At the start of the year I prophesied that there would be increased intolerance towards the oppression of women, a re-look at terms like sexism and feminism and a celebration of the suffragette movement. I also said there would be a rise in women leaders. I have noticed a couple of events that have taken place in the nation along these lines, including an in depth look at sexism in our society at a national Teacher’s conference. Emily Davison, who died at a race course campaigning for the vote, has been commemorated in April in her hometown and the BBC honoured her life and death. The Times also did a feature article on why the next mayor of Paris had to be a woman. You can find all three articles here:
As I said at the start of the year, I think it will continue into 2014 and reach Hollywood with a film about Emaline Pankhurst and also a focus on the issue of Trafficking in other parts of the media. Why? Because in Christ there is no male nor female! All I know is that there is a revelation of freedom that has been released from Heaven and is hitting humanity’s heart.
Freedom was won at the Cross. This revelation is bursting up and out of the Body of Christ right now. It is uncontrollable! When the fullness of time came something happened! There have been mystics throughout the ages who have hit upon something, like Gold diggers stumbling upon treasure. Yes they had supernatural experiences, yes they had visions and ecstasies but they found something more. They were mystics, but more than miracle workers, they were lovers of the cross. They were consumed overwhelmed and obsessed by the cross.
Consider St. John of the Cross; a true mystic known for some of the most extreme and outrageous miracles you can come across, including the miracle of ascension- levitation. But what is he remembered for? Not ‘ol John the Levitator, or St. John the Supernatural but St. John of the CROSS. And there is something to learn in that!
I love what Jeff Turner said last week:
“It is easy for us to become fascinated with men and the miracles that they perform, but what is truly important is the message that the man brings. I am not impressed by supernatural activity, with stories of trips to heaven, or with endless lists of healing testimonies. I’m impressed with Jesus Christ, and what He accomplished on the human race’s behalf. To become enamored with a ministry or movement because of miracles is to miss the point of Christianity. This thing is all about Jesus, not me, my prophetic history, or personal experiences with Jesus in my secret place. This is about proclaiming the Good News of Jesus’ finished work.”
The Cross is not just some event that happened in history hundreds of years ago that we need to try and remember. For too long we have viewed it as that- some static event in history whose only power comes from us ‘applying’ it today! We’ve forgotten that the Cross is THE event of History! It is the culmination of the ages and the Fullness of Time. At the Cross change happened. Lets look at scripture to figure this out:
John 12.23- 33: 23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be exalted and glorified… 31 NOW is the judgment of this world: NOW shall the prince of this world be cast out. 32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. 33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.
Ephesians 1.10-11: 10 [He planned] for the maturity of the times and the climax of the ages to unify all things and head them up and consummate them in Christ, [both] things in heaven and things on the earth. 11 In Him we also WERE made [God’s] heritage (portion) and we obtainED (Past Tense) an inheritance;
Galatians 4.4: 4 But when the·right [appropriate; or appointed; L fullness of]time came, God sent his Son who was born of a woman and ·lived [L born] under the law.
Jesus knew how important the moment was for He exclaimed “NOW is the TIME!” He was showing us something about the significance of the Hour! When Jesus died on the cross He brought fulfillment. Athanasius, in his book ‘On the Incarnation of the Word’, describes that the natural consequence of sin is corruption, and Baxter Kruger explains this (in ‘The Undoing of Adam’) as being like rotten fruit- death manifesting in decay. The purpose of the law was to kill (2 Corin 3.7) and so at the cross we find the fulfillment of sin and the law- death. In death Jesus brought sin to its natural conclusion while simultaneously fulfilling every requirement of the law through His perfect nature! Baxter Kruger describes this act as ‘wrath’- God’s love in action- reaching out and decreeing “NO! Because of my love I cannot let this corruption continue!”
At the cross we also find the fulfillment of our ultimate rejection of God- the pinacle of human rage and anger through our murder of Jesus. God’s innocence met humanity’s corruption. As Andre Rabe says: Our greatest act of murder turned into His greatest act of Salvation.
This was the moment the Father, Son and Spirit had been waiting for- the restoring of friendship and union with Humanity.
Since before time, before the foundation of the world God conceived of a plan. Desire led to creation within the Trinity’s womb and they foresaw something – humanity’s inclusion within the Godhead. God’s plan A was union with Humanity and at the cross all of Heaven was trembling with anticipation. The Kingdom of God was spilling out and crossing over. On tip toes Heaven looked over the great divide and heard the earth shattering words “It is Finished!”
The Cross was the hour in which the climax of the ages occurred and the devil was defeated. The Cross is the place we found union through our death and resurrection in Christ. The Cross was the place that God received you!
At the Cross the curse was broken and Isolation smashed. As Dave Vaughan has taught- with death defeated the resurrection brought immortality; Humanity’s corrupt flesh dead, giving way to the New Creation. Life charged forward out of the Grave, with lightning Glory and clothed in resurrection power. Heaven’s floodgates opened wide and rivers of living water surged out. How can those clothed in resurrection power now die?
Before the Cross God’s people were forbidden from eating unclean animals and God’s Holy people were separated- Jew and Gentile. After the Cross God says “Go Eat! Do not call what is clean, unclean” and Peter realises that he can eat anything with anyone, against Jewish law and should now not call Cornelius the Gentile, “unclean or impure” (Acts 10). Because of Christ Crucified, the Gentiles can now receive the Holy Spirit because in Christ there is no Jew or Gentile (Gal 3.28). At the Cross Jesus exclaimed “It is Finished!”
Because of the cross we can rediscover relationship. This is the point of the whole thing. God is three Persons in One. The point of the Cross is that we can meet and have relationship with each of these three Persons! The Person of Jesus who drew us into Himself; the Person of the Father, Our creator and maker; and the Person of the Holy Spirit, the Wild Fire and Power of God which birthed the universe and who is our Comforter.
Because of the Cross we have been drawn into relationship, into Union with these three Persons. Three Persons remembered walking in the Garden, in the cool of the day, with Humanity and at the Cross God’s desire to walk with us again brought Emmanuel, God with us. I love what Brad Jersak wrote recently- “And the Gardener came to greet Mary, the new Eve, the first witness, in the cool of the morning of the New Creation, the second Eden.”
Isn’t it amazing that a woman, the first to sin, was also the first to be told about the resurrection? Through Christ women were liberated from the condemnation of the fall and were given the gift of liberation!
The Cross doesn’t help us to focus on the greater things of the Kingdom like the miracles, the supernatural and the mystical. The Cross is the mystical message, the mystical obsession! It is the message of relationship and Union. And when we get a revelation of the cross, I’m telling you, we will be able to handle the craziest miracle manifestations there have ever been!