Tag Archive | resurrection

Behold!

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This weekend is not about the Easter bunny, egg hunting, or any of the other earthbound trivia and hype ordinarily associated with this holiday. It’s about – if you choose to observe it as such, or if you don’t choose to do so – the startling reality of a new creation forged in the fires of the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. But it doesn’t end there… It’s not even “all about me” or the stuff I think I can do for God out of my own self importance. It’s not even about being “churchy”. Instead, it’s about a deep truth which has gotten overlooked and lost for the most part: “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

The question is, how seriously do we take this? Ponder that for awhile, and see where it takes you… It’s not just “about me” or “for me”; it’s “in Him.”

And it doesn’t end here either. See Colossians 2:20-23 and Colossians 3:1-10 for where it goes from here.

Vision: We Need A Big Picture

“… present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” (Romans 6:13)

Since we have been brought in Christ Jesus from death to life, why do we persist in seeking answers from among the “dead”? By this I don’t mean – although it certainly includes – psychics, mediums, seances, and other occult foolery.

What I’m really referring to here is that the other forms of “middle men” we seem so fond of looking to for answers are the many political (and, yes, religious) figureheads disconnected from and having no desire for the knowledge of God, the only Source of all true wisdom, guidance, and knowledge. Instead so many of these are caught up in the pride and arrogance of self and/or the traditions of men.

Scripture is clear: If anyone needs wisdom, let him ask it from God directly. Go straight to the top! Present yourself to God. Skip playing spiritual roulette with the middle men. The promise is that He will give the needed wisdom to all who ask – in generosity and without reproach. (For more insight, please refer to and contemplate James 1:5.)

Herein is the short-sightedness of psychic, politician, pope, and preacher alike. There is no “thought” in this context higher that the minds of men and potential demonic deceivers. The mind of man, no matter how sublime his thoughts and ideas may seem, no matter how “ideal”, is finite. Man alone in his mind and senses is limited in his understanding, because he is cut off from the Infinite Mind of God. He hasn’t been asking. He hasn’t been communing with His Heavenly Father – the legitimate access to the Most Holy and the Most High having been granted by the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus.

Instead we implore the mind of men, or the mind of beings who instead may be intent upon deceiving and even destroying us. Why not go straight to “Dad”, the font and source of real wisdom?

We’re admonished to put on the Mind of Christ. What does that look like? We read in Philippians 2:5-8 (NASB), “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

It is the attitude which surrenders itself to the Creator / Source / Heavenly Father / Infinite Mind which is what it means to have the attitude or mind of Christ Jesus. Accessing true creativity thus means consistently fervently praying, “Not my will, but Thy will be done.”

And we do need Divine Creativity – the vision aligned and one with that of our Heavenly Father’s vision for mankind – for each and every one of us in order to bring about true and lasting change which alone can transform us from the inside, one soul at a time.

Only then will the world also be transformed, as it “mirrors” the miracle of salvation and restoration through the power of the Holy Spirit that has first transformed those who are the “meek” (humbled and surrendered to God our Father). It is these who are destined to inherit the Earth.

Remember and affirm His promise: “For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land. Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there. But the humble will inherit the land and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.” (Psalm 37:9-11) Contemplate it. Meditate on it prayerfully and carefully, and with a mind to listen to how He would direct you into participation in His vision.

And never forget: “The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s; But the earth He has given to the children of men.” (Psalm 115:16) Consider that well!

Tie that in with Psalm 8: 3-6. “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.”

What our Lord’s vision is for mankind staggers the imagination and invites us to enter into it. Fully! The terms of surrender? Full and unconditional surrender to what the cross and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ imply for us.

We can only be Earth’s proper custodians when we are first surrendered to Him fully and have personally experienced His holy Spirit’s transforming of us into sons of God. We must be set free first from the indoctrinations of the former occupational forces. This is the scope of our destiny and of His vision for us in Christ. “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.”(John 1:12)

“For this reason it says, ‘Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.’ Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:14-17)

(Originally published here on my website: http://www.yvonneblasycreativeinnovations.com/412370442/3441677/posting/vision-we-need-a-big-picture)

Peering Into Darkness

“Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.” (Luke 24:1-3)

Very often we can find ourselves disappointed when we anticipate something good, but it doesn’t turn out that way. However in this instance, this surprise was the other way around for Mary Magdalene and the other women who accompanied her to the tomb where Jesus’ body had been laid after the crucifixion. They anticipated finding the body of Jesus. However, as they peered into the darkness, they did not find what they were looking for.

