John 1:14 "And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth."
This verse takes us back to his incarnation, and does it not amaze us once again to remember that the very Son of God came down into this sinful world? But John recalls the difference and uniqueness of this One, he was 'full of grace and truth' . As we examine that life, surely we can see abundant evidence of both grace and truth in equally perfect measure in that blessed life.
Luke 4:1 "And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness."
When we consider this verse it reminds us that the Lord Jesus was always in the current of the Father's will as he was ever filled with and governed by the Holy Spirit. This directed his movements, actions and words. It serves as a challenge to our hearts - do we live our lives in constant reference to the Holy Spirit and seek to do God's will? We as believers should strive to live lives led by the Spirit and 'live by faith' dependant upon Him, or do we relegate God to the back of our minds usually?
Mark 8:19-20 "When I brake the 5 loaves among 5000 how many baskets full of fragments took ye up?"
[caption id="attachment_89" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="The countryside by Galilee, a possible site for the feeding of the 5000?"][/caption]
The baskets were FULL OF fragments, the Saviour is most specific in his words! The provision on that occasion we recall was 'super-abundant' (enough for their needs and far more!). How wonderful to note the compassion and provision of the Saviour, he never did things partially or 'just enough', he always fully met the need and exceeded expectations! How different from the world in which we live, which always seems to disappoint on so many levels. Of course this same Lord Jesus has promised his abundant provision to his believing people: "unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think..." What a Saviour is ours!
Luke 5:12 "And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy..."
Just as the baskets were full of fragments, so was this man FULL OF leprosy, and what a wretched sight he must have been. Rejected by society, poor and destitute with a debilitating and terminal condition - until he met the Saviour that is! The question he asked was "if thou wilt" and the lovely answer was "I will, be thou clean". And the scripture records that that leper felt something that he had not felt for a very long time, the compassionate and kind touch of another human being. What a lovely touch by the Lord Jesus! Of course leprosy is a picture of sin that we use in the gospel so we can use this as a picture of ourselves, made destitute by sin with it's awful mark on our lives, destined for death and judgement - until the Saviour stepped in and saved us by grace and changed our lives forever, thanks be to God!
Mark 15:36 "and one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar... and gave him to drink..."
[caption id="attachment_92" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="An example of an ancient Roman sponge on a stick"][/caption]
Finally we close our few thoughts by coming once again to Calvary. From reviewing our other points we see a life full of love and compassion, grace and truth and obedience to God. But when we come to the cross we see the Son of God hanging on a cross in agony and shame, despised and rejected by men and forsaken of God. At the height of his suffering, just when you would think there might be someone to offer relief or to show compassion upon one who had done so much good, what do they offer the very Son of God? A sponge full of vinegar (sour wine). How ironic to see that when we look at the life of the Saviour, we see the phrase 'full of' used to describe his lovely and wonderful virtues and characteristics, but when it comes to man it is used to show his wickedness and cruelty instead. How typical of the world, and still today they offer to Christ the disdain and rejection that they offered to him then - yet to all who repent and believe he will be their Saviour.
To us as believers as well, the world will never encourage, relieve or satisfy us as Christians, it will only offer us instead the proverbial 'sponge full of vinegar'. We should turn to Christ instead "in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" who is our refuge, an ever present help in time of need.
We trust these few simple thoughts will warm our hearts to worship and encourage us at the same time.
Yours in Christ,