Eternity will entertain the hearts and minds of all the saints with the mysteries of the triune Godhead revealed in the bush burning though not-quite;[1] in the Commander bearing a sword unsheathed on the outskirts of Jericho;[2] in the grown Man born to a young mother baptized in clouds above, wings of a dove and waters of the Jordan;[3] in the beautiful Name left unuttered;[4] in the “One” that is “Us” who created every seen and unseen thing and breathed life into the first lungs of dust and blood.[5]

Yet the knowledge of this One came escorted by mercy to fallen men and women of dust, made wicked by treacherous lust for power which cannot enable, for knowledge which cannot inform. That we may confess one of His Names with our unqualified lips and be cleansed is one magnificent privilege of grace; that we may know so many more is a prodigal provision of the extravagant God.[6]

The humility then required of this righteous King and just Judge to bend Himself so low to make Himself so known to fraudulent enemies and cursing sinners is incalculable. He who “sits in the heavens and does as He pleases” also “knows our frame” and “pities” us—as He must—as any father would sympathize with a toddler unable to govern their own emotions or explain quantum physics. The patience thus required of Him to “teach sinners in the way” and make proud men humble so as to “guide [them] in justice” is beyond the bounds of finite cognition and understanding.[7]

We cannot know Him.[8]

Yet, He bends and stoops and declares and makes known, giving grace to darkened minds and revelation to the otherwise unrenewed. “We love Him because He first loved us,” this One who is “High and Lofty,” “inhabits eternity” and “dwells in unapproachable light,” whom no man has or can see, who in bold audacity conforms those who believe into the image of Him whom they cannot see.[9] We are but trophies of unwarranted grace that does us so much good that it must cause us to pause, cease and bend our knees.

This grace should make us ask why we should receive such benevolent mercy.

Glimpses of this mystery are littered throughout the words and writings of Moses, David, and the pens of prophecy. The revelation of this One we do not deserve to know is laced throughout the canon of the Scriptures we hold so dear, earliest as the God in the Garden confronted sin and covered shame and later called a man named Abram to begin a journey that would bless every household to come.[10]

Fathering this nation, and indeed many more, required a particular conformation to the image of the Maker whose image Abraham bore—a portrait of a father who would bear a blade in his hand, bear wood for a fire upon his son’s shoulders, and ascend a certain hill; a father who would look to a day of resurrection when every promise would be finally and fully vindicated; a father whose confidence rested in the sufficiency of the Lord’s provision for the kind of sacrifice that would satisfy every demand of death’s curse and liberate every son of Adam and daughter of Eve who would “call upon the Name of the Lord.”[11]

Of all the idols and ideas invented by the mind of man, none come close to the true, nearly tangible Father who allowed His Son to offer Himself, nor to the Son who agreed with the will and wishes of His Father and bore the splintered wood up the hill of Golgotha, who kept the angelic hosts at bay so He could breathe His last and finish the task.[12] None could compare to the Holy One who forfeit glory for the form of the form of dusty men, who would allow the rage of unregenerate criminals to crucify the LORD of Hosts for the foulest of their ambitions since Babel was broken down and scattered throughout the nations.[13] None could compare to this Man who would bear the shame of questionable birth, three full decades of anonymity, and a criminal’s execution.

Yet this is the glory of this generous grace—the Holy will redeem the profane, cleanse our pagan tongues of idolatrous names, and draw us into an eternal communion conforming saints into the likeness of the Son.[14] Though it is well and right to tremble at the One who tells the waves where to cease and the sun when to shine, we may rest in the shadow of the Place of the Skull, nearest we know to the God who stayed Abraham’s hand on Moriah but deliberately chose not to stay Pilate’s.[15]





[1]  Exodus 3:2
[2]  Joshua 5:13-15
[3]  Matthew 1:18, 3:3:16-17; Luke 1:26-2:38
[4]  Joshua 13:17-21
[5]  Genesis 1:26, 2:7; Deuteronomy 6:4; Zechariah 14:9
[6]  Luke 15:11-31
[7]  Psalm 25:4-5, 8-9; 103:13-14
[8]  Job 36:26
[9]  Isaiah 57:15; I Timothy 6:16
[10] Genesis 3:8-21; 12:1-3
[11] Genesis 4:26; 22:1-19; Hebrews 11:17-19
[12] John 19:30
[13] Genesis 11; Philippians 2:5-11
[14] Job 38:11; Hosea 2:17; John 17:23-24; Romans 8:29; II Corinthians 3:18
[15] Genesis 22:11-14; John 19:11

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