Leave it up to Paul to smack our minds and hearts with an explosive thought that couldn’t possibly get more rich, more sweet, more life-changing… then… he finishes the sentence and you realize… “WAIT A MINUTE, THIS WAS A SET UP.”


Could there be a sweeter thought?
It’s not that God was in Jesus, no, it’s more rich than that.


Keep in mind, Paul is the only brother to use the phrase “CHRIST JESUS”. Peter, James and John were still stuck in the ole “Jesus Christ” mode. They didn’t get the memo that this thing is BIG. Bigger than we ever imagined. So big that Paul says…


What was God doing there, in Christ? Was He confused? Lost perhaps? Did not God see the ultimate rejection that just happened? The mocking? The betrayal? The beatings? That stupid crown of thorns? And that crucifying stake? What was God thinking? And yet…


It’s just four little words. Why do they sound so pregnant?
Because they are. Everything is about to change. Everything. You see…


… conducting the biggest operation since creation began. He was doing something totally complimentary for the whole creation. A “surprise, mystery gift” you might say. For, the whole of creation will see, will confess, and will bow the knee with amazement once they realize that …


What was He doing there? Taking a long shot? Some suggest as much. But I think not. It was a sure thing. And the proof? You may have heard, the stone was rolled away. The curtain rent from top to bottom. Christ walked out of there “flesh and bone.” And as if that weren’t enough. The story gets more rich and mind-blowing as the layers are peeled back.


…changing His operations from one of sin and death to one of grace and life. Every knee will bow. You’ll see. All will be headed up in the Christ. Mind-blowing I know, right? This event touches all, from one end of the universe to the other.


And nothing else matters really. This is enough to answer any query.


And when you realize it, don’t be surprised at that lump in your throat. It’s a big thought. Big enough to get your attention? Let’s see exactly what God was doing there. Consider…

18 Yet all is of God, Who conciliates us to Himself through Christ, and is giving us the dispensation of the conciliation,
19 how that GOD WAS IN CHRIST, conciliating the world to Himself, not reckoning their offenses to them, and placing in us the word of the conciliation.
20 For Christ, then, are we ambassadors, as of God entreating through us. We are beseeching for Christ’s sake, “Be conciliated to God!”
21 For the One not knowing sin, He makes to be a sin offering for our sakes that we may be becoming God’s righteousness in Him.

Can it get more rich and sweet than that?
No wonder Paul was in the habit of saying…

All of you.

From Philippians 2:
9 Wherefore, also, God highly exalts Him, and graces Him with the name that is above every name,
10 that in the name of Jesus every knee should be bowing, celestial and terrestrial and subterranean,
11 and every tongue should be acclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord, for the glory of God, the Father.

From Ephesians 1:
10 to have an administration of the complement of the eras, to head up all in the Christ —

From Luke, the last chapter:
1 Now in the early depths of one of the sabbaths, they, and certain others together with them, came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they make ready.
2 Now they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.
3 Now, entering also, they found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
4 And it occurred, at their being perplexed concerning this, lo! two men stand by them in flashing attire.
5 Now at their becoming affrighted and inclining their faces to the earth, they say to them, “Why are you seeking the living with the dead?
6 He is not here, but was roused. Be reminded how He speaks to you, being still in Galilee,
7 saying that ‘The Son of Mankind must be given up into the hands of men, sinners, and be crucified, and the third day rise.'”
8 And they are reminded of His declarations.
9 And, returning from the tomb, they report all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.
10 Now there were the Magdalene Mary and Joanna and Mary of James and the rest together with them, who told these things to the apostles.
11 And these declarations appear in their sight as if nonsense, and they disbelieved them.
12 Yet Peter, rising, ran to the tomb, and peering in, is observing the swathings only. And he came away marveling to himself at that which has occurred.
13 And lo! two of them in the same day were going into a village which is named Emmaus, sixty stadia away from Jerusalem.
14 And they conversed with one another concerning all of these things which have befallen.
15 And it occurred, in their conversation and discussion, Jesus Himself also, drawing near, went together with them.
16 Yet their eyes were held so as not to recognize Him.
17 Now He said to them, “What words are these which you are bandying one with another while walking?” And they stood with a sad countenance.
18 Now, answering, the one named Cleopas said to Him, “You are sojourning alone in Jerusalem and did not know what things are occurring in her in these days?”
19 And He said to them, “Which?” Now they say to Him, “Those concerning Jesus the Nazarean, a Man Who came to be a Prophet, powerful in work and in word, in front of God and the entire people,
20 so that both our chief priests and chiefs give Him up to the judgment of death, and they crucify Him.
21 Yet we expected that He is the One about to be redeeming Israel. But surely, together with all these things also, it is leading in this third day since these things occurred.
22 But some also of our women amaze us. Coming to be at the tomb early
23 and not finding His body, they came saying that they have seen an apparition of messengers also, who say that He is living.
24 And some of those with us came away to the tomb, and they found it thus, according as the women also said, yet Him they did not perceive.”
25 And He said to them, “O foolish and tardy of heart to be believing on all which the prophets speak!
26 Must not the Christ be suffering these things, and be entering into His glory?”
27 And, beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, He interprets to them, in all the scriptures, that which concerns Himself.
28 And they draw near to the village where they went, and He does as though He were going further.
29 And they urge Him, saying, “Remain with us, for it is toward dusk and the day has already declined.” And He entered to remain together with them.
30 And it occurred, at His reclining at table with them, taking the bread, He blesses it, and, breaking, He handed it to them.
31 Now their eyes were opened up, and they recognize Him. And He became unapparent to them.
32 And they say to one another, “Was not our heart burning in us as He spoke to us on the road and as He opened up to us to us the scriptures?”
33 And rising in the same hour, they return to Jerusalem and found the eleven convened together and those with them,
34 who said that “Really roused was the Lord, and was seen by Simon!”
35 And they unfolded the events on the road, and how He is known to them in the breaking of the bread.
36 Now at their speaking these things, Jesus Himself stood in their midst and is saying to them, “Peace to you!”
37 Yet, being dismayed and becoming affrighted, they supposed they are beholding a spirit.
38 And He said to them, “Why are you disturbed? And wherefore are reasonings coming up in your hearts?
39 Perceive My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and perceive, for a spirit has not flesh and bones according as you behold Me having.”
40 And saying this, He exhibits to them His hands and feet.
41 Now, at their still disbelieving from joy, and marveling, He said to them, “Have you any food in this place?”
42 Now they hand Him part of a broiled fish,
43 and, taking it, He ate before them.
44 Now He said to them, “These are My words, which I speak to you, still being with you, for all must be fulfilled that is written in the law of Moses and the prophets and psalms concerning Me.”
45 Then He opens up their mind to understand the scriptures,
46 and said to them that “Thus it is written, and thus must the Christ be suffering and rise from among the dead the third day,
47 and there is to be heralded in His name repentance for the pardon of sins, to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
48 Now you shall be witnesses of these things.
49 And lo! I am delegating the promise of My Father on you. Now you be seated in the city of Jerusalem till you should be putting on power from on high.”
50 Now He led them out as far as to Bethany, and, lifting up His hands, He blesses them.
51 And it occurred as He is blessing them, He put an interval between Himself and them, and He was carried up into heaven.
52 And they, worshiping Him, return to Jerusalem with great joy.
53 And they were continually in the sanctuary, praising and blessing God. Amen!

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