Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Shortest Longest Line

They say that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. I really don't know where heaven is located positionally, and I can claim the same ignorance as to the exact location of hell. I believe that the terms "heaven", "hell", and "location" are non-compatable, as both places exist outside of our time/space continuum. Yet when it comes to these two 'locations', no two points were ever farther apart, possessing the longest distance. Still, no two points were ever the shortest where the resurrection of Christ is concerned. Truly this comprises the Shortest, Longest Line ever!

EPH 4:8-10
Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

While the LORD Jesus lay in that tomb, having endured to the end, the excruciating agonies of the cross, both physically and spiritually (for the Holy Son of God "became sin for us", He Who "knew no sin...") He suffered no corruption in this body that was prepared for Him for the explicit purpose of being sacrificed for our sins: "Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once [for all]". (HEB 10:5,10, ACTS 2:27,31)

And we know scripture teaches that Christ Jesus went into hell (that is Sheol, or Hades, the abode of the dead) to preach to the spirits there of those accounted righteous by their faith in God, as was Abraham and all others prior to the crucifixion and ascension of the LORD Jesus: 1 PET 3:19; 4:6; LUKE 16:19-31

And in the midst of our LORD's spiritual work while His body rested in that cold, dark tomb, He knew that He would have to present His blood at the altar in heaven, before the Father, for that utterly perfect propitiation for the sins of mankind. 

HEB 9:11-12,23-24
But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption [for us]. [It was] therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, [which are] the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

Moses was told to build the tabernacle according to the pattern shown to him, and there is no doubt that these patterns were of the heavenly things as spoken of in the passages of Hebrews as listed above. There in those places, upon that altar that would know of no stain of blood, save for that of the Lamb of God--- this was the place where Christ had to make His presentation of blood!

We have no record in scripture testifying to this, but I can imagine that Satan wanted to do everything he could to block the Messiah from achieving that goal! As much as he tried (in vain) to repress, stall, stymie and prevent the LORD Jesus from His mission while on Earth, how much more vehement would be his dam of demonic defenses to rise up and attempt to thwart the Son of God from racing towards Heaven and plaster that altar with His shed blood!

And yet those THREE DAYS finally expired! And our expired LORD arose from Sheol with Divine Determination, and as He began to ascend, there was never an apt comparison ever portrayed on any football field where a defensive line tried to hold back the opposition from making a touch down! Higher and higher the LORD raced, trailing behind Him all the righteous dead who looked ahead to the coming Messiah, knowing from the scriptures that He "would save His people from their sins" MATT 1:21! Plowing aside like the All Powerful Potentate that He is, every foul and pernicious devil that stood in His way, onward He raced!

Aside from that time, 40 days I believe while in His resurrected state, He spoke, ministered, taught and comforted His own before His final ascension, it was at some time He presented His blood; imagine all the principalities and powers, all the princes of darkness and spiritual wickedness in heavenly places, all vainly trying to drag the LORD down from His lofty destiny. No tyrannical demon, no arrogantly potent devil, no malicious spirit was a match for our matchless King who finally approached that better altar in better places and presented better sacrifices and blood for the remission of sins!

How we can offer our praises and glorify God in our worship of Him who brought such salvation, from the Shortest, Longest Line: from Hades to Heaven! From destruction to destiny! From Hellish damnation to Holy Glory! 
If we could glimpse that Holy Temple in heaven right now, we would no doubt see the dried on blood of our Righteous Redeemer, still staining the mercy seat of the Holy Ark. The price has been paid, the repentant are redeemed, and the LORD of Glory is lauded as KING of Kings and LORD of Lords, to Whom EVERY KNEE WILL BOW and EVERY TONGUE CONFESS that JESUS is LORD - to the GLORY of GOD the FATHER!