Disclaimer: After we are raptured, God will invite a band to the stage to usher us into the Eternal Future. My conjecture is this: it will be Hillsong (lool). Click here to read about the Songs from the Hill Project. And please join in. LET US HAVE FUN! (It would be nice if you downloaded the track and listened as you read)
Track 8: Aftermath
The skies lay low where You are. On the earth You rest Your feet. Yet the hands that cradle the stars are the hands that bled for me. In a moment of glorious surrender you were broken for all the world to see.
Lifted out of the ashes I am found in the aftermath. Freedom found in Your scars. In Your grace my life redeemed for You chose to take the sinner’s crown as You placed Your crown on me
And in that moment of glorious surrender was the moment You broke the chains in me. In that moment You opened up the heavens to the broken, the beggar and the thief
Lifted out of the wreckage I found hope in the aftermath
And I know that You’re with me
Yes, I know that You’re with me here
And I know Your love will light the way
Now all I have I count it all as loss But to know You, to carry the cross
Knowing I’m found
In the light of the aftermath
Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. This fragrance is perceived by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. – 2 Corinthians 2:15
You say you don’t understand them. They seem different. They are in your class. They sit beside you in public transport. They walk into movie theatres with you. Occasionally some of them lift their voices against the din of passing cars, hawkers and conflicted bus conductors. At times they carry a book that they claim contains Life. They walk with their hearts laid bare and their arms outstretched in love. They say that they are aliens and not of the earth. And though they look like you truly they don’t walk as you do.
They speak a different language and unlike some who claim to be members of this special breed, there is a difference. You see the difference in their smile, in their graceful gait. You hear it resounding like the echo of a volcano gushing with majesty metaphor as they speak a language unlike any you have ever heard. It is the language of love. Though they are kings yet they serve with all their hearts. Sometimes you cannot help but think that they are naïve, perhaps they suffer from some unknown ailment. Perhaps they are mad tricksters who claim that life is a bed of roses in order to pilfer through your life and leave you in the ditch of despair.
But there is a difference. They are truly free… unfettered from fear. They are not as the prophets prowling about for a profit; they do not run amok with gainsaying designed merely for the desire for gain or a quick buck. You can tell but … among the millions that bear this tag you can only see a few who truly reflect the light in the carpenter’s eyes and the fire in his words. Even those few are evidently flawed, they bear scars from a cross two thousand years ago. But despite their flaws and faults, somehow they sing with a hope that is infectious, they strike chords that resonate with your deepest yearnings.
So that if anyone is in Christ — he is a new creature; the old things did pass away, lo, become new have the all things. – Apostle Paul
Like their teacher they kneel in the mud and hug the broken and bruised. Much like him they sit with the tavern worker and wrap their arms round the man of the wharf. They stoop low enough to wash the dust and dirt off your muddied feet but high enough to let you see that they are kings from a different realm. They are born from the aftermath of the cross. They are knights of the Realm of Ruach – KING-PRIESTS. You hear of their order, their government. You see their loyalty to the one who hung on the cross.
But wait… their Father is the one whose hands cradled the heavens and who laid his head in a manger for a cradle. He was the same one whose scars were the herald for a redemptive motif, whose love burned brighter than the twinkling stars. You shudder at the thought. These ones are made in the image of He who loved the demon possesses harlot, who allowed her to adorn his feet with her tears. These one are fashioned after the likeness of the itinerant preacher who toppled the spiritual terrain in less than four years.
How can you understand them? You wonder… would it be possible to join their ranks? You desire to walk down the babbling brooks that bubble with joy. You desire to be fed as they are fed. You long for the warmth and welcome of such a haven of hope. Your eyes light up when you learn that the King has sent out invites to all and sundry. You are shocked that your debt has been paid in full. You weep when you realize that the dearth in your soul was due to your ignorance of His supply. You had been living as a beggar when all the while you were the King’s kid.
Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. – Paul
They point you to their father. They say he is yours too. He doesn’t mind the stench of the swine that leaves wilted petals in your wake. He doesn’t care that your robes are strewn with maggots or that your hair is unkempt and frayed. He sees the pain in your eyes and not that your face is fraught with warts. He hugs you regardless. He opens up heaven and says COME HOME. He takes the ashes of your dreams and breathes the fragrance of beauty into them. He takes you rubble and gives you the rubies of righteousness. Though sin has sapped your vitality, He crowns you with the sapphire of new life.
By carrying your cross and dying in your place He says to you “I love you”.
Now do you understand why?
Christ didn’t come to earth to set up debating committees. He didn’t play ten-ten on the cross. You know when as kid you used to play “rough-play” with friends? You remember how that whenever someone gets hurt and starts bleeding, it is no longer play-play… well Jesus bled on the cross and He shed his blood on the mercy seat for you and I. HE wasn’t crucified so that you can have doctrinal advantage over another or so that you will prove your knowledge of scripture.
He was whipped for your worries, scourged for that sickness that threatens your existence. He felt the anguish of all humanity and yet his loudest cry, the most important thing to him on that cross was not vengeance against the crowd that had only earlier in the week hailed him but now vilified him but was a howl of hope, a resounding cry of forgiveness for all mankind. That was why He died so that you would have a way to the Father once again. “You in Him” is the repercussion on the cross. “You lavished with outrageous Love” is the result of that cry.
So maybe you don’t understand Christians yet… maybe you haven’t the right ones… the ones broken, bruised and battered… the ones who despite life’s scorn rejoice and stand firm in Christ… the ones who have found their basis for faith. The aftermath of the cross was this: a road was paved with blood and men could once more come before the King without fear. Will you come???
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