Pay Attention to Great Salvation

The ultimate weapon of Heaven is the cry of a child. Psalm 8 tells us this. The majestic Lord, the One whose Name is great in all the earth; the One whose glory is above the stars and planets and galaxies declared this so.

He did this to answer His foes. The mouths of babies and infants confront the rebellious beings – ones He made and set in their places as ministers and messengers of His purposes. These enemies sought to create an alternative to the universe governed by the mind and heart of the Creator.

What a colossal miscalculation! Lucifer and his comrades thought God to be such as they are, enamored at the luster of their own brilliance and looks. All things that these beings possess were given to them. Yes, even the minions of Hell were outfitted along lines defined by the grace and originality of their Maker.

The swelling of the perceived hierarchies and the competition in the unseen realm came after Hell’s declaration of detachment. Here, I am purposely avoiding the finer word “independence” for despite the boasts to the contrary the devils have no independence–they are totally under wraps. None of them can do a thing without the permission and space afforded them by the sovereign Lord of all.

The noise made by a child stills the enemy of God. The devil’s defeat came not through the exercise of the Almighty’s muscle. Rather, victory came via the revelation of His love toward the weakest of things.

Babies blast forth the majesty of His Name to all the earth.

Think about the fragility of a newborn. He cannot fight. He cannot feed himself. He can only make his presence known through squeals and giggles and wiggles and sighs. And yet the Scriptures say that this is what the enemy falls before.

Dust to Ashes

God purposed to crown man with honor. He was the “very good” thing of His Creation. Formed of dust and made in the Lord’s image, everything was designated to be in subjection to man.

What happened? This status and standing was forfeited at the Fall in the Garden. The reason was that the man ignored the instruction we find at the beginning of Hebrews 2:  “We must pay closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it” (Hebrews 2:1).

Adam was told about the danger of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The warning from the Lord was that eating from it would bring death. Instead of keeping this in mind, he drifted along and followed his wife as she entertained the suggestions of the serpent.

Death came. Shame filled them. This manifested itself in insecurity and unhappiness about their bodies; they were blinded to the very goodness of the way in which they had been made. Such dissatisfaction came forth through their awakened nature of self-centered thinking.

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The pride of life took root and fueled the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes. They disliked what they saw in themselves and so they made the first fashion statement—they tailored clothes from fig leaves and then hid from God. The paradise presented to them went up in ashes, burned to the ground by the wrong decision.

Death – ashes to ashes; their dust reduced again to dust after being fashioned and fitted for glory, for His glory, forever and ever. Their living souls had to endure the disaster of bodily decay and the emotions and thoughts attendant to it. And they came to fear this process that led them down, down, down, down to the grave, to the cold, to the underworld, the system ruled by the liar and his lies.

Separation from the presence of God became their existence—an abnormality that afflicted the human standard of living.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The Lord loved and treasured these beings, these jars of clay that He quickened with His own breath. He treasured them so much that he risked their disobedience. That is, He gave them a will so that they would choose Him and His way over the way of their selves. His desire was for relationship and engagement. He made people for love and fellowship, not for regulated responses that He would turn on and off. Tragically, the choice they made was to take the fruit and enter into a frustrating and fruitless pursuit of being more “like God.”

The Answer of the Son

Thankfully, the story does not end there. Their failure and its consequences got an answer.

That answer first announced itself with the cry from a Baby born in Bethlehem. The Son came small. The Rock of Truth was like a pebble slung into our world. He would become the smooth stone that would bring down the ultimate Goliath, the onerous, hamstringing bondage that is the fear of death.

He lived to die and He offered Himself as the Lamb of God. Thereby, every transgression and disobedience “received a just retribution” (Hebrews 2:2).

Jesus accomplished the Great Salvation, and it is something that we cannot neglect or ignore, for there is no other means of escape from the fear that hovers over this world. He alone supplies us with life and liberty from sin and death.

The latter part of Hebrews 2 explains how the Son saved us. He took a true share in our life in order make us brothers and sisters with Him on literal flesh and blood terms. He faced the fear of death. He felt and weathered the suffocating nature of that fear in Gethsemane. Read and imagine the stress He endured with the knowledge of what Calvary would bring to Him as a human being in soul and spirit.

What staggered the Man Christ Jesus most, I believe, was the anticipation of the darkest moment of the Cross, the moment He had set His face toward like a flint. He understood that cup He had to drink would reach the point when all sin would be draped over His Person. Then and there, the cosmic nature of absolute loneliness and forsakenness was tasted and swallowed. The full sting of death came to Him for “He had to be made like His brothers in every respect, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17).

Merciful and faithful, Jesus occupies His Throne. Resurrected and fully glorified, He speaks for us. Tried in every way that we are ever tried, He truly represents us. He cannot refuse pleas for His help from any of the “offspring of Abraham” – those whose faith is counted as righteousness.

Through faith in the Son of God, through calling upon His Name, we receive the Great Salvation, a redemption Complete and Finished by His once and for all offering. We are made friends and family in Jesus–One Body, One Temple of the Spirit, with particular members fitted together for His glory.

Hear these words and pay attention to them. Take heed and do not drift away.

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Andrulonis
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