My emphasis in this writing is not about the obvious amazement of encountering the risen Christ, which comes later in the story, but instead focuses simply on this stunning moment as they arrive at the empty grave. It is a moment worth stopping for because just maybe we can identify with it and take courage from it.

After the horrors of the crucifixion, in fear, they were keeping a low profile. They were among His closest friends and disciples, suspects, fugitives. Therefore they were perhaps regarded of being accomplices in the trumped up charges for which Jesus had been crucified. Grief stricken and in shock, they rise up early in the morning. They face the embalming procedures on their beloved Lord. And now they find this! How much worse could it get? What could have happened to His body? Their minds must have been reeling in confusion!

I suppose this seems odd – bringing up the Easter story – as we anticipate the winter season. However in a sense we peer into the ever increasing and encroaching darker days coming upon us. Fall festivals and Thanksgiving herald Christmas, arriving near the winter solstice – the darkest, longest night of the year, and often in some parts of the world the most bitterly cold. Yet it is in this deep darkness that we celebrate the arrival of the Son of God.

We peer into the dark, cold stable – which some say may have been a cave in the hills – and find “the true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” (John 1:9) We rejoice at celebrating Him once more in the traditions, pageantry, and rituals of Christmas – all of it pointing symbolically to His bright reality and being, both in history and in our hearts.

There is also a similarity in the broader sense of the times we face. Some would say that on a global scale there has never been a darker, more “grave” situation. The times are perilous in ways and on a scale never before experienced. What do we see as we peer into our common darkness?

On a personal level, many are also experiencing turmoil, perplexity, and a sort of almost baffling high strangeness. So many people seem to be in dire straights and there is no end to no win situations, as far as we’re humanly concerned. What do we see as we peer into this darkness? What is being worked out here on some level we may not be able to comprehend?

Arriving in the pre dawn, the women peer into what amounts to a dark tomb, with a dark hope that there they will have one last chance to gaze upon the Lord, to honor Him with one last final gift. How could it have all gone down like this?

No, there is a surprise in the darkness: What we anticipate, we do not find. That could be good; it could be bad. There is only more mystery. There are more questions than answers. This tomb should not have been empty…

Sometimes it seems as if we cannot handle anymore “surprises” as we peer into our own darkness. It has all become too twisted, too enigmatic.

Is it just possible that we could ask for spiritual eyes that see something beyond the dark emptiness in our own grave situations? Is there meaning beyond the obvious that waits for us to peer into it – something glorious, bright, and grand? Or at least a finalizing of “this”, so that life can move on?

It is interesting to realize that Jesus’ earthly story begins in a dark place and ends in a dark place, at Christmas in a stable, then the tomb at Easter. The darkness heralded both. One the place of birth, the other of rebirth. It almost twists the mind to consider this. In the silence, in the quiet – the darkness within us – is there Someone Who yearns to be born there to make His dwelling place there, Emmanuel, God with us? Is there something He would like to show us or say to us in the silent darkness within us? Or is He ready to burst forth from there, in the fire of the Holy Spirit, imbuing us in resurrection power?

The point is, they didn’t get what they were expecting. Instead there were angels who asked them, “Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” (Like 24:5)

And on that dark night when He came into the world, there were also angels, announcing peace on earth and good will toward all mankind (Luke 2:14). The presence of angels stands like book covers on either end of His story.

And the mystery beckons us onward.

Cross Purposes 33 / It IS Finished!

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This final offering of Cross Purposes could be subtitled Cross Eyes, The Horizontal Attitude. Let’s explore this a bit. Basically the vertical beam of the Cross represents the believers’ relationship with the Lord. The horizontal beam stands for our relationship with one another. A Christian has to be Cross eyed in both directions in order to see straight!

This is it – the thirty-third, one cross and one corresponding chapter, honoring the traditional thirty-three years of the life of Jesus Christ. “It is finished” was the declaration He made that His work was complete, and thus it is a fitting ending for this series as well.

Since the preceding chapters seem centered more around the “vertical beam” of the Cross – seeing how we personally relate to Jesus in co-crucifixion (See Galatians 2:20), it’s time to make it even more personal and practical by expressing how to be Cross eyed on the “horizontal beam”, that is, how we view and relate to one another in this life. It cannot be only about “Jesus and me”. It also has to be about Jesus relating to others through me.

