The Wounds of Christ – II: Heralds of Love
“No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His servants will worship Him.”
– Revelation 22:3
In eternity, when the visible Jesus Christ sits on the throne of the universe and radiates the glory of God over all of creation, He will still bear the wounds of His crucifixion, He will still be “the Lamb” who was slain and yet lives.
Last week I tried to explain how the eternal wounds of Christ declare that God’s victory swallows suffering up into itself and is more beautiful and complete because of it. Today I want to look at how the wounds of Christ are heralds of infinite love.
God is infinite and we are finite. This means that – though it is true that we will know Him fully, even as we have been fully known (1 Corinthians 13:12) – it will take eternity for us to attain that full knowledge of God.
Scripture bears witness to this when it says that God will, for the endless ages, be showing us more of His immeasurable riches in Christ (Ephesians 2:7). Or that the pleasures He gives are endless (Psalm 16:11). The joy YHWH intends for His people is immortal, never dying, never waning, never plateau-ing, only and ever building to greater heights so that the joy in Christ of 2 minutes ago will be exponentially less than the present joy that comes from knowing Him more, seeing Him better, and being made more like Him.
This is what happens when the Infinite says to the finite: Enter into MY (infinite) joy, (Matthew 25:21) or: I AM your(infinite) inheritance (Romans 8:17), or: I AM your (infinite) portion forevermore” (Psalm 73:26).
So, what does the eternal and exponential increase of our knowledge of and joy in God have to do with the wounds of Christ? Consider this: The One who we will be eternally and exponentially seeing as more glorious, the One through whom the immeasurable riches of God will be eternally streaming to us, the One who – ever second – will appear more beautiful, more powerful, more glorious, more worthy of adoration and wonder, THAT ONE will bear the wounds of slaughter…..THAT ONE will carry the scars where He died under the punishment of our sins.
This means that the statement, “Jesus died for my sins,” will – every moment – become more staggering to us. As we see more of His revealed glory, it will become even more incomprehensible that THIS ONE died for me….THIS ONE died for me. And the wounds will ensure that we never forget it.
Imagine that you were a pauper in medieval England and you heard that someone died to save your life….you would be amazed. Now, imagine someone said, “I will show you who it was who died for you.” And they begin to lead you through the town….you pass the small dirty huts of those you know and think it must have been someone who was in the same plight as you…..but then you move on….
The man takes you into the nicer houses of the middle class….”could it really have been one of these successful merchants who would die for me?” you think to yourself….but no, you move on past these as well.
Then you come to the houses of the Lords and Ladies, “impossible,” you think, “it couldn’t have been a Lord who laid his life down for me!” But it’s not their either…you move on…..
And you keep moving on, keep moving up through the social crust of the kingdom until the man takes you to the castle, and through the gates, and into the throne room, and to the throne itself….and points to the crown sitting there and says, “HE it was who died for you…..the King Himself…”
Now, it will be a bit like that in eternity, except that we will never arrive at the end….the wonder, the glory, the beauty and power of the one who died for us will exponentially increase every moment as we see more of Him, and the wounds will ever bear witness that THIS ONE died for us….
So, how does this make the wounds heralds of God’s love? Because the distance between the heights of Christ’s glory in eternity (the limits of which we will never reach) and the depths of His shame at the cross (memorialized in His wounds) – the distance between those two extremes is called the Love of God.
The wounds of Christ teach us (and will eternally teach us) to sing, “As high as the glory of the throne is above the shame of the cross, SO great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him.”
– Psalm 103:11 (modified).
Glory to our sovereign God who makes the wounds of His slaughter into the heralds of His infinite love!