Purpose: The salvation given to each is not without a price. The price is the separation from God The Father that Jesus Christ experienced. The cost was high. It was not a cheap gift.
Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin…. 1 Peter 4:1
In the left upper corner, we view symbolism of the slain Christ within the shadow of the dragon figure. Notice the reflected agony of our sins on Christ’s face. Faces peering behind and between bars represent the persecuted believers in Christ. As Jesus accepted and took our sins at the cross, He suffered separation. In agony Jesus uttered in Matthew 27: 46-50 …my God, my God, why have you forsaken me…then Jesus gave up the ghost. With great power God raised Jesus from the grave three days later. With Jesus’ resurrection, the dragon lost the war, and we are called to discipleship. Jesus said we would share and suffer with Him in this discipleship.
A simple example follows:
The morning began well until we ate out. The atmosphere in the restaurant felt cold and uninviting. Eyes ignored and looked away or cold stares settle. The chilled rejection did not escape this marked individual. They cast their stones without a throw or word through their looks and their rejections.
Another standing there, Jesus, He who knew no sin, could see. He knew the feeling, the hurting anguish it caused. He felt the sadness and the pain of it all. He endured this anguish and suffered rejection to take the sins of us all. In sorrow He walked through their midst, wanting only to love them and keep them, but instead they persecuted Him. Isolated and alone, betrayed, He imprisoned went for them and us, falsely accused and scorned and shamed. They made Him a spectacle in mocking display while on trial they placed Him that day. He saw the curled lip in a snarl, the look of hate fleetingly crossing the face, the eyes filled with contempt and disgust. He endured it all to take up the cross, our cross that day.
Have you experienced this? I have felt the cold uninviting look, the eyes filled with contempt and disgust, the hate, the curled lip when the individual saw that no one was looking. But Jesus is looking. He saw it all, for on the third day God raised Him from the dead so that whomsoever believe in the name of Jesus might be saved.
…and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. Isaiah 59:15b