The adoration of the crucified risen and ascended Lord Jesus
Imagine a dark church at 3 o’clock in the morning, you have been woken from sleep by the church clock. You struggle into wakefulness and strike a match which shines out into the church and you light a candle that is placed before a simple wooden cross.
As the stark image of the cross seems to flow and grow, filling your field of vision, the words of Isaiah 6 ” I saw the Lord high and lifted up” come into your mind as the image of the cross sparks the imagination.
However, the image of the cross does not support a vision of God clothed in fiery royal finery, seated on a majestic throne, but of a king stripped naked and bloody with skin stripped off by flogging and hands pierced by cruel nails.
Isaiah’s vision produces holy fear and underlines our need for repentance in the face of a thrice Holy God.
However, the vision of Jesus lifted high on the cross fills our hearts with love for a God who left his throne in the heavenly places to suffer and die the most horrible and degrading death for everyone who puts their trust in Him. The glory of the cross is a very strange sort of glory. Jesus knew that he had to be lifted up, like the serpent in the wilderness, then He would draw all people to Himself.
Philippians2:6-11 is a wonderful picture of Jesus as the obedient son of God leaving the majesty of heaven and the perpetual love of the trinity of persons of which he was fully part. He laid aside all the joys and majesty of that union to become fully human, suffering everything that we suffer, including death, even death on a cross.
However, the death or Jesus was followed by His glorious resurrection and ascension. On the cross, our broken nature and our lives which end in death were totally transformed, by the power of what Jesus did on the cross. We have been transferred from the kingdom of this world of sin and death to the Kingdom of Christ and to life in a new world were Jesus reigns as God and King. The dividing wall that separated us from God has been broken down and we have free access into the throne room of grace.
Once we give our lives to Christ we are given everything that Jesus achieved, by His death on the cross.
Our lives which were once full of pride and totally obsessed with self, have become the place where love flows out to all around, helping to bring in the kingdom of Christ, until our physical death calls us to life with Him.
We can then continue in adoration, love and worship of our wonderful crucified raised and glorified Jesus Christ in His new restored creation; a unified heaven and earth.