Friday, April 3, 2015

My son, GOD Will Provide Himself A LAMB+ .....

Meditation on the PASSOVER LAMB+  
~ ~ ~  Our PASCHA+

 ~  ~  ~  The Conclusion  ~  ~  ~ 

Adapted and condensed from James Ramsey Ullman's 
"TOP MAN"  short story, 1953
under the Fair Use Act
Not for profit... except as it may profit the soul. 

( Story continued from yesterday... )

"Paul, I'll hold out my ax. When I say 'JUMP,' grab the ax head and jump to my ledge," Martin said, gasping for air. “I will pull you. There is enough room for both of us.”

Paul nodded, tensing for the jump.

Focusing intensely, Martin steadied his ax horizontally and immediately called

 "JUMP !"

 ... and Paul landed onto the narrow ledge, crouching down, hugging the rock with his toes and gripping the ax in his hands. The snow crust on which he had been standing had disappeared without a whisper.

flash .  .  . 

... as Paul landed, a blurred figure hurtled out into that vast blue space over the ledge. 

The rope tied around my waist jerked me hard into near convulsions... then suddenly... my pain was gone.  

Numbly, I saw our yellow climbing rope dangling in mid-air, the frayed end swinging freely to and fro... to and fro ... where Martin should have been.

 Paul, stunned, looked stupidly at the ax that only he held in his hand now.

I remained crouched down, pinned to the ground in numbness. Paul inched his way toward me, off the slim ledge.

Finally, Paul said flatly, "I'm going up. Do you want to come?" I shook my head and remained motionless, crouched for an hour? two hours? four hours?

I lost track of the time before I heard Paul --- haggard, spent, clothing shredded --- returning, without emotion, toward me from the other direction. 

"Did you reach the top?" I dully asked, not caring.

"No," Paul said, woodenly. "I didn't have what it takes."

With little talk, we grimly returned to camp 7 and camp 6 and all the rest of the camps until our expedition reached safety, minus one mountaineer. No more expeditions were tried that year for K3. 

In later years another expedition did strive to be the first climbers to reach the top of K3 … only to find a climber’s ax buried in the top of K3’s peak. 

Engraved on the old ax head were the words, 

"to Martin from John."

+  +  +

 The Great Exchange

Who was Paul?

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed Paul... except when he snapped out criticism to Martin's well-tempered decisions. Paul, who chafed under the restraining decisions, only controlled himself with great difficulty. 

Clever and skilled and well-trained, Paul had not yet seen the Unconquered Killer of Man devour the best of climbers, the best of friends.

His character revealed the sins of being bright ... with impatience,   of being exuberant... with Self-will,   of being well-skilled yet unsubmitting those skills to one with better judgment.  

Paul had unswerving goals but was unmindful of whom they hurt. He followed those deep desires only to fulfill his own ambition and glory.  Paul wanted to win, to feel superior. 

Indeed, he FELT superior.

Now change ...

that fateful ax into a cross.  Put CHRIST on the ledge instead of Martin. 

It is CHRIST JESUS, now, extending His+ Cross to Paul.

Exchange ...  

Paul’s face to yours... to mine … and you will see what it cost CHRIST to save you…. to save me … from our sins.   

Always, always chafing at His+ restraints, we will not stop ourselves.

Our sins … our stubborn self-will, our foolish pride in what we know,  our earthly skills, our rational rationalizing, our well-touted talents, and our adroit abilities …  put us out there on a deceitful ledge, of evaporating snow.   

Yes, it FEELS solid and looks solid --- to us --- but  no solid rock underneath our feet exists. 

Unfortunately, we are too blinded with Self to see that for ourselves.  The unseen abyss awaits us momentarily.

And worse, that unseen abyss is Eternal.

Forfeiting His+ Life is what it cost CHRIST --- like Martin ---  to deliver Paul, to pull him to safety. 

Unlike Martin, however, The LORD knew ahead of time what it would cost HIMSELF+ to rescue you... rescue me... rescue everyone of us human beings. 

Yes... HE+ knew ahead of time that HE+ was going to EXCHANGE His+ life for yours, for mine, for all ... while we were yet angry, proud sinners like Paul ... when HE+ extended His+ Cross to us.  

HE+ did it anyway. 

This is what our deliverance cost JESUS. 

 Every time you sin… every time I sin … 
are we 
crucifying CHRIST afresh? 

Are we repeatedly putting HIM+ to an open shame before all ... before the eyes of others .... and also before the unseen Watchers in the Heavenlies ?

CHRIST, better than Martin, knew the strength of the enemy awaiting to devour men. 

+  +  +

CHRIST died for you, Scripture says.

HE+ gave HIMSELF+ for your sins, 
that HE+ might deliver you 
from this present evil world
... and an eternity 
in the lake of fire.

HE+ did it all for you.

GOD, be merciful to me, a sinner.

+  +  +

WHO+ taketh away the sin of the world, 
Have mercy upon me.

BEARER+ of our sins, 
Have mercy upon me.

SAVIOR+ of the world,
Grant me Thy+ Peace.


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