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6.1 A God Who Stumbles

6.1 A God Who Stumbles
© 2016 Christ Revealed Bible Institute

A God Who Stumbles
No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6b).

In the lesson, “The God-Man Riddle,” I made this claim: Our knowledge of God MUST begin with Jesus the Man. We cannot know God-Spirit except through a Man. We cannot know God-Love except through a Man. We cannot know God-Word except through a Man. We cannot know God-Light except through a Man. Jesus the Man, and specifically, His walk from Gethsemane to the Resurrection, must be the core and the beginning of every part of our knowledge of God forever.

God will never be known except through Jesus.

When I Think of Jesus
Now, in the last session I made a statement about Jesus that would get me thrown out of most Christian circles if taken out of context; I said that “Jesus is not God.”

Consider this fact. When I think of the human Jesus as He is right now, I think of One who is omnipresent and eternal, that is, all here now. I think of One who is larger than the universe, One who is every word God speaks, One who reveals Father in every place Father is becoming known, One who is IN me. And I think entirely of a HUMAN, not God Himself.

But when most Christians think of what they call “God the Son,” they think of an isolated and limited, though glorified, physical body, very small, and certainly not omnipresent.

Jesus Is One of Us
Jesus, the Man, is the appearance of the Father as He walked this earth; Jesus, the Human, is the continuous and direct connection between us and knowing God forever. God remains unknowable, but Jesus is One of us. Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in Me (John 14:1).

Let me now put together two statements from Paul. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer (2 Corinthians 5:16). –  For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones … the two (I speak of Christ and the Church) are become one flesh (Ephesians 5:30-32 modified).

The Appearance of God
Jesus, when He walked this earth, was the appearance of God to creation. When Paul said, “We don’t know Him that way anymore,” He clearly meant that we know Him now as the One who walks as us, for we are Jesus’ present flesh. We are now the appearance of God to creation; this is how we know Him.

Now, the walk of Jesus from Gethsemane to the Resurrection IS the single clearest and most explicit appearance of God ever granted to creation. Yet we know this walk only as we are entirely INSIDE of Jesus through every step and only as every step is now INSIDE of us.

Applying the Poirot Principle
As we seek to know the visibility of God through the walk of the Atonement, we use the Poirot principle of searching for the tiniest of clues, the little, out-of-the-way facts that most rush by and ignore. Certainly, we have not excluded the single largest fact – the death of Christ on the cross – for by this we know love because He laid down His life for us. My contention is this: we CANNOT know the meaning of the largest and most obvious clues except out from what the smallest and most insignificant of clues have to tell us. This is how Hercules Poirot solved every case he encountered; this is how we solve the mystery of God.

Two Tiny Clues
We rely on precedent in using the Poirot principle. Paul found three tiny clues in the Old Testament and by those eliminated the entire Old Covenant and established the New.

Here are the two clues that must open to us the entirety of knowing God; both must be pieced together from Scripture. He rose up from prayer (Luke 22:45).

And He, bearing His cross, went out (John 19:17). – They laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus (Matthew 27:32, Mark 15:21, Luke 23:26). John saw Jesus leave Pilate carrying His own cross, but –.

Jesus Stumbled
The distance from Pilate’s judgment hall overlooking the north wall of the temple to the place of the skull, near the garden tomb, is around 1 kilometer or 1000 yards, a normal walk of around 10-12 minutes. Jesus left Pilate carrying his own cross, but something happened not far into that walk. For some reason, the Roman soldiers transferred the cross from Jesus to Simon of Cyrene.

Jesus had been beaten to within an inch of His life; He had lost a lot of blood. It is therefore fully appropriate that we assume that Jesus stumbled under a cross He could not carry. He that has seen Me has seen the Father.

God as He Is
We are looking at God as He is, as He appears to be seen and known by all creation, both heaven and earth. The miracles certainly tell us something important about this God, but the stumbling tells us something far more critical.

I have painted the picture of Jesus’ stumbling under a cross He cannot carry as falling on His face in the dirt of the street, with the weight of the wooden bar pressing down on His back. We cannot know exactly what Jesus’ stumble looked like; but we do know that He demonstrated an inability to carry His own cross.  Take everything you think you know about “God”; if it does not begin here, it cannot be true.

