But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Painful separation and happy reunion.
A week ago, Queen Elizabeth addressed the British nation for only the fifth time outside of her Christmas broadcast. She did this previously at the time of the First Gulf War, Diana’s death, her mother’s death and at the celebration of her diamond Jubilee as monarch. Although we may have differing views of the monarchy, some of her words were striking.
She mentioned, among other things, the pain of separation from loved ones that so many of us are experiencing at this present time, and she referred to the Second world war when families were torn as children were transported from cities to the safety of the countryside. This was painful and worrying for parents and children alike, as they were separated for long periods without the technology we have today to keep in touch. She also encouraged us to look forward to happy reunion.
How many of us are missing the embrace of children and grandchildren; Not to mention the horrible situation when a close relative is taken to hospital or has died, and only a handful are permitted to gather to say their farewells and to comfort each other.
This made me think of Easter and the Lord Jesus on the cross.
It meant that God the Father was willing to ‘let go’ of his eternal Son, his beloved Son, not only to come to this world, but then to be crucified and face the outer darkness in our place. This was signified by the darkness which covered the county for three hours and the cry of anguish uttered by Jesus, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ quoting Psalm 22.
It reminds us of the test that was was given to Abraham, to take his “only son, whom you love – Isaac,” and sacrifice him on mount Moriah – though there was no need for him to do so ultimately, of course. But that is precisely what God the Father did with his only begotten Son.
We must remember that the Son also was willing to leave the glory of heaven, he was willing to give his life for many, he was willing to drink the cup of God’s wrath, though it was so hard. He went as a Lamb to the slaughter, he was quiet in the hands of his cruel oppressors with no retaliation or threats, he was a willing Saviour and Redeemer.
And all this so that we should not remain separate from God in our sin, but be reunited for ever with Him in Jesus Christ – the only Mediator between God and man.
We thank God for the painful separation of Calvary, and the happy reunion with God for us by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. May we be willing disciples to our blessed Lord.
John Treharne, Tabernacl Llwynhendy