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Friday, July 25, 2014

The Persistent Purpose of God # 31

The Authority Is Invested In the Man On the Throne (continued)

The Paradox of the Cross (continued)

Jesus has just told His disciples what is going to happen. He has told them He is going to suffer. He has gone over the whole ground of His Cross with them, and then it says, "And after singing a hymn, they went out." - They sang a hymn, they went out. You know what they went out to. You would have thought that was he last place of ever singing a hymn: you wold have thought that they would have gone out in absolute silence and sorrow, but they went out to the notes of a hymn.

I wonder if you know what the hymn was that they sang. There is very good authority for believing that the hymn sung at the Passover was the One Hundredth and Eighteenth Psalm. Now, of course, we ought to read the whole psalm, but right at the heart of that psalm, we have these words:

I shall not die, but live.

It is the psalm of the passion, but it is the psalm of victory. It is the psalm with a Cross in view, but it is a psalm of the glory, which is the other side of the Cross.

If it really was that psalm that they sang, then we see the mingling of the sweetness and the bitterness in the cup. Shall we take another phrase,

Who for the joy set before Him endured the Cross.

This is the bringing together of the bitterness and the sweetness. Is this what Paul referred to when he said: "as sorrowful yet always rejoicing." These two things always go together in the ministry of a servant of God. The was of the Cross always means those two things. It is the way of bitterness, often the bitterness of spirit; but it is not all bitterness. The Lord keeps the balance between the bitterness and the joy. There is not only the bitter side of the fellowship of His sufferings, but there is the joyful side of that fellowship!

THE RIGHT HAND OF THE LORD DOES VALIANTLY. THE RIGHT HAND OF THE LORD IS EXALTED: THE RIGHT HAND OF THE LORD DOES VALIANTLY. I SHALL NOT DIE, BUT LIVE ... (Psalm 118:15-17.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 32 - "The Messenger Must Be the Embodiment of His Message")

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