Sunday, May 27, 2012

the alchemy of God

The Word for today:
Mark 15:22-41

Supposedly, Jesus was on trial. But you’d never know it by his regal and disdainful demeanor. By the time the trial was over, the reader has the distinct impression that the guy in the chains—the one who was blindfolded, beaten, mocked, scourged, spit upon, and then crucified—was in charge, even in command the whole while.

In order to account for this remarkable role reversal, Stand in the Rain has endeavored, over the last few days, to view the trial of Jesus through the King’s eyes.

We believe that Jesus had already witnessed his trial via the prophetic scriptures. It is our hypothesis that his calm assurance throughout the entire ordeal originated in his utter trust of God’s Word, which showed him that the accusers, not the accused, were on trial—and that their indictments would ultimately indict themselves.


A well-known Bible verse tells us that God is not mocked (1). Believe it. No matter how much you may hear God being ridiculed, he is ultimately never demeaned—because somehow or another, mockery of God actually transubstantiates into his glory:

Surely the wrath of man shall praise Him. (Psalms 76:10)

Jesus had already seen his trial played out in scripture:

The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying,
"Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us."
He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, "As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill."
I will tell of the decree:
The LORD said to me, "You are my Son; today I have begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." (Psalms 2:2-9)

He held them in derision, knowing that their accusations would one day turn against them:

The wicked plots against the just,
And gnashes at him with his teeth.
The Lord laughs at him,
For He sees that his day is coming.
The wicked have drawn the sword
And have bent their bow,
To cast down the poor and needy,
To slay those who are of upright conduct.
Their sword shall enter their own heart. (Psalms 37:12-15)

God says the same about us. When enemies ridicule us, they are only heaping the coals of their penal fires higher:

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God,
for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."
To the contrary, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." (Romans 12:19-20)

We should not set out to pick a fight with the enemies of God. Instead, we must – as Jesus did -- remember the concept of spiritual alchemy:

"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven,
for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12)

Alchemy was the medieval quest to turn baser metals (lead, tin, etc.) into gold. The alchemists never succeeded, but (just as in salvation) what we cannot achieve, God can. God has already turned the wrath of Jesus’ enemies into praise. In the same way, any derision we face for his sake he will turn into gold:

Do not fear what you are about to suffer… Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. (Revelation 2:10)

The prophetic scriptures say that you will inherit a crown. So, in the meantime, walk like the King:

The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
The LORD is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me. (Psalms 118:6-7)

(1) Galatians 6:7

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