It all started in eternity.
Before time even existed.
Beginning before the beginning.
God had a thought.
And His thought was you.
In his mind, He had already adopted you as his Child, to be accepted in Him from before the foundation of the world.
The passion He has for you cannot be tamed.
The thoughts He has towards you cannot be contained.
The Love He holds inside Him is so great it cannot be confined.
It needed to be poured out.
From that Love, He created.
From that Love, He spoke.
The Heavens and the Earth.
The Water and Land.
The Sun, moon and stars.
And He called all these things, “Good!”
But He wasn’t done.
There was something…someone else...He still had in mind.
He wanted to create…
A being that will bear His image
A being that will co-labor with Him
A being to partner with
A being to be in a relationship with
A being that would be crowned with glory and honor for all the world to see
A being that He would love and that they would return that love back to Him
So He creates Man.
He takes the dust of the earth and molds it and makes it look like him and brings him to life by breathing into his nostrils because…
Man became the very expression of God’s love.
But in order for love to exist, there has to be a choice for Him to be rejected.
So He gave men free will.
The Uncreated God.
The Alpha and the Omega.
The One who has no beginning or no end.
The Sovereign Lord.
He chose to place Himself in the most vulnerable state. He chose to open up Himself to be rejected. The price was He willing to give in order for Love to exist in His children.
The God who became vulnerable.
We see two trees in the center of the Garden.
One, The Tree of Life, the most beautiful of trees because it contains the very life source of God, the Eternal Life.
The other, The tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil.
God said not to eat of it because “from the day that they eat of it, they will surely die.”
The serpent whispers to them, “Did God really say you’re gonna die?”
“You’re not gonna die, you’re gonna be like Him.”
Because of free will, man chose to believe the lies and ultimately rejecting God.
In their rejection, their eyes became open.
Open to their own nakedness.
Open to their own shame.
Open to their own darkness.
Open to their own guilt.
The opened eyes has caused them to hide from God.
He was looking for them, but they ran.
Their eyes were opened.
Yet from then on, it was veiled to see who they were created to be.
Veiled to see God for who He truly is.
Veiled that from then on, their eyes will see God through the lens of darkness, shame, guilt and condemnation.
In that moment, they saw a god in their own mind.
Identity was lost. Shame was birthed. Insecurity was introduced.
So God covers them with animal skin, hiding their nakedness, covering their shame and their guilt not for His sake but for their sake. He covers them so they wouldn’t hide from Him any longer.
But throughout history, we read how man kept running, kept hiding from Him but God kept chasing after them.
Because we know that’s not where the story ends.
The animal skin was only a temporary covering.
“This is the story of God: he pursues you with his love and pursues you with his love, and you have perhaps not said yes. And even if you reject his love, he pursues you ever still. It was not enough to send an angel or prophet or any other, for in issues of love, you must go yourself. And so God has come.
This is the story of Jesus, that God has walked among us and he pursues us with his love. He is very familiar with rejection but is undeterred. And he is here even now, still pursuing you with his love.”
― Erwin Raphael McManus
This is the Jesus I fell in love with!
Are you falling in love with Him yet?
To the veiled eyes, they see a vengeful, angry, wrathful God, who’s out to get you. Turn or Burn, they say! But to the unveiled eyes, they see a Lover who pursues mankind with everything that He is. Chasing after them over and over again waiting till they finally say yes.
Jesus is here and He pursues you and pursues you and pursues you!
The King of Kings who dined with the tax collectors.
The Lord of lords who hung out with the prostitutes and the sinners.
The Prince of Peace who tells a woman who was about to be stoned because she was caught in adultery, “where are those that condemn you? Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”
The One who was willing to touch a leper to heal him.
The One who had compassion for a mother whose son just died so He stopped a funeral service and tells the son in the casket to get up.
The word compassion is derived from the Latin words pati and cum, meaning “to suffer with.”
In Jesus, God has put on flesh.
Jesus shares in our humanity. His relationship with us isn’t just the healer to the wounded, but He was willing “to suffer with” us. The compassion Jesus showed became a reality when He was willing to step into our darkness. At the Cross, He made Himself equal to our sufferings. This is the beauty of the incarnation, God himself stepped into humanity and became vulnerable. He is Emmanuel, God with us. The God who suffered with us. The God who suffers with us.
The God who became vulnerable.
Hebrews 4:15-16 (NASB)
“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Jesus hangs on the cross naked.
He is in a great deal of pain.
The soldier sees it. So he tries to give him some wine vinegar soaked in a sponge to ease His pain. But He refused to numb the pain.
Because He has suffered with us, He understands what we are going through.
To the one who fears rejection so you try to please everyone, He is saying, “I understand rejection.”
To the one whose father left, so you feel abandoned, He is saying, “I understand the feeling of abandonment very much so.”
To the one who cries in their bedroom every night because the “popular” girls make fun of you.
To the one who is so full of pain you would rather cut yourself than feel the emotional turmoil.
To the one who is riddled with fear and anxiety because you are afraid to fail the expectation of others.
To the one who has suicidal thoughts.
To the one who suffers from a disease so you are angry at the world and you blame God for your sickness.
“Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen
Jesus feels your pain. He knows your cries. He has been in your shoes. He has immersed himself with the human condition. The cross is at the core of this immersion. He has made things right and He invites us back to Him. He came to restore our identity, to heal the sick, take away our guilt-conscious mind and give us freedom. He has taken back what was stolen in the beginning.
He is saying, “Come to me those who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
May you accept His invitation.
May you come to see the Good News.
May you get to know Him all the more.
May you see the beauty He carries.
May you fall in love with this Jesus more and more and more and more.
May you say yes to Him because He is pursuing you, chasing after you with His heart wide open. He does not fear rejection, but pushes all the more in the midst of it because He would rather die than to live without you!
May you see that only through His love that shame, guilt and condemnation is removed.
May the veil that might be upon your eyes be lifted and see a beautiful God who has come with an open heart. May His life become your life. May your eyes see Him for who He truly is. May you see the person you were created to be.
Philippians 2:6-8 (NLT)
Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
This is the God Who Became Vulnerable.
This article was originally posted on my Facebook Page on December 15th, 2013.