Easter has a special significance because of what the Saviour of the world was able to achieve within the most unjust event in human history. The grace of Jesus to save every single one, reuniting us with the Father, is exemplified in his distinctive instantaneous forgiveness of those hard hearts that had not vision of the process of eternal Redemption back to God:
“Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they cast lots to divide his clothing.”
~Luke 23:34 (NRSV)
Considering The Emptiness Of Christ
It may be incorrect to polarise upon the emptiness of Christ on the cross (Philippians 2:8) devoid of the Messiah’s chosen emptiness (Philippians 2:7) to enter from God into the Incarnation. It was Divine humility that powered both. It was for humanity’s consummate necessity that both occurred.
The emptiness of Christ, considering both the cross and the Incarnation, brings home awareness of the paradoxical fullness of both realities. When the Son became incarnate in Jesus all that was God went into the Man. When Jesus gave up his will, and so, to allow the injustices to occur against him, because it was the Father’s will to do so, he absorbed the fullness of the sin of humankind—every last detail of the filth, judgment, guilt, and shame; large and small.
The emptiness of Christ in both these events sheeted home not only Divine holiness and humility, but the absolute forgiveness of grace in holding nothing of what was in the past against the future. Iniquity, upon repentance, was now no longer a barrier, given Jesus’ obedience.
The emptiness of Christ shows us the Messiah in the fearless mood of love beyond any hurt or egotistical need to be God. Such is the Divine agenda of which we’re to learn.
Worthiness By Grace
The Lamb of God that was slain is not worthy simply because of sacrifice, for he is, was, and always will be, God. But to extend the concept that God—in all Divine power, knowledge, presence, and love—would give of himself defies uneducated rationality. Why would God do that? We can wonder about that all our lives, knowing the truth that such a thing outwitted Satan, and still hold the matter of bewilderment squarely in our minds.
The subject of worthiness, in relation to the crucifixion, is an interesting concept as we’re personally concerned. Living the death of Jesus in our mortal beings (2 Corinthians 4:10) brings forth the glory of God, bequeathing ever more worthiness to the Saviour in honour of the Father. And we’ve simply followed Jesus’ wonderful model; that whoever transgresses us, having been forgiven, may look to God and praise the Divine Hand because of their experience of mercy at our hand.
Christ emptied himself to die on the cross and to absorb the fullness of our sin. Because he was from God, and obeyed the Father, worthy alone is he that was slain: the Lamb of God.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.