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Paul says we Christians are running a race. Here's what I'm looking at on my run toward Christ.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Jesus is the Cleft of the Rock

"For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory."  Colossians 3:3-4

We have been given new life in Christ and through Christ.  Our old self died and our new life is hidden with Christ in God.  I understand the new life versus old life analogy in this passage but the idea of being hidden in Christ was peculiar to me until I thought of Moses in Exodus chapter 33.

"Then Moses said, 'Now show me your glory.'

And the LORD said, 'I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence.  I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.  But,' He said, 'you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.'

Then the LORD said, 'There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock.  When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by.  Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen."  Exodus 33:18-22

Moses wanted to see the glory of God, but God knew that Moses, a sinner, could not stand face to face with Him and live.  The sinfulness of Moses was in danger of being consumed by God's awesome perfection; Moses would die if He saw God the Father face to face.  So, God hid Moses in the cleft of the rock.

We are in the same predicament.  We want to see God's glory, but we have sin still in us.  While I am a new creation I am not yet perfected; I will be perfected but I am not yet.

This is why we are hidden in Jesus.  We don't just need to be saved from the fires of Hell, we need to be shielded from the awesome, burning perfection of God.  We are hidden with Christ.  Jesus gives us access to the Father without being consumed.  While on this earth we desperately need this.

But notice what comes next, "When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory."

When Christ appears or when we die our sanctification will be made complete.  We will be perfect.  And at that moment we will be with Jesus in glory, in the direct, face-to-face glory of God the Father.  We won't need to be hidden in the cleft of the rock because we will not have an ounce of sin in us because Christ will finish the job as He promised to do.

"Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden."  Genesis 3:8

Presumably before the Fall Adam and Eve walked with God and saw Him face-to-face in the Garden of Eden.  The verse above was directly after the Fall.  See, Adam and Eve were fully aware that their sin made God dangerous to them, so they hid from Him.  Sin keeps God from us and keeps us from God.  When men and women return to our original, sinless design we will no longer need to be hidden from God, we will see Him face-to-face.

I am hidden in Jesus, the cleft of the rock, and allowed to enter the presence of the Almighty God and one day when my sanctification and glorification is complete, I will see the three-in-one God face-to-face.  I will one day and for eternity after that be able to look on the face of my God.  Until then I thank God that He has hidden me in Christ.

Thank God that your life is hidden with Christ in God today.

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