Sunday, April 23, 2017

close and closer

The Word for today:
Genesis 44
mark this: Genesis 44:30-31 --
"I cannot go back to my father without the boy. Our father's life is bound up in the boy's life. When he sees that the boy is not with us, our father will die. We will be responsible for bringing his gray head down to the grave in sorrow."
Death is separation from God:
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?  (Psalm 22:1)
Life, then, is death's extreme opposite.
The biblical understanding of life is not only fellowship with God, but oneness with him. Life, in fact, is to be immersed in God, submerged in God, lost in God:
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body. (1 Corinthians 12:13)
This one-ness is first (and best) seen in the Trinity--where Father, Son, and Spirit merge, but don't disintegrate.
It is next seen in the picture of marriage:
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24; cf. Ephesians 5:30-32)
It is then seen in the picture of the church--where each is part of the other, with Christ the head:
He is the head of the body, the church. (Colossians 1:18)
We are not meant to be alone, cut loose, or adrift.  Jesus is not only with us, he is in us:
That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us… (John 17:21)
As I write this, it is Good Friday afternoon; Jesus, in a commemorative sense, is on the cross. But even then, we were with him and in him:
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God. (Galatians 2:20)
Jacob's life, as we read today, was bound up in the boy's life (Gen. 44:30). Jonathan and David were knit, soul to soul (1 Sam. 18:1). David's life was bound in the bundle of the living with the LORD (1 Sam. 25:29).
Jesus said, in John 3:16, that he came to give us life, which is fellowship with God. But he didn't stop there. He came, he tells us in John 10:10, to give us life to the full--
life where soul merges with soul, and spirit with Spirit; where Trumpet and echo are not only inseparable, but indistinguishable.

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