Christ Our Pattern (continued)
The Infinite Stoop (continued)
"If thou art the Son of God." Oh! the peerless perfection of the "emptying" and "humbling" of "Himself." Take your last look upon the Father's bondslave; upon Him who had voluntarily laid aside "for form of God" and assumed "the form of a bondslave," thereby renouncing all His inherent right to act sovereignly in the exercise of His own will to choose for Himself; to act independently. Take a long look upon the One hanging on Calvary's Cross. He is truly the Son of God and could instantly have accepted satan's challenge. But He is nailed to that Cross as the Son of Man; sent there by His Father to fulfill His eternal purpose.
"Come down from the Cross." The Father's way was to come "down" to the Cross. Jesus had taken the Father's way, five steps down - even down to "the death of the Cross." At that moment He was there. satan's way was to come down from the Cross. It is ever so and that is why God's way and satan's way are as far apart as heaven is from hell.
Calvary stands at the end of the road of the self-renunciation of God's second Man. The "down" process of self-stripping begun in the self-emptying and the self-humbling has in the death of the Cross reached its depths, in the long-orphaned cry of awfulest desertion that came from the bleeding heart of the Son who though all the eternity of the past had rested in the bosom of the Father. "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
The unfathomable uttermost of stripping has been reached. For in that awful, anguished moment of forsakenness Jesus had not only tasted death, which is separation from God, but He had tasted eternal death, which is hell.
The end of the road for anyone why by his own choice does that will and goes the way of satan is hell. To rob hell of its captives and to open the way to heaven, Jesus the Saviour, the Overcomer, must not stop one step short of the uttermost end of the road o self-emptying and self-humbling. The One who was "equal with God" and "existing in the form of God" now hangs upon the Cross so utterly "forsaken" by God that He is "without God" (Ephesians 2:12) which is hell itself.
The infinite stoop can go no further because there is literally no further to go. Christ Jesus has gone from the highest heights of heaven, where He was on an equality with Gd, sharing in all His majesty, glory and sovereignty, to the deepest depths of the Cross, with its suffering, shame, and forsakenness. He has gone down five long steps from the highest heights of heaven to the deepest depths of hell. God's second Man has gone the full length of the way of the Cross. What now?
(continued with # 73 - (The Cross is the Way to the Throne)