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Glory Through Sufferings

By Elie Nessim, August 8 1998 Printer Friendly Version

Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
After reflecting on our text from Ephesians chapter 1 verses 15 to 21 we realize that 'to know' means more than just to apprehend with the mind, but also to apprehend with the heart, and to experience in the Life.  That's why were are told elsewhere to 'love the LORD our GOD not only with our mind, but with our heart', and with our soul, and with our strength'.  So the knowledge involves the whole man; the whole person.  In our case, when we are talking about what GOD has done, it is something that is a reality that we can experience in our life.

If we just leave it as a mere intellectual idea, then it is powerless.  We are like those people 'Who have a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.'  We don't want to be like that; we want to experience the reality of these truths in our lives; to see them operative in our life.  That's why he prayed like this; he says 'I pray that the eyes of your understanding would be enlightened,'[verse 18], 'and that you may know.' Wherever the Bible tells us that we may know, It means much more than just head knowledge; heart knowledge and also in the Life. 

He (Shaul), is praying also that, 'We might know what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who are believing,' that's how it is in the Greek.  His power continues to work in those who continue to believe.  'According to the working of His mighty power which He wrought in Messiah when He raised Him from the dead.'  He set Him at His own right hand.  We read: 'Seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power.' It is important for us to know, because it concerns us.

Messiah is our Head.  He is our Representative; He is our Leader; He is the Head of this new humanity – redeemed sinners!  What happens to Him, happens to Him not only for His own sake, but for ours' as well.  So that it vitally concerns us.  For example, in any family, what happens to the head of the family, concerns the family very much.  If the head of the family is honoured, all the family basks in the honour.  If the head of the family suffers, all the members of the family are involved in the suffering.  If a man is sentenced to exile, his family have to go into exile with him.  If he is promoted, then they come into prominence and all the cameras are fixed on them as well.  And this is what we have here.  He is our Leader; He is the Captain of our salvation, and by that is meant, He is the Captain of a heavenly army, and we are soldiers for Messiah!  We are involved; we are members of His family and of His army.  He has chosen us to be His people!

Now these honours that are described here, where GOD 'seats Him at His own right hand', this is reflected in Psalm 110, which the LORD YESHUA quoted to His people: 'The LORD said to my LORD, 'Sit at My right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.'  So that what Shaul is speaking of here is really a fulfilment of that prophecy, and of others like it, where Messiah was pointed out for great glory.  But it must be always, after suffering.  No crown without the cross.  That's how the saying goes.  Always the cross before the crown.

If you turn back with me to Isaiah 52, we will see this.  Already foretold; already GOD foretold that His Servant, the Messiah, would achieve glory through terrible sufferings.  He must needs suffer, and the reason why He must suffer, is because that was the only way that He could save us, by taking our penalty, our condemnation, our judgment, upon Himself.  Isaiah 52 from verses 13 through 15: 'Behold, My servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.' That's exactlywhat our people expect of the Messiah.  Yes, of course, He is going to be an exalted king.  But wait a minute!  Before He ever becomes that exalted King, He goes through some terrible suffering, and this is how it is described in verses 14 and 15: 'Just as many were astonished at you – so his visage was marred more than any man and his form more than the sons of men – so shall he sprinkle many nations.  Kings shall shut their mouths at him.  For what had not been told them, they shall see, and what they had not heard, they shall consider.'

It was to them a matter of amazement, not only Jewish people, but Gentiles, when they heard about the great Messianic Deliverer; the great King; that He achieved His eminence through eminent suffering; that glory only followed terrible suffering.  And that's why so many were astonished at Him.  He was disfigured; He was mutilated; this was the way He 'sprinkled many nations'.  This word, sprinkled, is a verb that is used in the Law of Moses to describe the sprinkling of the blood of sacrifice; and also of the blood of consecration.  When people were sprinkled; when Moses inaugurated Israel into a covenant with GOD, he 'Sprinkled with blood the people and the Book.  And he said, 'This is the blood of the Covenant which GOD has enjoined unto you.'  So we see the sprinkling of blood; and this is the verb that is used here.  'He is going to sprinkle many nations.'

So we come across statements like this.  For example the 1st Letter of Peter, he says: 'To those that are elect, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Messiah YESHUA.'  Or in the Letter to the Hebrews, Shaul says, 'You have come to YESHUA, and the Mediator of the New Covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling which speaks better things than that of Abel.'  We must needs be sprinkled with His sacrificial Blood! 

Now its not literally true that we have literal blood sprinkled on us; but the efficacy of that shed Blood must obtain, in our experience.  We must realize the power of that atoning Blood of the Messiah.

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