William Andrew Dillard
THE EVENT THAT CHANGED THE UNIVERSE OF MANKIND
This is a story of extreme opposites: of love and hate; of joy and despicable shame; a consummation of the crowning act of victory in experience marked “finished” from the foundation of the world. It is a story of the ultimate encouragement and motivation of God’s people in every generation until the age is closed. It is a story that will be the song of the saints while eternal eons roll ever onward in the endless bliss it provides.
Here then is the story so powerfully condensed in the words of Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
It is a story of love and hate. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting live.” How deeply did and does God love the creative work of His own hands, especially the crowning act of it all, mankind. Yet He patiently endured such great contradiction of sinners against Himself. It is also a story of joy and despicable shame: “Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the same.” What enormous joy is that of the post resurrected Jesus. While His crucifixion and resurrection was predetermined and foreordained, the experiential side of it all is the grandest story of the universe. Shame? Indeed much shame! How may one fairly estimate the shame of one sinless voluntarily taking upon Himself the sins of the world, and bearing the consequences of it? Though minor compared to this, how much shame was endured on the cross as a beaten body near death was lifted up as a scoffing point to the world? How much shame was endured as He was stripped of His clothing for rogue soldiers to gamble over, while He must die in sight of all in nakedness, bearing the full force of sin for others?
Yet, it is a story of encouragement and motivation for His people in every generation of the age. It is He who is both author and finisher of our faith. We are to look to Him in this crucial event, and we are to rejoice in His victory, lest we become weary and faint in our mind, which too many have done.
Here then is the story that will be the song of the saints in the never-ending, day of the final heaven age. It is recorded in Rev. 5:9, “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and has redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people , and nation.” Then again, Rev. 5:12-13, “. . . Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. . . “ AMEN! AND AMEN! WHAT A STORY!!