The history of Adam, the moral history, is closed; that is what we were. In all this we have God’s history of man’s responsibility. I find in the Cross that I was in a condition which God must reject. The Lord Jesus has come to be made sin, my sin, and a work has been accomplished according to God’s holy and righteous nature. If I look at God now, I find no sin in His presence; I am there by the finished work of the Lord Jesus, and my Father cannot see my sins. Not only has the Lord Jesus died for my sins, but I died with Him unto sin. I am out of the Adam life.
Suppose God had cut off Adam and Eve, there would have been righteousness but no love. Suppose He had spared everyone, there would have been love but no righteousness. If I look at the Cross, there is righteousness against sin – never such displayed before. And there it is that I learn the love of my Father. At the Cross I see Him perfectly glorified in a Man – His own blessed Son, but still a Man. There is now a Man in the glory of God. Not only is there a man out of paradise, but another Man is in paradise. The work, by virtue of which He is sitting there, can never lose its value.
If sin is cleared away, why should I not be in the same glory as the Lord Jesus who is my life? We do not get the one without the other – nothing can be the result of that work on the Cross less than that glory. There are two things: not merely are my sins cleared away, but I stand in the light as God is in the light, and as the Lord Jesus is. We are in God’s Son, and we are to be “conformed to the image of His Son.” He is the “firstborn among many brethren.” “Tell My brethren that I ascend unto My Father and your Father, unto My God and your God.” This is our present position. “Lord, remember me when thou comest in thy kingdom.” But the Lord says, “You need not wait till then: today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
Oh! how the things of the world are dimmed by this, that we are loved as the Lord Jesus is loved! What a blessed place this is. He has taken all on Him as man that we may be with Him forever. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph 1:3 a remarkable expression – in the best place, in contrast to Judaism). There is not one possible blessing into which the Lord Jesus has entered as man that we are not brought into. He never gives way; He brings us into the enjoyment of Himself: “Not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” Perfect love!
Have you ever really considered the Father’s thought and plan about you, that you are “to be conformed to the image of His Son”? “It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him” (1 John 3:2). This cannot fail. The Lord presses on our hearts that He brings us into association with Himself. He gives us His own life and nature, “holy and blameless before Him in love” (Eph 1:4). He sets us in this place answering perfectly to His nature, and with a nature to enjoy it in fellowship with Himself.
We are “in Christ” – this is our Father’s thought. I get the place of a son with the Father. Servants would not do for Him; He takes us as sons. We are “accepted in the Beloved.” In this One, who was always the Father’s eternal delight, we are accepted. Have you thought of your Father’s heart? Is the thought you have that you are loved as the Lord Jesus is loved? Where shall I get what is in my Father’s heart? Is it in my heart? We soon find out what poor creatures we are! Quite true; but can you say, There is where my Father has set me – in the Son of His love? This is the very thing that makes us see our own utter nothingness – and the very thing that enables us to see His loving worthiness. – R.E.C.