In response to my last post Jamal Jivanjee commented: “Absolutely fabulous! Speaks to me on multiple levels :)”
For me many levels were part of the inspiration for that post as well. Encouraged by Jamal’s comment, I would like to touch on a few of them.
Perhaps the most fundamental level is the one touched on in my Christmas post: “What does God take for Pain?”
”But when the set time had fully come,
God sent his Son,
born of a woman,
born under the law,”
It’s worth reading the full context! But for now perhaps it is enough to focus on the “set time that had fully come.” This refers to a time when the object of God’s affection was under the law, and miserably unable to keep the law, making not only herself miserable, but God miserable as well.
While God’s love for us is so GREAT he could have kept on waiting, could have kept on going in His pain and ours, but enough time had gone by to make a point. Enough time had gone by to have the woman He had been waiting for – the desolate woman of Isaiah 54:1. This is the woman, who Paul goes on to explain is our mother. This is the woman with whom God was intimate even in her desolation. He took her to put her out of her misery. He saw something that none of us had ever seen nor could ever have seen that one day she would be the wonder woman of heaven.
She was the most miserable of the Jews of her day. She is all of us today. She is you. She is me. She was the source of His pain, and he took her in her pain, and in His pain so that one day she might be the surpassing glory of the apple of His eye!
As for what it took to get rid of her pain, it took even more pain on God’s part. He sent his own Son into the slaughter of the innocents, a slaughter that was directed toward His very own son. Jesus, as John Eldridge has so beautifully pointed out in his book, Beautiful Outlaw, was a “wanted man” in every sense of the phrase, even before he arrived here on earth.
The worst of the pain, however would have to wait for the climax of the cross to be fully realized. This is the pain that He took to have you and me. This is the pain that he recalls for us in his New, only, and everlasting Commandment:
“As I have loved you, so ought you to love one another.”
Key word for present purposes, “As.” We wants us to take one another for pain in the same way that He did – redemptively! Of course that’s not going to happen if we remain clueless about how He has first loved us.
Perhaps that’s enough of a “level” for now.
For more reading, see previous intimacy level post, “The Truth Hurts in the Beginning“