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Coming Soon to an Eternity Near You

 

Jesus’ ability to forgive is vastly and incomprehensibly great, and needs to be understood in the context of his passion and death.  It needs to be especially understood in these very last and evil days when the time of accepting atonement is dangerously short.  We’ll talk about that timing very soon.

 Many people look at the horribleness of the beatings which drew blood, and in themselves could have killed a man, and see the beginning of our offering, our atonement in this.   Others look at the spikes pounded into his limbs and his body hoisted up on the cross as our atonement,  as the offering for our sins, and others, look at the moment of his last drop of blood being shed, his final words of forgiveness as being the completion of the atonement.  No one would be wrong in thinking this, but it’s important to look at something else.  When the scriptures say that he bore our sins in his body on the tree, it means just that.  That means that every act of violence, every hideous crime, every moment caused by fallen humanity, every car accident, every broken limb caused by negligence, every word of ridicule, all of it was carried  by him on the cross.  He bore the anguish, second by second, generation by generation, person by person of the totality of sin and all of its effects.  In a very personally draining way he endured each sin, and not just some collective heaping of them on his head.

 In other words, the pain goes beyond what we can visualize or imagine.  In more specific words:  If you or I were to be beaten with a cat-of–9-tails and then nailed to a tree, and hoisted up to have our raw flesh pecked at by birds, struggling for breath in the bleeding agony, we would not come close to feeling the pain and agony that Jesus felt.  Read that again.

 You see, the moment when he cried ,”my God my God why have you forsaken me”, God had, the scripture tells us, withdrawn his face from Jesus, because God cannot look at sin, and the scripture tells us that he who knew no sin, became sin. (IICorinthians, 5:21).    Yes, the totality of all sin was poured onto him and burdened his great soul completely.  The pain goes beyond the spikes.  I will venture to say that the pain and horror of the total dumping of all of humanity’s iniquity upon him made the spikes in his hands to be even distractions to him. Yes.

 This has to be comprehended in the greatness of his spirit.  First of all, if all of humanity’s sins were to be dumped upon his soul, his soul had to be great enough to endure it.  He said, “The kingdom of God has come upon you.”  To his disciples.  He was telling them that he was the total comprehension and presence of all that God had to offer.  He again explains it when he says that the angels of God would be ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.  We must look back at Jacob’s ladder to realize that the angels of God ascended and descended upon the Holy Presence of Heaven itself. 

Beginning to comprehend that his greatness of soul was the size of, say an ocean, and every sin dumped upon him (I’m speaking allegorically) took one drop of that soul,  the moment that he cried, “My God, My God, “ Why have you forsaken me?”  would have been the moment when the ocean appeared to have been completely dry.

 Every sin, every child who struck another child, every word of ridicule, every man who injured another man, the pain of it, every devious act that left a family injured or homeless, would have been a glass of water taken from that ocean.  Now you can comprehend the greatness of this atonement, and the horror of this pain in the agony he experienced in the Garden.  It wasn’t simply that he knew that he would be horribly flayed and nailed to a tree, but it was knowing that he would soon experience separation from God that made him ask, “If you will, take this cup from me.”  That made him sweat blood.  You see, he knew the greatness of the Holy Spirit’s complete presence. The total absence of the Holy Spirit’s presence would leave him a mound of horrified flesh plunged into a darkness more horrifying than the most bitterly confusing and painful nightmares that could ever be experienced by a human, not unlike the Lake of Fire that will be the final separation from God that many wicked will have achieved.  It is this, amongst other things that brought us this great act of Atonement.

Isaiah says, “When You make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.  He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied, by his knowledgeshall my righteous servant justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities.…”

 

-By John P. Schumake


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