Separation

A scripture on God’s reign:

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

When this verse originally appeared on Sip of Scripture, it was Good Friday. As a Good Friday verse, it is ironic, for it was on Good Friday that the great separation occurred. The Son, co-equal with the Father, had been in eternal relationship with the Father; a relationship so deep that it was co-equal with them: “the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son.” But as Jesus–very God of very God, incarnate by the Spirit–was dying he cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

It was in his death that we found our life. When angels deserted him and demons tortured him, when the Eternal Son died on that specific day in our place, and for our good, when human and spiritual powers were aligned against him, we found our life. Humanity, heaven and the chthonic underworld–all creation conspired (and succeeded) in killing its creator and separating him from the love of God.

But he rose. By the powerful love of the Father, Christ arose. In the words of William Young, set by William Billings:

The Lord is ris’n indeed! Hallelujah!
Now is Christ risen from the dead,
And become the first fruits of them that slept.
Hallelujah, and did He rise? did He rise?
Hear it ye nations! hear it, Oh ye dead!
He rose, He burst the bars of death
And triumphed o’er the grave.
Then I rose, then first humanity
Triumphant passed the crystal ports of light
And seized eternal youth.
Man, all immortal hail,
Hail heaven, all lavish of strange gifts to man,
Thine’s all the glory,
Man’s the boundless bliss.

Our boundless bliss, lavished by God: never to be separated from God. God chooses to be on our side, and all creation cannot compete. It may kill us, but, in the end, Christ has “burst the bars of death/and triumpled o’er the grave.”

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