..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)



Friday, May 04, 2007

In the Company of Jesus: A Noble Legacy of Man's Rejection and God's Acceptance

In the Company of Jesus: A Noble
Legacy of Man's Rejection
and God's Acceptance


Rejection is one of the hardest things for humans
to deal with. Perhaps it is for God, too, if we
can even say that anything is hard for God.
Perhaps it is so hard because God's intent
was for us to all be eternally united with
Him, and with each other through Him.

Sin ruined that. And now rejection is a part
of life. What came to me this morning were
the words, "a noble legacy of rejection."
Jesus was a cornerstone in that noble legacy
for it is said of Him, "the Stone which the
builders rejected has become the Cornerstone
(Matthew 21:42)."

If we were to trace the history of rejection
through the bible, we would see that the
very best of the Lord's company of
faithful ones experienced rejection.
We can also be sure that these rejected one's
experienced a great sense of the Lord's
company--the beyond words knowing of being
accepted by God.

You see, there are two kinds of rejection:
one is earthly rejection because
you do not fit in with a certain group or
idea. Anyone can experience this rejection
and literally everyone does in some way.
But there is another rejection, a rejection
born of identification with Jesus, the One
despised and rejected of men (Isaiah 53).

This is the rejection experienced by the
godly: by all who identify with and stand
with God in truth. The thing is this: it is
not up to us to judge what kind of rejection
we are experiencing, for in doing so we can
become ensnared to pride. Leave it,instead,
to God. It is our job to obey Him, to proclaim
His kingdom, to follow Him to our utmost,
and to leave whatever happens to us in His
hands.

He is seeking to form the Image of His
Dear Son in us. Let Him continue
His work. Beyond the wounds inflicted by
man, see the Lord's nail-scarred Hands
gently forming you. He understands pain
and rejection. He also understands
how they are able to aid you and I
if we do not become sidetracked by them.


God sent prophet after prophet, preacher
after preacher, herald after herald and
they were all rejected. "O Jerusalem,
Jerusalem! thou who murders the
Prophets and stones those who have
been sent to thee! how often have I
desired to gather thy children to me,
just as a hen gathers her chickens
under her wings, and you would not
come!"
(Matthew 23:37).

Finally, He sent His Son, and as the
parable that Jesus tells remarks,
"surely they will reverence him
(Matthew 21:37)," but most surely
they did not.

Something deep in our hearts tells us
that that which is good and true and pure
should find happy acceptance. How cruelly
comes the truth to dash that human thinking!
The legacy of the godly, even the legacy
of God, is one born of rejection.

That is not the end of the story however.
The One and ones of whom this world is
not worthy is and shall become the
kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ,
and happily we will be accepted by Him
forever and ever.

Jesus says, "Haven't you read in the scriptures,
The stone which the builders rejected, the
same is become the cornerstone: this is the
Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in
our eyes?" May the Lord give us deep
wisdom into this most profound and sublime
of truths.

How could God pronounce the rejection
of His Son and the subsequent setting
of Him as that which is the cornerstone of
the whole Building of God, as marvelous?

Wouldn't you think that God would rather
not talk about the rejection part? Should
He not focus on the end result and not
what it took to get there? Obviously not.
God calls it all "marvelous." Hallelujah!

Perhaps Jesus is giving us insight
as He continues to say, "Therefore say I
unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken
from you, and given to a nation bringing forth
the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on
this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever
it shall fall, it will grind him to powder"
(Matthew 21:42-44) .

Dear ones, falling on the Stone includes
incarnationally knowing the kind of rejection
Christ knew. It is knowing Him not only in
the "power of His resurrection," but in "the
fellowship of His sufferings, and being
conformed to His death if by any means
we might attain to the resurrection
from the dead" (Philippians 3:10 &11).

In our minds we separate "the power of His
resurrection" as being the strong and desirable
part. God doesn't. The whole lot goes together:
power, suffering, and death conformation.
It is a different picture of power. One
that the world and the devil can't stomach. One
that is deeply marvelous in the Lord's eyes.

All of this so that "if by any means" we might
attain to the resurrection of the dead.
Paul is himself incredulous! If by any means
these apparent opposites can be joined to
produce life and salvation! Death and
resurrection are joined for a season.
Suffering and eternal life are connected for
a brief earthly moment. Rejection is linked
with eternal belonging in the Lord's kingdom.
How marvelous this is in the Lord's eyes!

May we ask God to make it marvelous in our
own--in the depths of our hearts when we
endure godly rejection.

It matters not if man rejects us, what matters
is whether God will accept or reject us.
And who does God accept? The humble in
heart, the ones who call upon Him, the
ones that are rejected for His sake.

"Blessed are you when men shall hate you,
and when they shall exclude and mock
you, and throw out your name as evil, for
the Son of Man's sake" (Luke 6:22).

If you are part of this noble legacy, the
Lord will bring you salvation and lift up
your head. Leave judgment in His hands.
Call upon His Name. Let Him prune and
sift you through the rejection of men.
Fall on the Rock. You shall never be
ashamed of putting your hope in Him.
You will be numbered in the company
of those of whom the world is not worthy.

Loving Arms hold you in your pain.
A cloud of heavenly witnesses stand
with you. You are not alone. You are
accepted in the Beloved.

I am so sure I am talking to someone
out there today. Know that the Lord
is reaching out His Hand to lift you up.
The world has rejected you, but He
has accepted you.







1 comment:

TogetherOne.neT said...

Your thoughts are cool water...to a parched palate.