I prefer seeing Jesus as our “Champion” upon that cross. Christus Victor. Granted, the path to our salvation was a horrible thing to endure, and look upon. But Jesus took on that monster, the dragon, and entered the monster’s realm to save us from the “monster we have become”.
Think about it, our own Creator shows up on earth and we murder him. And we do it slowly, with torture! He goes about healing the sick, forgiving sins, loving on people, giving money to the poor, preaching good news from heaven, and we premeditated murder him! Who’s the monster? We murder the very one who gave us life, and has come to show us a better way? What is this self-destructive nature? Why do we embrace our destroyer and reject our Creator? Jesus told his disciples I send you out as sheep amongst wolves!
Is this why we hesitate to fully follow Christ? Who wants to be a sheep among wolves? It doesn’t take a genius to know what life for such a sheep is going to be! However, I intend to write of this soon, if we are willing to be the sheep, we never become the wolves, but we can become eagles! (This will be good stuff!)
Those who believe God is a monster because he was the one demanding such treatment of his Son for our sake, have it all wrong. Peter made it plain in several places, that it was us murdering Jesus. Acts 3:15 > “You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. And we are witnesses of this fact!” (See also Acts 2:36, 5:30, 7:52).
So who did the murdering? And what was the actions of the one being literally slaughtered? “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) And who did the raising from the dead, of this innocent lamb? God the Father, whom we claim to be the monster.
There is so much more to say here, but I promised to get into the last couple of chapters of Revelation, and I have been so looking forward to this! Let me use this as a springboard into my next point: “Father forgive them, > for they know not what they do? <”
Let me ask this, what if they had known what they were doing???
Wow. Hhmmm. Would that have changed anything? We have spoken of the difference between Adam and Eve, and their son, Cain, who even after getting caught in premeditated murder, still persisted in his own self centered egotistical ways. What is this wickedness, this monster?
We briefly mentioned the days of Noah and how their every thought had become continually wicked. There are even the mention of sons of God mating with the daughters of man of which the offspring was something “perverted”? I’m not claiming to understand the whole nephilim thing, but you get the point.
We spoke of the older brother of the prodigal son parable, and how the father begged him to come into the party, but he would not, thus giving many indications of the same spirit that filled Cain! Did he hate his father? Did he want to murder his brother?
We spoke of Judas, who sat at the Lord’s table, asking: Is it I, Lord? Knowing full well he was the one! The innocent disciples, those planning no such thing, they still had the heart to ask if it were they; but this monster, knowing full well he was the one, continued his monstrous scheme! And Jesus did not say, forgive him, for he knows not what he does. He said it would have been better for him to have never been born! Yikes!!!
So the question continues to be asked, Who is the monster? Is it I, Lord? But if God is not the monster, then there is a question I have pondered long and hard for many years. Is it justice for a person who has never had a proper chance to know the Lord, to be sent to hell in eternal judgement? For example, a Muslim girl who all her life was taught the Koran, and was never properly introduced to Jesus? Or would Jesus pray, forgive them Father, for they know not what they do, and would God have a different plan for such a one?
One last scripture before Revelation: Romans 2:26 > “And if the Gentiles obey God’s law, won’t God declare them to be his own people?” (Much of Romans chapter 2 seems to indicate God recognizes those who have not had the law, as the Jews did, and yet somehow, by way of their conscious, lived an unselfish life seeking God. Such as Cornelius before he had God’s word. He was not a Jew, or saved, and yet his prayers and alms came up before God! There are a few other scriptures that seem to open up this same possibility, but to all this we are now ready to consider a couple of things revealed in our coming future! Revelation from the Revelation! Revealed at the very end! These events are still at least 1000 years away, but God has chosen to reveal!
I hope you have some knowledge of the book of Revelation, for we certainly cannot write of the whole book in this article, but we are jumping to chapter 20, where the 1000 year reign of Christ is about to begin. Evidently, leading up to this, there has been 7 years of the antichrist. There has been much tribulation and judgement upon the earth. There has also been the Mark of the Beast. (666). During this time, whether pre, or mid, or whatever, there has also been the “Rapture”, but as we know, the five foolish virgins miss the rapture and go into the Great Tribulation. There are many who will refuse the 666 and be martyred for faith in Christ! All of this has happened, we are about to enter the 1000 years of Christ reigning on the earth, and we are given some very interesting information.
First odd thing, the Beast and the False Prophet are thrown into the Lake of Fire, but Satan himself is locked away for a thousand years, in the Bottomless Pit, to be released one more time later? Whaaat? Rev. 20: 3 >
“The angel threw him into the bottomless pit, which he then shut and locked so Satan could not deceive the nations anymore until the thousand years were finished. Afterwards he must be released for a little while.”
Obviously, the people who multiply upon this earth during those 1000 years are going to be tested one more time. Again, Satan will be the monster turned loose, but who would follow such a monster after experiencing a 1000 years of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ? Evidently we would.
Verse 7-8 > “When the thousand years come to an end, Satan will be let out of his prison. He will go out to deceive the nations — called Gog and Magog — in every corner of the earth. He will gather them together for battle — a mighty army, as numberless as sand along the seashore.”
Wow…how sad is this? This is the monster. The sin nature is still alive and well in mankind even after a 1000 years of Jesus. It says they will surround God’s people, and the holy city, with the intent to do monstrous things. But God sends down fire from heaven to consume them, and Satan is finally done away with, cast into the Lake of Fire with the False Prophet and the Beast.
This is our first point and I must end it here lest I weary thee. But this is the monster in us. After a 1000 years of the lion laying down with the lamb, and the earth becoming like a garden again, there will still be those who love the “destroyer”, as numberless as the sand along the seas. This so saddens my heart that we live in such a world of real monsters, while we try to put the blame on God. This is monstrous! This is abomination!
Okay, the table is set to reveal one last thing from these two chapters. These chapters speak of two resurrections. And there is something very special about both of these. Some very important details are given, even as to “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
It will require another 1000 words to go into this. So maybe later tonight, or tomorrow, but there must be a Part IV. Sorry.