Written By Thomas Perez. October 29, 2016 at 10:58pm.
“May I never boast except in the glory of the cross” Paul – Galatians 6:14.
Twofold is the glorification of death. The pro’s of death are are everywhere. Death can provide comfort during its actual passing upon a person. A person suffering will indeed welcome death. A relative can have a weight lifted from their shoulders when a member of the family passes away due to death A sense of closure can set an entire family at ease when death has finished it’s course. On the other hand, the con’s of death can bring about shock – as in its timing. Remorse, anger, sadness, depression, and disbelief can set in. A soldier can die to save the lives of many. When he or she does that, it is looked upon as glorious – the individual died for the freedom and lives of others. Spiritual soldiers can die for an ideology – a belief when persecuted – we call them martyrs. Other spiritual soldiers, if it is fit to call them that, die for the wrong reasons – they commit acts of suicide and terrorism, often taking innocent victims with them – we call them radical extremists or terrorists. The pro’s and con’s of death are everywhere even in the Scriptures.
The Bible itself is full of the pro’s and con’s of death. Moreover, the New Testament is full of its glorification – as in the cross of suffering, torture and ultimate death. There are hundreds of verses indicating the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ – of which I will not quote here. If you do not believe me, just simply grab yourself a concordance and look up the words; redemption, salvation, and the phrases; the blood of Jesus Christ, the death of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of Jesus Christ and it’s glorification. Or you can simply Google it.
For some, this glorification is difficult to swallow. Many can not come to grips with the crosses central message of redemption, often citing and proclaiming; “How can anyone rejoice in a weapon of death?” – “how can anyone glorify the instrument of death upon which Christ died upon?” – and “how can I rejoice, dance, shout, and accept it as a means for my own redemption when such actions clearly indicate a sadomasochistic concept?” “No, I will not glory in the torturous act and message of one man’s blood and death for my behalf, that’s just plain sick and warped!”
But as the opening verse centered at the top indicated, Paul did glorify in such an act. Other such instances of his glorification of it is found in the fact that he called the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ; the Gospel of God, or the Good News – I Cor 15:1-4. He also called it; “the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ” – II Cor 4:4 – by which he also warned against those who may attack it’s central themed message attached to it – I Tim 1:3-15, Gal 1:3-9.
It is not that Paul is condemning those who disbelieve in the message attached to the cross, he is condemning the unbelief – as in the condemnation of the unbelief itself, not the individual. In other words, one may disbelieve in it due to having sympathy for the Saviour, but is encouraged at the same time not to attack the cross’es message pertaining to the Holy death rendered upon it. Because when you do, you attack it’s Holy resurrection. You see, Paul would not have written the pharse; “work out your own salvation” if he meant to condemn the unbelieving person. Instead he indicated an approval of one working their way – Phil 2:12, thus proving it’s worth – Gal 6:4. By this worth, we may work the acts, or works of God – I Cor 16:10 – and thereby setting the stage for its judgement – I Cor 3:13-14 – but you yourself shall be saved as passing through the fire – I Cor 3:15.
So what is the deal here? Can one be saved while maintaining a disbelief in the crosses central themed message? According to the verses indicated above, and the numerous verses on ultimate reconciliation; one can still indeed receive the fruits of its message – yet only by the process of refining fire, a cleansing so to speak. The pharse; “ultimate reconciliation” would be left desiring if it were to be classified as “reconciliation” only – though the term is mentioned in the Scriptures. You see, the two terms are different. The term “reconciliation” refers to the now past-present tense, while the term “ultimate reconciliation” foreordained that which God accomplished through the crosses central message already. This is the same application as given in a video study I conducted some time ago with reference to the Greek word “Theleos” – “Perfect.”
But some might still object sincerely and cite; “But it still doesn’t justify its trinkets of death around the neck or in the cars of rear view mirrors, its glory, its dancing, or its shouting in the pews. It is still a sadomasochistic viewpoint. And its because of that, I still find it appalling!” I want no part in it. I sympathize with Jesus’ death. I feel bad for him. And because I feel for Him, I will not glory in this message. I will glory only in Him.”
What individuals are doing here is similar to that of a nation grieving, yet finding the means to glorify a soldiers death – aka – Memorial Day. You see, there is no real unbelief here, otherwise they wouldn’t sympathize as mentioned above, nor continue to glorify the victim. Yet they still do. And that’s a good thing. Many may not accept the crosses central themed message attached to it, but they do accept the Messenger – Jesus Christ Himself.
And surely if they accept the Messenger, then surely they must remember and cast all doubt aside as to the Messengers mission – His betrayal, death, burial and resurrection. For He often proclaimed that that was the reason He came into this world – to die and be resurrected.
When the Eternal came into this world, did you not think that He thought to Himself that once He entered into this world, there would be no escaping death? He came into the world of the gods – as in the counsels of Elohim – specifically, the god of this world Yahweh – for further studies on this please see my other articles especially under the category “God and Theology.” The manner of Jesus’ death in this world of counseling gods makes very little difference. You see, He could have been nailed upon a literal tree as the ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ insist, or he could have been beheaded as John the Baptist was – it wouldn’t have made a difference. If so, would we have gone around wearing necklaces of trees and heads? Perhaps, who knows for sure. Whatever the manner, death was conquered at the resurrection of Christ. And without His death, there can be no resurrection.
Moreover, this much is certain, and this statement is twofold, salvation can exist outside the cross – as in its unbelief, and it can exist in and through the cross – as in its backup. It is a backup to those who fail in working out their salvation and for those who fail Jesus’ many other methods of salvation as confirmed by the Master Himself – Luke 10:25-28, 18:18-22, Matt 18:2-3, 5:17-20, John 6:53-58, and Chapter 3:3-8 of John.
In Luke 10:25-28 Jesus is reiterating Micah 6:6-8, Deut 6:4-5, etc.
In Luke 18:18-22 Jesus is reiterating Lev 23:22, Deut 15:11, Dan 4:27, etc.
In Matt 18:2-3 Jesus is reiterating Psa 131:1-2, Pro 23:24, Eccl 4:13, etc.
In Matt 5:17-20 Jesus is reiterating Psa 1:1-2, Pro 11:14, 12:15, 15:22, 19:20-21, etc.
In John 6:53 Jesus is reiterating Lev 3:6, 7:11-17, Num 18:8-12, etc.
In John 3:3-8, 16 Jesus is reiterating Himself as God in the flesh as predicted by the prophet Ezekiel. Note: I go a bit deeper into this topic in an article entitled ‘Is the Atonement of Christ Necessary For Salvation?’ under the category ‘Jesus Christ.’
So yes, there are many ways to atone for one’s sins, but even in the midst of ritualistic diversities Jesus, and the Apostles after Him, applied what is considered “The Social Context” – Audience Relevant. For the audience’s of today, the Gospel is a means to glorify God – the true God – who conquered the application of death with its Yahwism’s of law and order – which lead to death. It is also a fail safe for those who reject it’s central themes of redemption; for those who may use other means of salvation as indicated by the Master, and it is also a “fail safe” for those who sympathize with Jesus’ suffering and death – thus choosing not to have any part in the death of an innocent.
God understands the reason for the non-participation. Do not be engaged in worry, fear or sadness because of this; there is, and always will be, the “fail safe.” But do not attack those who cling to the central message of the cross either, least you be found guilty of causing a loss of faith in many simple minded ones. Neither attack the “fail safe.” Remember, the “fail safe” is for everyone’s protection and guarantee. Remember, you must suffer the little children unto Christ and remember it’s simple minded yoke. For His yoke is easy and His burden is light.