True for Us
God-Spirit cannot be true for us unless it begins with a Man on His face in the dirt under a cross He cannot carry. God-Love cannot be true for us unless it begins with a Man on His face in the dirt under a cross He cannot carry.

God-Word cannot be true for us unless it begins with a Man on His face in the dirt under a cross He cannot carry. God-Light cannot be true for us unless it begins with a Man on His face in the dirt under a cross He cannot carry.

I repeat the words because this snapshot of God must be the foundation of all our reality. But something else is just as important, something that happened in Gethsemane.

Inside of Jesus
I refer you back to the Purpose course, Session 15: One Day in the Garden. Read through that chapter again. KNOW that Jesus called you, personally, you, literally and substantially, out of the old and into Himself.

When Jesus rose up from prayer, you and I were, entirely and personally, literally and substantially, inside of Him. Every step Jesus took, we took together with Him. Every breath Jesus breathed, we breathed with Him; every word He spoke, we spoke with Him. The most important thing we must know about this Man on His face in the dirt, under a cross He could not carry, is that you and I were, literally and substantially, there inside of Him.

God’s Description of Himself
This is Paul’s gospel, symmorphy, two persons, us and Jesus, sharing the same form. As He is IN us, so we are IN Him. Yet we are looking at the appearance of Father. Let us now describe Father as He IS.

- God always reveals Himself through weakness, swallowing up into Himself all that we are including our sin and rebellion, becoming us in our present state, limiting Himself by our weakness. Thus, carrying us inside Himself, stumbling and falling along the way, He arises out of death into life, ascending on high, and we inside of Him. -

God’s description of Himself is the only thing I see when I think of “God,” except that I see this Jesus ALL HERE NOW, larger than the universe and alive in all fullness IN MY HEART – and Father inside of Him. And by this description of Father as He is, I understand everything else I might say about “God.” No one comes to the Father except through Me. Thus the Man, Christ Jesus, is God Revealed.

Yet we have not looked as far in this direction as we must in order to truly know this One in whom we live, this One in whom lives the Father, this One who connects us together with Father by every Word that He is.

To Know Their Suffering
Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:4-5).

I watched a movie last night that contained a scene that spoke God all through me. The movie was X-Men: Days of Future Past, and no, although I enjoyed the movie, I don’t recommend it; it is much too bizarre for most. In the scene the young professor sought to use his gift to locate a certain mutant. His gift was to comprehend inside his own mind the minds of all mutants, to taste, to know their suffering.

God Carries ALL
Now, I have no thought of what this scene means to anyone else, but only that the Lord used it to show me just how real and literal His “bearing our griefs and carrying our sorrows” really is. Story has the ability to take a reality of God out of religious and limited imagination and make it REAL to us.

When Jesus, the revelation of Father, stumbled under a cross He could not carry, He showed us the REALITY of God. God carries ALL suffering and grief, all loss and deprivation, every tear shed, every head bowed under the weight, utterly and entirely inside Himself, inside His heart. We are the knowing of God.

God Knows
God knows my grief, for it is His grief. God knows my laughter, for it is His laughter. God knows my desires and dreams, for they are His desires and dreams. God knows my suffering, for it is His suffering. God knows my steps, for they are His steps. God knows my thoughts, for they are His thoughts. God knows me for I am His revelation.

Love suffers long and is kind; love … carries all, believes for all, hopes for all, endures for all. Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 reduced and modified from the Greek).

Hope for All
The question of predestination versus free will came up as a critical element of tension in the X-Men movie. The professor gave God’s answer to that question. Hope. – There is none so lost that they cannot be found again.

God knows all things, yes, and all things come, every moment out of God’s knowing. But God knows all things by HOPE for ALL, by expectation, by calling all things out of lostness and into goodness.

This is the God we know; this is our Father. We know God by knowing Jesus Sent into us, the eternal and omnipresent Human, connecting us in all ways with Father.

Next Lesson: 6.2 A God of Travail