[I goofed! I typed in the wrong article in In-depth Biblical Teachings blog this morning. The article was supposed to be in The Sovereignty of Heaven blog. Since I goofed on that one, I am now typing in the article which was supposed to be in In-depth Biblical Teachings. I just re-arranged the articles only for this morning. Sorry about that. I'll be sure I get them in the correct blog tomorrow!]
Practical Devastation of Our Old Humanity (continued)
A Man Who Did Not Know Himself
Now let us come nearer still, perhaps to the innermost circle, Simon Peter. Simon Peter is a man who did not know himself and who thought so differently about himself from what was true: "I will never forsake Thee, I will go with Thee even unto death. Though all men forsake Thee, yet will I not. I will not," - "I will," - "I". Where did that begin? You have heard this before. Blinded by this ego, this selfhood, oh, Simon Peter, you do not know yourself, but the Cross is going to uncover you, find yo out, and expose you and devastate you. You will go out in despair of yourself and shed many tears. The Lord will have to send someone searching for you with a special message: "Go to My disciples and to Peter ... I know what is happening there, I know where he is and what is happening."
Poor, poor Simon Peter. What was happening? Well, the Lord told Simon Peter what would happen, and Simon Peter did not understand it until afterwards. "Simon, Simon, satan has desired to have thee, that he may sift thee as wheat" - strip off that false covering of selfhood that covers. Really, Peter, what is there, you do not know ... sift you as wheat.
Simon Peter found that the Cross is a very searching and a very devastating thing to any kind of self-confidence, self-sufficiency, self-interest, or anything of self. It is going to simply desolate that kind of humanity.
Men Without Anything Left
Now I take just one other instance after He, Jesus, is crucified, after that part of the drama is completed. Two of them, two of His disciples, went on that day to Emmaus, a village. You know the story in Luke 24. As they talked sadly, this stranger drew near to them (their eyes were holden that they should not recognize Him) and He said: "What manner of conversation is this that you have as you walk, sad?" They replied: "Are you only a visitor to our city, have you only just arrived, have you not known what has been happening in the last few days?" Then the Lord inquired: "What things?" He is drawing them out - "What things?" They said: "The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth. He was a Prophet mighty in Word and in deed. We hoped that it had been He that should redeem Israel, but our rulers crucified Him." In other words, they said, "Our hope is all gone, all of our expectation is destroyed. We are men without anything left."
Then this stranger took the Old Testament (I do not think He had it in His hand: they knew it, they had it in their heads) and He started at the beginning and worked His way all through the Scriptures. And as He opened to them the Scriptures, their mouths opened, their eyes opened, and when they arrived ... you know the end, they sat down to a meal, He took the bread, the loaf, and blessed it. Eyes were opened; they knew Him, and then He disappeared from their sight.
What has been disclosed? What has been exposed? This - you can have your head absolutely full of the Scriptures and know them up there, and they will never save you in the day of crisis. The very thing that is written by God for our salvation does not save us when the Cross is planted right at the heart of our lives; it is a crisis in which we collapse. That is a terrible thing. You can know all the Scriptures, and yet when it comes to the test of some tremendous experience, some devastating experience, all that we have read and heard and thought we knew is no good to us.
(continued with # 12)