We as husbands are to love our wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself “up” for her, as one translation puts it. (Ephesians 5) First it brings to mind how a fugitive would give himself up to the authorities because he sees no hope in holding out any longer. Jesus too was like a fugitive in that he was being secretly pursued by the religious authorities who, fearing and envying his growing popularity, intended to have him killed. Still he was not apprehended in the garden so much as he gave himself up and let himself be arrested for our benefit whom he sought to redeem. We were on the “slave-block” enslaved by our addiction to sin and he found us there and valued us enough to buy us back from that bondage with his own life blood. He gave himself “up” also in that he allowed himself to be nailed to a cross and lifted "up" as a criminal suffering execution. But even that was not the final word because he gave himself “up” to the resurrection he knew was coming when he would rise up from the dead and appear to his disciples and teach them one last “course” before giving himself "up" in the eventual ascension to his Father’s side that followed that, where he would offer "up" intercessions on our behalf. The incarnation not only means that God took on human flesh, but that ultimately in Jesus glorified human flesh was received and absorbed up into the eternal Godhead, So as you can see, as we can't help but see, there is an enormous "up" side to all of this! That enormous up side helps to prepare us for the downside. The courses in his school were more like informal seminars and the seminars more like workshops, because of the sometimes painful participation that was required in humbling downward steps. After all, the first 12 diplomas were all death certificates like his own, excuse me, except for one, and that one was a one way ticket to a prison island called Patmos. This, of course, isn't required of everyone, but it serves as a reminder for us that there is a cost to discipleship.
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