Post details: Crucified Why? (by Brent)


Permalink 02:17:04 am, Categories: GraceHead thinking deeply, By Brent, 2135 words   English (US)

Crucified Why? (by Brent)

Many often imagine all kinds of evil and heavenly schemes, Satan’s grand conspiracy if you will as to why Christ was crucified and so it is easy to blame His crucifixion upon those of the past and deceive ourselves that we are not like our fathers, that had Christ appeared in our time, in our church, He would be welcomed with open arms.

Satan is spoken of as having influenced Judas to betray Him but the scriptures generally do not, if ever, attribute Satan as the designer or even instigator of His execution as if possessing the bodies and movements of the Priests or even the Roman authority. Although ultimately Satan is an integral tool, this was only as God in His design and intent could rely upon those dark qualities already inherent in the human heart, and specifically one quality, Envy.

Not our sanitized cultural definition as Envy as merely “wanting what another has” but rather Envy as we consistently COMPARE ourselves to one another. In short the only thought that is needed for men to have crucified the Lord of Glory is “what makes you think you are better than me”.

Beginning with Cain we see this natural quality at work within the sinful nature of man as it was spoken of Cain,

“”””3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. 4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.””””

What is simpler than Cain thinking within himself “why should Abel’s offering be more accepted than mine” as if it were a competition and although the Lord tried to reason Cain out of this COMPARITIVE stance and bring him back into looking only to God and himself, Cain persisted.

“””””GE 4:6 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door;””””

Cain continued in his competitive stance with Abel and murder was introduced into the world. This story is explicit as it manifests the full action of murder but Christ also makes it plain that we are quite capable of subtler forms of murder, we can murder a man’s credibility or a man’s reputation, all revealing the inner hate we feel as we Resent anyone who would claim any authority or superiority over us.

Out of the same Envy Joseph was cast into a pit, sold into slavery, taken from his loving parents, all because his own brothers could not bear the fact Joseph would not lie to his father, for this they hated him. And Joseph’s prophetic dream of his eventual elevation only tied the knot for the hate his brother already felt.

“”””GE 37:2 This is the account of Jacob.

Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them.

GE 37:3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a richly ornamented robe for him. 4 When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.”””””

“””””GE 37: 6 He said to them, "Listen to this dream I had: 7 We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it."

GE 37:8 His brothers said to him, "Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?" And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.”””””

With David we also see Saul as He envied David and thus sought his death, trying to kill him for many years simply because in his competitive mind wherein he resented appearing to be the lesser of the two.

“””””1SA 18:6 When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with tambourines and lutes. 7 As they danced, they sang:
"Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his tens of thousands."

1SA 18:8 Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him. "They have credited David with tens of thousands," he thought, "but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?" 9 And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.

1SA 18:10 The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully upon Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the harp, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand 11 and he hurled it, saying to himself, "I'll pin David to the wall." But David eluded him twice.”””””

Clearly we can see the same dynamics at work in the lives of Daniel and even Moses,

“””””’ DA 6: 3 Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. 4 At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs,”””””

“””””AC 7:35 "This is the same Moses whom they had rejected with the words, `Who made you ruler and judge?' He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36 He led them out of Egypt and did wonders and miraculous signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea and for forty years in the desert.

AC 7:37 "This is that Moses who told the Israelites, `God will send you a prophet like me from your own people.'”””””

Or with all the Prophets, their persecution demanded little more than the simplistic emotion of Envy as men resented that anyone should appear to excel above or beyond them, holding more favor with God, and it is no different with Christ whom Joseph, Moses, and David appear as fore-shadowings of. And what of us today, many Christians think we as Christians, having supposedly given ourselves to Christ willingly, are so much more sincere than the Jews and would not have slain Christ had He shown up in our Churches, despite the fact the level of religious observance of the religious class of Jesus’ day would put most of us to shame, and despite the fact God uses Israel as a living and recorded example representing the sin nature within us also even as Christians so as to understand the depth of our own depravity.

Ultimately it is not about “them” but about “us”, at the very beginning of the Church as Peter stood up before the Jews on the Day of Pentecost Peter announced to them that “they” had slain Christ, a conviction which pricked them at heart and became the impetus for their Repentance. Likewise as twenty first century Christians our true Repentance comes from the inner realization that WE, just as with the Jews, are responsible for having crucified Christ, our human nature being no different than theirs. Today just as it has been throughout the history of mankind men/women are so easily offended by anyone who would appear as authorities in Spiritual matters. Whether the heart thinks “who are you to rule over us” or “who are you to claim greater knowledge” the Envy is the same.

Lately I have read polls and tests where some have tried to devise criteria that would reveal whether a Christian is Grace based or Law based, these tests will always fall short for if we ask “are you saved by grace” many will of automaton simply parrot the doctrinal assertion they are saved by Grace through Faith, but this would not be the first time the mouth spoke something contrary to the reality of the heart. And if we ask “do you feel the need to perform better as to incur the Lord’s favor, this is also deceptive as even those who have experience Grace still desire to be more pleasing to their Father, more Christ like though his Salvation itself is not Dependent upon such advancement.

Grace though is exemplified in a man as he “AWAKENS” to his salvation, discovering as it were, his having been “Chosen”. Since he is in no way a tool of his own salvation other than as he merely comes to see and acknowledge it he is humbled by it.

Those who exemplify the mind enslaved by the Law see themselves as a tool needed to accomplish their Salvation even if they consider God’s mere offer Gracious. Their innate quality is their Competitiveness for as they desire to be seen as pleasing or deserving to God, such evaluations are only definable when one COMPARES themselves to others. This inner COMPARING is always exposed by one dominant trait, “OFFENSE”.

Looking at the example of the Pharisee and the Tax collector this COMPARITIVE MODEL is exposed as the Tax Collector considered only himself and God, but the Pharisee could only find his deserving as he COMPARED himself to others.

“”””””LK 18:9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10 "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: `God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'

LK 18:13 "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, `God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'

LK 18:14 "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."””””

The Pharisee can only define his own goodness and deserving as he makes comparisons between himself and other men, thus if the man of Law finds himself “wanting” or “less” than another he will always experience OFFENSE, even if it is hidden in the supposed defense of another. Just as if we were to walk up to this Pharisee in this Parable and tell him the Tax Collector was more Justified in God’s eyes than he was, so would we experience the full force of the Pharisees wrath because as they are locked into a comparative model, so the excelling of another will always make them feel “Less” of themselves. They may not consciously admit to this feeling of inferiority, but their desire to humble another whose advancement is either true or merely proclaimed exposed such inner insecurities as are inherent in the Legalist.

Jesus may have made truthful statements as to the Pride of the Pharisees but He never engaged in the delusion that He could convince a Pharisee of their Pride by either argument or public condemnation. The Pharisees nor their Offense did not offend Jesus; rather His response was not to put them in their place but rather simply to leave them as they were having understood their blindness for what it is…

“””””””MT 15:10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. 11 What goes into a man's mouth does not make him `unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him`unclean.' "

MT 15:12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?"

MT 15:13 He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit."

MT 15:15 Peter said, "Explain the parable to us."

MT 15:16 "Are you still so dull?" Jesus asked them. 17 "Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man `unclean.' 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what make a man `unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him `unclean.' "””””””


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Comment from: Len [Visitor] ·
Hi Brent. What have you been up to lately? Haven't seen much of you at all, and I miss your thoughtful (and often difficult and challenging) input. Hope all is well with you.
Shalom. Len
Permalink 06/27/06 @ 06:34

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