“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” (Galatians 3:1)
Evidently set forth…
Drinking the dregs
“But God is the judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another. For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and He poureth out of the same: but the dregs (the worst part) thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.” (Psalm 75:7-8)
And as we walk with the Lord, we don’t have to worry about doing that. Jesus tasted it though. He “by the grace of God [tasted] death for every man.” (Hebrews 2:9) The idea with the tippy-top verse is that Jesus has been spelled out. He can’t have been made any more plain to those whom Paul addresses. Christians in Galatia. Paul continues by saying (verse 3) “having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” The mountaintop was ascended by Christ, the only way He could have gotten any closer to the Father physically was to have ascended through the stratosphere–and now He comes back down to earth for us. Jesus began in the Spirit, too. Look what the writer to Hebrews (5:8-9, emphasis mine) puts forth: “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by things which He suffered; And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that call upon Him.” See, Jesus wasn’t just a spoiled Prince. He had a role to fulfill and He worked His way up to the top. Yes, “He were a Son” (wrong tense), but He couldn’t parlay that into fulfilling that which His Father spelled out for Him. The whole “faith without works is dead” paradigm. Evidently, it applied to Jesus too. He finishes His sentence declaring that He could still misuse His power and station by calling on angels to just destroy the world and all therein:
“Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and He shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” (Matthew 26:53-54)
“Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do Thy will, O my God: yea, Thy law is within my heart.” (Psalm 40:7-8)
The fortieth psalm is a personal fave. That number holds deep significance as it identifies the number of years in the desert in the case of the Israelites and also the number of days with reference to Jesus. David talks in the beginning about God bringing him “up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay” (verse 2). Things only He’d be able to lift him out of and clean off him. But then David talks about “the volume of the book” and I wonder what he refers to. Well, he prefaces it with “lo, I come”. So he’s on his way, “boldly unto the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16), as it were. And he finds that God knew he was on the right path all along–like God had been scripting David’s steps. A path that wound through deep swamps, high hills and mountains, and lengthy plateaus. The point is, God is leading us. And if we think we will get there without engaging Him, we may not get there after all. It’s not something that can be thought through.
Yoking the poles
“Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” (Hebrews 1:3-4)
What is the highest in God you’ve ever felt? What is the mindset that accompanies such a high-octane walk? It’s more than good feelings. Did you know that, in some realms of life, just to feel good requires the spiritual Spring-cleaning of locale and subsequent prayer-for-all-involved? As well as lots and lots of time spent in the gutter. Eking out the barest of existences while you wait for the Lord to come through for you. All of this is hard work. Because if you want to touch the sky, you’ve got to work your way up from the bottom. As did Christ.
“Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth. Thou shalt increase my greatness and comfort me on every side.” (Psalm 71:20-21)