Category: Death & Resurrection
Cristo, La Espada, y Una Copa Amarga / Christ, the Sword, and a Bitter Cup
Drinking anew in the Kingdom
“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matt. 26:28-29).
That new wine is especially that joy and happiness that Christ and his true disciples shall partake of together in glory, which is the purchase of Christ’s blood, or the reward of his obedience unto death. Christ, at his ascension into heaven, received everlasting pleasures at his Father’s right hand, and in the enjoyment of his Father’s love, as the reward of his own death, or obedience unto death. But the same righteousness is reckoned to both head and members; and both shall have fellowship in the same reward, each according to their distinct capacity.
-Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
Death, the “private judgment”
“It is appointed unto men once to die, but after that the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). This teaches that prior to death, man’s destiny is not decided, he being not yet sentenced; but after death, his destiny is settled. When he dies, the “private judgment,” that is, the immediate personal consciousness either of penitence or impenitence, occurs. Every human spirit, in that supreme moment when it “returns to God who gave it,” knows by direct self-consciousness whether it is a child or an enemy of God, in temper and disposition; whether it is humble and contrite, or proud, hard, and impenitent; whether it welcomes or rejects the Divine mercy in Christ. The article of death is an event in human existence which strips off all disguises, and slows the person what he really is, in moral character. He “knows as he is known,” and in this flashing light passes a sentence upon himself that is accurate. This “private judgment” at death, is reaffirmed in the “general judgment” of the last day.
The ultimate and everlasting exile
“The consummation of spiritual death in matter of loss, is a total and final forsaking, whereby a man is separated wholly from the face, presence, and favour of God. Mat 7.23, Depart from me. And 25.41, Go you cursed. 2 Thess. 1.9, Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction, being driven from the Face of the Lord, and the glory of his Power.”
From William Ames’ (1576-1633) “The Consummation of Death,” in Marrow of Theology, 1.16.
Is there a Doctor in the house?
Sickness and death are on all minds. COVID-19 now ravages the U.S., straining if not mocking our knowledge, skill, and preparedness. And on top of the threat to life is tremendous toll this could take on our economy. Lives and livelihoods falter.
But there is a far more fearsome disease. The human heart has been infected by sin, the God-challenging, self-destructive virus we all inherited from our first parents. “And as by one man sin entered the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” This virus is infinitely more lethal than the Coronavirus. And no hospital, no doctor can treat it.
But God, looking down with pity on our sin-sick race, sent His Son. Jesus came as the Doctor, the Master Physician. And He has come to heal you, friend.
Tomorrow morning we will be considering the following passage at our 10:30 livestreamed service. Join us then on our Facebook page. We also have a service in the evening at 7:00.
“And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? Mat But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matt. 9:9-13).
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Risen or a ruse?
From a dying man to dying children
The following quote will strike our death-insulated, secular, consumerist age as morbid if not cruel. But as death is inescapable, we would do well to learn from a wiser generation – and all the more because their eyes were better trained to behold the great beyond. They realized that death was but the gateway into realms of everlasting happiness for the blessed and of misery for the damned. We could use a good ice-water dousing; and frankly, so could our over-stimulated children.
“Children, ’tis your Dawning time. It may be your Dying time…Go unto the Burying-places; There you will see many a Grave shorter than yourselves…Yea, you may be at play one hour; dead, dead the next.”
Cotton Mather (1663 – 1728)
Restored to the self I had lost
“Reason & natural justice alike move me to give up myself wholly to loving Him to whom I owe all that I have and am. But faith shows me that I should love Him far more than I love myself, as I come to realize that He hath given me not my own life, but even Himself… In the first creation He gave me myself; but in His new creation He gave me Himself, and by that gift restored me to the self that I had lost. Created first and then restored, I owe Him myself twice over in return for myself. But what have I to offer Him for the gift of Himself? Could I multiply myself a thousand-fold and then give Him all, what would that be in comparison with God?”
– Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
Conversion vs. consummation
“The espousals are carried on secretly; it may be the person is sitting at your side, and you do not see, nor know when Christ is making up the match; or, perhaps, on his knees at home, there is a secret transaction: but the consummation will be before millions of angels, millions of saints, and millions of spectators.”
-Ralph Erskine (1685-1752)