THE SACRIFICE OBSESSION
The Plan began in the heart of the trinity. Its purpose was to create people to share the life enjoyed by the three persons of the God-head. This was a life of delight, joy, togetherness and love of life. When Jesus came he announced Himself as coming to rid us of unlife, murderous intent and to gift us with life without measure.
The life of the trinity is a joyful communion of being themselves. One God, three persons all devoted to the expression of the true identity of the other.
“While the secular world pushes woman to find her identity in herself as a sex object, the popular teachings in the Church, equally mistaken, encourage woman to find her identity in her roles as wife and mother rather than in her status as a person in Christ, a daughter complete in Him.”— Leanne Payne, “The Healing Presence”, p 65.
THE FALSE SELF
Sections of the religious world push men to look for an identity in the promotion of ‘gospels’ that are no gospel at all. One of the saddest sights to observe is to see scholars of intelligence and sincerity commit themselves to a life of explaining and rationalising ‘gospels’ that are at best a distortion and at worst a lie. They spend much of their life adjusting the hem of this garment without ever coming to terms with the fact that what the cloak they are fiddling with is a farcical representation of the Gospel of Jesus, the apostles and the Church Fathers.
GOD IS JOY
The life of God is sharing in God’s life, which is the wonderfully joyous life of the trinity.
Life in God’s terms is never just the absence of pain, misery and death. It’s the limitless celebration of relationship with God, of being ourselves and being in communion with the the created realm.
A person I know delights in being themselves. Some of us struggle with this one. But the ability to be who we are without artifice is our inheritance from being hidden in Christ, companions of the Holy Family and alive in the freedom of our Real Self. The real self does not emerge from the law, religion, and the approval of others. Real Self is who we become in relationship to Jesus.
So what was the cross about? Was it a sop to a ‘put out God’, miffed because Adam and Eve has so soon deserted their destiny? Not at all. The cross put to death our un-life in Adam and raised us to limitless life in Jesus. Jeff Turner writes,
“The conclusion that we came to was that [the cross] was for the purpose of destroying sin and healing humanity. We also concluded that it was a cosmic event which took place in eternity, and is not, therefore, defined by Old Testament types and shadows of sacrifice.” (1)
You might be surprised how many see a life in God as life of inhibition and sacrifice. Fundamentalisms of all religions tend in this direction. But basic Kingdom life is not about sin and behavior management. Kingdom life is God’s life incarnated into yours and your life present in fellowship with the trinity on account of Jesus.
THE SACRIFICE OBSESSION
Not all have abandoned the ‘sacrifice obsession’ that is a perversion of the cross and its at-one-ment for all. As a result they stick to the law as threadbare as their image of the law may be. Their submission to the law is their ‘sacrifice’ and method of earning acceptance with God, themselves and the ‘religious gaze.’ Their grasping of legal ‘solidities’ gives a sense of accomplishment, catering for an imagined sense of self-worth. But it is always elusive, never enough and leaves us bereft of spirit and life. In the law we are never our real selves and always partially dead on the inside – no matter how active for God, how sincere and how ‘self-sacrificing’ we have trained ourselves to be.
Spiritual gifts will not transform a dead person walking. Christ in you makes us alive in infinite spirit and life.
‘Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ’ Eph 1.3-10.
(1) Turner, Jeff. Saints in the Arms of a Happy God: Recovering the Image of God and Man (pp. 117-118). Jeff Turner. Kindle Edition.