Saturday, June 4, 2011

A battle with rest

Returning to Sacramento from Virginia this Friday I flew out of Richmond. Just as we were to board an announcement came that a formal military service was going to occur on the tarmac because a fallen solder was being transferred from the plane to a hearse. Many of us stood at the large windows in the airport watching while we waited to board. The soldier had died in Afghanistan. One could not help thinking of battles, sadness and sacrifice as we all stood watching.

One great and perfect solder fought a battle to the death for his people. But in his resurrection he won over the curse of death and hell; for his people they are no longer the chains that drag the soul down. Instead they are given rest in the everlasting arms of God.

The Puritan writer Richard Baxter wrote:

“Christian, believe this, and think on it: thou shalt be externally embraced in the arms of that love which was from everlasting, and will extend to everlasting—of that love which brought the Son of God’s love from heaven to earth, from the grave to glory—that love which was weary, hungry, tempted, scorned, scourged, buffeted, spit upon, crucified, pierced—which did fast, pray, teach, heal, weep, sweat, bleed, die; that love will eternally embrace thee. When perfect created love and most perfect uncreated love meet together, it will not be like Joseph and his brethren, who lay upon one another’s necks weeping; it will be loving and rejoicing, not loving and sorrowing. Yes, it will make Satan’s court ring with the news that Joseph’s brethren are come, that the saints are arrived safe at the bosom of Christ, out of reach of hell for ever. Nor is there any such love as David’s and Jonathan’s breathing out its last into sad lamentations for a forced separation. Know this believer, to thy everlasting comfort, if those arms have once embraced thee, neither sin nor hell can get thee thence for ever.” (The Saints Everlasting Rest)

Because we are his we are also called into his battle; amazing, the battle that he has already fought and won we find ourselves in the middle of. We are fighting in a battle that has already been won; one that can never be lost. We may be at peace and rest in the midst of every trial.

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