Dear Friends of “Dial Daily Bread,”
Have you ever been despised and rejected by someone important in your life, whom you deeply loved? You remember the pain was wrenching.
Can we conceive of Jesus Christ experiencing that? On an infinitely grander scale? For millennia our human souls have been concerned for our own salvation; in my youth I remember sincere, grey-haired ordained elders declaring to me that the most important issue in life is the salvation of our own souls. This is almost universally accepted as the essence of orthodoxy. "Evangelism" is crafted on that premise. But there's a more important issue.
In undertaking the salvation of this world, Jesus took our humanity upon Himself; He knows how we can love; the “one” so deeply loved by Him as His bride-to-be is His church.
Has He known the bitterness of unrequited love, as we can know it--only on a cosmic scale? Can the companionship of multitudes of holy angels compensate for what His heart yearns for in the absence of His church's response to His love?
The pain of Calvary was for only a few hours (we think); indeed, it was intense. But the Hosea-like pain of extended nuptial alienation is Calvary's pain extended.
Christ declares Himself as endlessly "knocking on the door" of His Beloved (Rev. 3:20), waiting for a "certain one" (tis, Gr.) to respond as a satisfaction to His own lonely divine-human soul. He is still the One "despised and rejected." He wants to be with His people on earth, even though earth rejected and expelled Him; heaven is simply no longer "home" for Him.
On this grand Day of Atonement, a change has come: the most important question in life is now for us to honor and vindicate Him. He deserves His reward; it is He who must be "crowned," no longer we who seek that honor.
—Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: August 15, 2006.
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