Painting by Van Gough
Jesus died and rose again. The entire Christian faith is comprehended in those few words. Easy to say but to know, to bow the soul without reserve before Reality…that is another matter.
The Holy Spirit is gradually bringing our experience in line with Reality Himself. Scripture describes this as renewing the mind (Rom. 12:2). At various times and degrees experience aligns with the truth as it is in Jesus. Reality manifests as a sign. The Word becomes flesh and is revealed in our mortal bodies (2 Cor. 4:10-11). This is for the benefit of ourselves and others. Such revelation generates testimony among those who have seen and touched that which was from the beginning (1 John 1:1-4).
As the Holy Spirit intermingles Christ and our experience, understanding grows; holiness grows; communion with God enlarges. We see ourselves change into the image of the Lord (2 Cor. 3:18). The process in which we find ourselves is important. Even so, it cannot be our focus; we cannot orient ourselves to Truth within that process.
Jesus died and rose again. This is where change and holiness were accomplished. Communion is in the broken body, the shed blood, the bread of life. Here, old things passed away and all things became new (2 Cor. 5:17).
When God created the world, He finished it and brought man to life within that completed work. This is a figure of Christ. Being born again is God bringing us to life within the completion of Jesus. The Lord draws us out of the dust of the world and stands us upright in all the fullness of His Son. And what is after that? The seventh day, which God blesses and sets apart with the words, “This is my beloved Son. I take delight in Him!” (Matt. 3:17).
In this divine plethora, this Sabbath-Man, God rests. God’s command is that we keep Christ, our Sabbath. To keep Him is to lay aside work and the anxiety of process; it is to regard incompleteness in ourselves as carnal blindness. To keep Him is to live exclusively in the words: “It is finished” (John 19:30).
“What can we do to perform the works of God?” they asked. Jesus replied, “This is the work of God–that you believe in the One He has sent” (John 6:28-29).
For the person who has entered His rest has rested from his own works, just as God did from His. Let us then make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of unbelief (Heb. 4:10-11).
Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith” (Heb. 12:1-2).