He hung upon the Cross in our name, and His dying has as effectually settled all the claims of God's law against us as if we had been executed for our own crimes and had already passed through all the pains and penalties of hell. How can we help loving such a Friend? What will we fear when He Himself has taken our very sins? It is only as we realize this fully that we will live in the perfect love that casts out all fear.
As He is in His Resurrection, so are we in this world. For we are not only dead with Him, but we also live with Him. The life we now live is not the same as our past. The saved man is no longer himself. He is dead, and the man who lives in his stead is a new man in Christ Jesus. He can truly say: "I no longer live, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20). It is not the same man. Your old sins are regarded as the sins of another. You are even as He. God recognizes not the old man, but the Christ in you, and receives you as He does His own beloved Son. Why then should you be afraid? Only realize your unity with Him, and His perfect love will cast out all fear.
As He is in his acceptance by the Father, so are we also in this world. For, "he has freely given us [His glorious grace] in the One he loves" (Ephesians 1:6), or, literally, in the Son of His love. That is to say, we are accepted even as the Son of His love is. We are as dear as the Son of His love is. The word "accepted" means received with complacency and delight- God is pleased with us for Jesus' sake, even as He is with Christ Himself.
A Scottish shepherd had a ewe that had lost her lamb, while another lamb was motherless. Vainly he tried to make the lambless mother accept the motherless lamb. She would have nothing to do with it, but pushed it rudely from her with cruel and heartbroken anger, because it only reminded hr of the one she had lost.
At length a sudden solution occurred to him. He took the skin of the dead lamb and with it he covered the living one. Then he brought it to the offended mother. Instantly her whole manner changed to the tenderest affection. She welcomed the lamb with a mother's tenderness, caressed it, washed it, fed it from her bosom and treated it as if it were the very lamb she had lost.
So He has made us accepted in the Beloved. So He receives us even as His own dear Son.
We Are One With Him
In His ascension glory we are one with Him. His ascension was not for Himself. He has sat down at the right hand of God, far above all principality and power, and every name that is named, not for Himself, but for us. He is there as our Head, we are here as His body. He has taken His seat there in our names, and written our names on the places prepared for us.
Just as you have sometimes gone into some great assembly and held not your own seat, but also the seats which you have reserved for your friends until they should come, so Jesus is sitting for us on high and holding our places until we go. "He is the head of the body, the church" (Colossians 1:18); "which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way" (Ephesians 1:23). God always thinks of us as if we were there. Let us think of ourselves and live as in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
~ A. B. Simpson~
(continued with # 23)