The Rift

After six days of creation, God looked at all He had done each day and each day summed up His work in the descriptive statement "it is good" (Genesis 1). Yet, after He made man, He made a peculiar statement: "It is not good that the man should be alone." Hence, we see two firsts: (1) something was not good, and (2) someone or something was alone--God, eternal goodness, found something "not good" at the same time He found someone "alone." At the heart of God's nature is no aloneness, and goodness, at least in God's nature, exists apart from aloneness. Seeing the disparity between His nature and His creature in His image, God created a companion for man, and both Adam and Eve shared that companionship. It mirrored God's nature--God is a relational Being, manifested in the harmonious trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And so man became not alone.

And this is what shakes the world.

Fast-forward a few thousand years after Creation to a beaten, bloody Man carrying timbers down the stony streets of Jerusalem. His flesh hangs in ribbons from His body from being slashed by the Roman's leather whip, lathered in glass fragments and sharp pebbles. As He heaves His way through the curious, sometimes mocking, sometimes weeping crowd, He finds Himself stumbling over the dry ground that He had commanded to appear out of the seas. He finds Himself among hundreds, if not thousands, of beings created in His image. He finds Himself among people, descendants of that man and woman He had created for each other and who willfully rebelled against Him. And now He, as the incarnate God who promised to crush a serpent's head and to bruise a heel, stumbles toward a hill, ready to keep His Word.

He roars in pain and agony as some soldiers hammer nails into His wrists and ankles. He feels the flesh jerk as the cross is dropped into the ground. He hears the mockery and the guffaws of those who take pleasure in His pain.

And then He is alone.

Even more than Adam being alone, Christ Jesus Himself is now forsaken of all, even God the Father. Surely God would say "It is not good!" But no. Isaiah whispers, "Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him" (Isaiah 53:10). Irony? Christ created a companion for man, couldn't He create a companion for Himself in that darkest hour? Why would He strip Himself of everything--EVERYTHING?

The simple answer: sin.

When sin came into the world, it slashed the bands of fellowship between God and man. It slashed the bands of fellowship between man and man. And it slashed the bands of fellowship between creation and Creator. And who was the only One powerful enough to sew the bands back together? The bite of rebellion severed life, and the consequence was death.

God, in His justice and mercy, could not allow sin into His presence because sin causes separation, and in God there is no separation, only perfect harmony. Yet, in His grace and mercy, He stepped down from His throne for a space in time, took upon Himself the form of man and of a servant, and went to work. He brought the Kingdom of Heaven down to earth and taught man what harmony was supposed to be. But it could not be realized until the great rift, caused by sin, was eliminated--until it was expunged.

And Christ, who saw beyond the pain and beyond the hurt and beyond the hate, took upon Himself that sin--that great rift-maker--and showed the world that sin itself ripped apart that perfect fellowship that God had in Himself. "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?"--the cry pounded and resounded through heaven, through earth, through history, and through the lips of the writhing God-Man upon the cross.

The world seemed to come to a grinding halt. But God was still Creator and Master of His creation. Three days later, a stone rolled away, the earth shook, and God, once again, demonstrated His awesome power. He repaired the rift and conquered that penalty of sin and death. And today, we praise this God of grace who extends His hand to the still-rejecting world and says, "Come."

About the Author: My name is Sean. I write to respond. I grow, and with me grow my worldview, my observations, my beliefs, my passions, my desires to change the world around me. This blog is dedicated to God, who is daily teaching me to live in His reality. I am a first-year law student and hope to apply my writing as a Christian lawyer in touch with my society and cognizant of God's standard of justice  tempered with his love of mercy. You can find me on the web at http://excelsiorstillhigher.blogspot.com/