TITLE: Why the Cross
By Helen Murray
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There in the very centre of that first of all gardens stood the magnificent tree, perhaps the most distinctively elegant of all trees, displaying the most exotic and desirable of fruit. It had a presence, a circle around it that prohibited entry, at least that was the way they saw it. Somehow it represented God’s majestic awefulness, a holy, untouchable glory, as if the Almighty Himself were present, the creative Divinity who authored Heaven and Earth, who set the stars in their places and created the sun for the day and the moon for the night, the elements of the earth and the very man who walked it among the animals, birds and fish, having dominion over all of them.
Indeed the man had been given dominion over everything that walked, flew or crawled. Having dominion made him feel that he was the centre of the universe, the centrepiece of this masterpiece of creation. He enjoyed that feeling of authority, and the responsibility that came with it. The more he investigated everything, the more joyful he felt, and that was invigorating. It was all for him. The Lord God Himself had said so. His to manage in perpetuity! What luxury! What freedom!
There was just one rule to observe. Only one. That majestic tree in the centre, with the most desirable fruit, was not to be touched. Its fruit was to remain uneaten. It was, Yahweh had said, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” and to eat of its fruit was to die. To make himself equal in glory with his creator would be a lie, an evil, and so to touch the fruit of this tree would create the death of the Truth-based relationship between God and humanity. It would create separation between the two and reduce man to relationship with a lie
(Compare it to one who wants to be a musician by saying that he is the equal of any musician, but who hasn’t the ability to play any instrument. His bragging won’t establish him in any relationship with other musicians. He must wait until they acknowledge his authority over His instrument).
So they didn’t touch the Tree. No problem! They left it to stand alone in all its splendour and just enjoyed its very presence.
Then, as they gazed at its extraordinary beauty one day a lying spirit in snake’s clothing offered them a little of the fruit. Of course they objected, but it said they would not die, and when they considered that, they thought that indeed he might be right. Who to believe? Well, if what the snake said were right, why weren’t they enjoying this delicious fruit? One try would not hurt, would it? They crossed the boundary and argued with Yahweh, calling Him a liar by their defiant action of eating. Their belief in the lie choked the Life (of the Spirit of Truth) right out of them. They were treading on holy ground which did not belong to them. For God alone is Holy, the Alpha and Omega, Creator, Man may not touch that glory.
Adam and Eve, the first humans, sacrificed Truth for a lie. They sold out their birthright for a momentary taste experience, just as Esau later did. Like his, it was gone and could not be returned to them. The simple covenant was broken. No lie-based relationship works. There must be a new understanding, a new relationship, a new covenant, which would take cognisance of in-your-face disobedience. The damage could not be minimised. The Spirit of Truth cannot be blasphemed.
To recreate Sons of God required a new covenant, a way for men to ask again for the Spirit of Truth of which Adam had deprived the race. So Jesus, in human form, took the place of that tree in order to play out the drama for humanity to comprehend. He was the entire inviolate Majesty of God on earth. Yet the infection of dissidence is powerful, They nailed Jesus to a tree (timber cross).
But those who acknowledge the physical Jesus as “Son of God, Creator and Master of Heaven and Earth” may now receive again the Life of the Spirit of Truth which God originally breathed into Adam.
Oddly and wonderfully enough, Jesus’ additional, loving response those who do acknowledge Him before men is to give them the use of His Name so they too can wield some of that creative authority!
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