The Glory Of Redemption

by William Mealand

THE glory of redemption lies in the preciousness of the thought as treasured in God's heart. Treasured there when He said, "Let there be light," and there till it found supreme expression in the Son of His love.

The universe itself was created for full and complete association with this divine thought. And from out its vastness this small earth of ours was chosen for its rare display. Thus did it become the center of God's great chain of events, of an epic progression to the peacemaking of the cross. And from thence to the profoundly stirring disclosure of Himself as All in all.

God redeems and reconciles. Redeems with "the precious blood of Christ." Reconciles "by His body of flesh, through His death." The blood of Christ. His body of flesh. Well may the song of praise ring out, "There's power in the blood--power in the blood!" For, think Whose it is. The innocent, the pure and just. The One Who said, "Sacrifice and offering Thou wilt not, yet a body dost Thou adapt to Me."

How assuring the word, too, that "you He now reconciles by His body of flesh, through His death, to present you holy and flawless and unimpeachable in His sight" (Col.1:21). How from the past this touches the present with living power, and the future with a grace which only God conceives.

His body of flesh. Palpable to the touch, before and after He arose. Wearied by works of love. Scarred by hands of hate. The Man, Christ Jesus. God's own anointed, own appointed, righteous Man. So, to His God and Father, He could say, "A body dost Thou adapt to Me." And in the prophetic language of the Psalms there is truly voiced the same great thought:

My frame was not hidden from Thee,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth;
Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance,
And in Thy book were all my members written,
Which day by day were fashioned,
While as yet there were none of them (Psa.139:15,16).

What an impressive thought these words enshrine! That even before this earth of ours was refashioned for the abode of man, there lay in its strata the ingredients which enter into the composition of the human body. And these were all prepared, were "skillfully wrought" with a view to the human frame of the Lord Jesus Christ. They were never lost sight of until, centuries later, they found their destined place in "His body of flesh."

And this perfect, wonderful body is offered to God in sacrifice. He "gives Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God, for a fragrant odor" (Eph.5:2). What a giving up of Himself it was! And of such a nature that it was, and shall ever be, a fragrant odor.

A little blind boy was asked what forgiveness was. He replied, "It is the odor that flowers breathe when trampled upon." How akin to the Savior's dying cry, "Father, forgive them!"

Eloquent beyond words is God's thought of us in the redemption He so magnificently purposes. And that He ushers some of us into a present realization of it should be profoundly moving to our hearts. God has indeed thought upon us for good. And in the many and blessed implications of His so-amazing forethought, He ordains that we share.

To the great Firstborn, the Son of His love, it was a matter of life and death. It was "by His body of flesh." And "through His death." But what resurgent life His life from death! Death could not master Him, the sinless One, the clean of heart. It found in Him the strong Man armed, Who did not give Himself that, like Samson of old, He might carry away its dread gates.

Life and then death has, with rare exceptions, been the notable order from Adam till now. But with Him it has been life, death, and life yet again. He is the Living One, living to God.

Thus hath He unto death His beauty given:
And so of all which form inheriteth
     The fall doth pass the rise in worth;
For birth hath in itself the germ of death,
      But death hath in itself the germ of birth.
It is the falling acorn buds the tree,
The falling rain that bears the greenery,
The fern plants moulder when the ferns arise.
For there is nothing lives but something dies.
And there is nothing dies but something lives.

Yet, truly as the poet writes, there is a greater state that is yet to be. A state, a day, when death in any form shall cease to be. Life, just life. And God--All. Why add other words to picture God's great ultimate?

Is not life and God the need of all? And shall it not be met? Shall the wondrous forethought of our God yield but little fruit? Life and God as the need of all shall not go unfulfilled. And His rich forethought will find an answering sequel--an alone fitting conclusion.

But by all means let us be "persisting in the faith, grounded and settled," that we may the more fully enjoy the assurances given. Let us so contemplate the marvel and glory of redemption that we may with more meaning than ever, say, "How precious are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!"

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