If we view ourselves in terms of the finished work of the Cross, might it be right to also view others and relate to them in terms of the same finished work – even when we may not see the evidence of its effectualness being lived out? Even when persons are caught up in horrendous bondage in sin? In other words, we see them by faith as complete in Him.

We behold them according to the vision of the finished work of God, not according to the “flesh” – by our “natural assessment” of them: “Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.” (2 Corinthians 5:16)

No, this does not mean we condone and affirm sin, nor are we “inclusive” of it, nor should we ever bow to its demands as the people of God! It means we essentially view sinners as God sees them through Jesus, and relate to them that way. And when we speak the truth, we speak it through His Love and see them through His eyes, imploring the Holy Spirit for the approach God would have us use!

There are no exceptions when it comes to “beaming” Christ love, even to our enemies. The condemnation and criticism seen among believers these days makes one wonder how well it’s really understood that we are to carry the power of unconditional Christ Love to the world – how we’re to be the vessels of that Love here on Earth – filled with it to overflowing… That’s what sons of God in the making do.

That horizontal beam means I see myself right there on that cross, in Jesus, my arms outstretched with His, opening them wide! I’m crucified. My ego bit the dust and has no say about anyone else. This is the horizontal vision of Cross eyes – our arms open wide to sinners, since it is through this wondrous Love alone that they may be set free. (See Romans 5:8 – “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”)

It’s frankly disappointing when Christians are found, especially in today’s electronic social media, publicly bashing Souls that the Father loves who are in severe chains and bondage. Clearly, yes, there is sin to be addressed! No question about that. But it seems almost to have reached the point of the frenzy of blood sport to criticize and condemn, never getting around to the Gospel of the Cross and its power to set free and to transform. That kind of “witness” is not only ineffectual; it profanes the Name of the Lord, and that is the deeper meaning of “taking the Lord’s name in vain” – standing by our opinions, not His Truth. It’s a personal agenda, almost a personal vendetta. This is not being about the Father’s business. And we are, after all, here on family business, are we not – as ambassadors of Christ? (2 Corinthians 5:20)

Anger and hostility are often placed upon someone who is deeply entrapped as a prisoner of war! An attitude like that is as insane as pushing the head of someone who is drowning further under water, rather than tossing them a life preserver and helping them back up into the boat… or stoning a woman caught in adultery. (And if you feel threatened by the political agenda of it, realize that they are actually trapped in it and being used by it!)

Certainly some sins are highly politically charged today, perhaps more than ever before. It can be difficult to maintain our balance with information coming our way in copious amounts at light speed continually.

The solution? It might be to our advantage, when faced with all this “info-glut”, to get into the habit of routinely stepping away from the fray, and quietly getting into the Presence of our Lord in prayer and in His Word, so as to deeply discern and perceive in our heart’s and mind’s eye the finished vision of victory in Jesus, on behalf of those whom our little peevish egos instead might like to see frying in hell?

Regular daily time spent in prayer works wonders on us too, as an attitudinal adjustment, by the way.

In this silence, stillness, and reflection we might instead see them stepping hand in hand with Jesus, out of the sepulcher on Easter morning. They have been brought up out of the darkness, led out of captivity, and raised up in Him! That is a kind of prayer we may not be used to. It is a picture with intention, and a picture, it is said, is worth a thousand words. How brightly they shine! They are free from the power of death and sin!

I have often thought of the story of the raising of Lazarus that way. Jesus calls him forth, but then He says to the bystanders, “Loose him and let him go.” The rest is up to us, in other words! And there certainly are no “innocent” bystanders.

The question is, are we binding, or loosing others and letting them go? And in the process are we getting back what we’re putting forth along these lines? Father, forgive them… if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in Heaven forgive you. To forgive is to release to God, to let them go into His keeping. And as we forgive, we are forgiven and released!

The people we’d like to bury or keep buried are no more or less worthy of the gift of redemption than any of us. They are cosmic POW’s just like us! We’d like to think we’re better, or that our sins are not so severe – we who are so full of self. What we have in common is our need of Christ Love to be set free.

His work is finished – from Gethsemane to Ascension – and now it’s up to us to be the vessels whereby the healing of Christ’s Passion is manifested through the power of the Holy Spirit in us! His work is finished, but ours is not, and we must get really Cross eyed if we’re to see Souls the way He sees them, and love them as He loves them.

It’s up to us to announce the great emancipation proclamation of the Good News so that they too can know they are free at last, and can walk in that freedom, enjoying the life and blessing God intended for them – now and forever. So be it. Amen.

