I think that if we had never suffered, we would see Him there on the throne, a Lamb as if slain, and it would have no meaning to us. We would not have fellowship because we would not understand what He had gone through.
Which brings us around to our original point. In all things – your righteousness, your belovedness, your knowledge, your assurance of salvation – it is not you who establishes or maintains these things.
You are God’s gift to His beloved Son! That is what is most true of you. Walk in faith that you are of a devastating beauty in the eyes of God! This is what is most true of you.
I hate being called a sheep. If there must be an animal metaphor, I’d rather be a lion or perhaps a bear or an eagle. Sheep are defenseless and dumb and stubborn.
So what is freedom in the sense of being “free indeed?” I think it is the freedom of being justified.
Isn’t it strange that the same creature who bit and killed is raised up as a standard and becomes a symbol of healing? Why is that? Here is what I think: it is the judge who must be the seat of mercy. It is the giver of wrath who must be the healer.
1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; 2 and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, […]