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WE BEHOLD JESUS . . . CROWNED. (Heb.2 v9).
By Mrs Jessie Penn-Lewis.
These words have an especially blessed significance to those who have learnt in real experience not only the wondrous depths of Calvary, but that through death with the Victor of Calvary they enter, in Him, His reigning life, when the Lord God said to Him, “Sit at My right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet. . . . rule in the midst of your enemies” (Ps. 110 v1-2). Long before the God-Man came on earth the Psalmist of Israel foretold His ascension to the right hand of the Majesty on high. After that wondrous event had taken place we find the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews referring again and again to the ascension glory of the Son of God. “After He had provided purification of sins, He sat down”, we read, and the Father said to Him, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever”, and “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies the footstool of your feet” (Heb. 1 v3, 8& 13). But at present we do not see everything subject to Him, nevertheless, as we lift our eyes to the Throne, “we see Jesus, . . . now crowned . . . because he suffered death”, yes, crowned! (Heb. 2 v8&9). He is crowned with glory and honour because of Calvary and the grace of God which enabled Him there to “taste death for everyone”. He is crowned as Victor and as Lord, crowned as Conqueror over hell, crowned as Redeemer and Saviour. He sits in regal glory waiting “for his enemies to be made his footstool” (Heb. 10 v13). From there He stretches out the rod of His power and victory, ruling already in the very midst of His enemies, ruling as King upon the Throne, as Victor waiting for the full fruits of His travail on the Cross and of His victory.
And the hour is drawing near. It is increasingly borne in upon many that we are indeed in the “last hour”. The conflict with hell is intensifying and growing into a “confused noise and garments rolled in blood”. In the heat of battle, noise, dust and confusion seem to reign, and only those on the Mount like Moses can tell how the battle is going. In the hours on the Mount it is easy to note the progress and the gains of the hosts of light, but in the periods when the heralds of the Cross are sent into the arena and they find hell with open mouth raging, then the Victor on the throne alone can see, and send forth the words of strength and light to enable His soldiers to endure, assuring His weary ones that, however great the noise, they are meeting a conquered foe in sure and certain victory. We need not wonder that Satan and his legions hate the Cross and its message of victory. Yet the servants of God are escaping the thraldom of the evil one and reaching the Throne of Victory.
What a change in experience, a change in the understanding of what Calvary means to the Christian, makes in the lives of the servants of God. “Crucified with Christ” is the key to victory and power.
Letting this conquered foe behave as though he were a victorious one? It is not always the letting, but the raging of the foe which seems beyond everything, and then the soul joined to the exalted Lord can only hide from the noise of hell, like a babe, in the very heart of God. From all sides comes the sound of battle and everywhere the believers who have dared to assert the victory of Calvary are being tested up to the hilt, whether they can hold their testimony. But His conquered ones know victory by defeat. The babe cries and the Father stills the enemy. Hiding brings victory. Oh the power of Calvary. The Cross is the solution of all difficulties. Not the Cross itself, but all that it stands for, the full and finished work of the God-Man in His death upon the Cross, and then the blessed union in His conquering risen life and ascension, “far above all principality and power”.
So, in the midst of the raging enemy, the Lord is at work. Let the prayer warriors hold their ground and, when all looks blackest around them, let them hide in the safe position, in the very heart of God. Let them at all costs hold the watchword of ‘Victory’, though at times it seems but an empty word. “It is written” is enough! His enemies, the hosts of hell, shall be made the footstool of His feet. Let us lift up our eyes and behold JESUS CROWNED, and by the way of the Cross escape from the storms into His place of rest.
Sit, yes, sit still with your Lord and watch to see, in His fulness of time, His victory.