 

Cross Purposes 29 / The Mystery Is My Story

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Were you there when they crucified my Lord, were you there when they crucified my Lord? Oh… Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when they crucified my Lord?”

So asks the old spiritual. Profoundly simple. Simply profound! It asks us to look deeply into the mystery that is the cross. So, what do you say, dear reader, in answer to this question? Were you there? Do you know you were there?

Indeed, mysteriously, metaphysically, the cross is my story. It is everyone’s story, if we can only see it as such.

At first glance, we may only see the cross in historical and physical terms, first of all. It has always been seen as a device of torture and execution from the ancient world. There is conjecture on the matter as to whether or not it was a device invented by the Romans, or if crucifixion was also more broadly and anciently practiced in other cultures. People that see the cross this way often ask, why do you wear that crucifix? It’s a very “negative” symbol. But is it really just that? Is there something more?

The natural history of the cross is not really the issue. The supernatural history of the cross is the issue! The question really remains a spiritual one: was I there, were you there when they crucified our Lord? How do you see yourself in relationship to that cross?

Let’s briefly revisit the cross in its natural setting. Its uses included putting to death thieves, rebels, insurrectionists, criminals, and other political and social undesirables of all sorts, in the judgement of the government of the ancient Roman Empire.

The cross was a place where rebellion ended, in no uncertain terms, as far as the occupational forces of Rome were concerned in any land the empire conquered. These brutal executions were public events, and reminders to all about who ruled the roost and what would happen to trouble making dissenters.

Does that ring any bells, strictly from the perspective of the cross being the place where rebellion ends? Let’s explore further.

Even the cross’s natural and repugnant use ought to depict something to us concerning our ancient skeletons in the closet. In the beginning, we were the insurrectionists, complicit in a cosmic coup set against our Heavenly Father, His Kingdom, and His divine plan for our uninterrupted eternal Good.

But someone was insanely jealous of that idea. Ultimately we were “tricked” through this very cunning, hateful, and jealous adversary into rebellion. We fell for the treachery and swallowed the idea. We were complicit in a crime against ourselves, odd as that may seem – the first crime against humanity. How sweet that first bite must have seemed, but how hard and fast the plunge into captivity to sin, death, and the spell of our adversary the devil, was the result.

We bit off more than we could chew!

You can laugh at this if you want to, but the rest, as they say, is history. This is the real reason things have gone the way they have, since the children of God were tricked into giving away their birthright and their world to fallen angels who coerced them into a rebellion against their Father and against themselves. Crazy, isn’t it? A story mirrored over and over again throughout history…

Yet our Heavenly Father’s unconditional and everlasting love is such that He could not let this stand. He could not bear to see His children kidnapped, taken captive, held prisoner, blinded, programmed, maimed, crippled, and enslaved by this arch fiend and his hordes!

There was then devised a divinely shrewd plan, that by faith when we behold ourselves crucified in and through our Elder Brother Jesus Christ on that cross, dead, but more importantly resurrected to new life in Him, and say yes to His gift, and commit ourselves and our will to Him, we are set free from sin, death, the world, the flesh, and our “captors” to resume the life in glory enjoyed before this rebellion in which we were complicit ever occurred!

Jesus Christ Himself, the perfect and spotless Lamb of God, would take upon Himself our sin and put it to death on the cross. Moreover His blood paid the ransom note on our heads whereby we could walk away from the stranglehold of darkness and into a whole new life!

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) Restored to full sonship in other words!

In other words He, the One Who was sinless, took upon Himself our sin-full rebelliousness and its results, and crucified these in His own body on the cross.

We the human former insurrectionist component of that ancient coup can therefore say with a resounding yes, that we were there when they crucified our Lord!

We can then re-affirm every day,  “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

Thanks be to God! Jesus took upon Himself the burden of all the sin of humanity, from the beginning of time to the end of all things, put it to death in the cross, and offers His own new Life to us through the Holy Spirit.

So we revisit the question, were you there when they crucified my Lord? Do you see yourself by faith dead through that cross but made alive through His resurrection?

May our Heavenly Father open to us the inner eye of faith to perceive His remarkable gift, receive it, and live within its reality, now and throughout all eternity.

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but that’s an offer I can’t refuse – Jesus has taken me from insurrection to resurrection! Thanks be to God for His unfathomable love for us all! May our eyes be open to perceive and receive it!