it to Him at the end in a perfect and incorruptible form. The Son continued to work as the Father also worked
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Well said! This is an inspired piece of work!