Stanley Sharpe - Oak Lodge II, Australia Convention - Sunday, 1983

This is the first day of the week, the day of the week that we remember perhaps more vividly than any time the sacrifice of Jesus and we would be those that remember it wasn't just His death that meant everything. Religious systems tell us He did it all, He died for sinners to save us from our sins, that is true. There is no people in the world believe more in the blood of Jesus than God's people but we need to remember it was what happened before He came. Up in Heaven when He made and planned that this world is as it is and put people on it and the hope for the world was in God's Son and then it was His coming and then it was His life while He was here.


Then His death, then His resurrection that makes the whole story complete and we find in Colossians, it tells us, "Christ in you, the hope of glory." It tells also in Colossians when Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory. Our life, it is one thing to remember that through His death that there is redemption and cleansing and forgiveness because God has planned it so that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins and when Jesus' blood was shed. No other blood was ever shed like His blood; the blood of lambs and bullocks slain in the earlier years of the Bible, they were just a type of that which was to come and no human being ever bled and died the same. God's ones, like the martyrs even in Bible times, but the blood that flowed through Jesus life flowed from a perfect life. There was purity in that different than any other blood that ever flowed.


Remember that, it was the life before His death that made it possible for there to be benefits in that death. You find things in His life, He was so great yet so humble. You find He was wise yet so simple; He was mighty yet so gentle. You find He was firm yet so warm; no one was ever more misunderstood yet no one was more understanding than Jesus. That is a part of His life, that is the kind of life He lived that in spite of the fact that He was God's own Son, greater than any other person that walked this earth. In spite of the fact no other experienced what He faced, though so great He was so humble; though so wise He was simple; even though He was so mighty He was so gentle. He was firm, He didn't give in at any point, yet so warm; even though He was misunderstood, He was understanding of others, so we can be glad for this.


In Luke 22, it speaks there about when He had His last meal with His disciples, He took the bread and cup. He told them, "This bread represents My body, soon to be broken. This cup represents My blood, soon to be shed." It said, "He gave thanks." You know it had to be the divine person that He was in order to give thanks for what was ahead of Him. He did all for us. You find if someone came to your door and told you, "There is someone condemned to death down at the court house. It is possible for you to go down and take their place, you could taste death for them and they would go free." Would you be likely to say, "Thanks for telling me, I will be right down?" Would you? That is not human. Here is Jesus, He was the one who didn't deserve death, He was free of all guilt. Even Pilate said, "I find no fault in Him," yet here He was looking out on a sinful world, He was going to die for the world and He gave thanks. That was the divine Spirit in Him, it wasn't the human that caused Him to do that.


So you find, it goes on in Luke 23 how when that violent crowd that was part of high priests and religious leaders and allied Him to Pilate and began to accuse and make false accusations. They were more fierce saying He stirred up the people, then they began to tell Pilate if he was to release Him, he would be no friend of Caesar's. You know, Pilate finally gave in and let the crowd do what they wanted to do. If you read that chapter in Luke 23, in its completeness, you find here those boisterous and arrogant at the beginning of the chapter, felt they had things in their hands, they arranged this death of this one, of this life that was showing them up. The light of the world showing up the darkness in their own hearts and lives, you find that is how the chapter began. You read further, you read some of the things that happened, you know, this is what happens right now in this world. You find God is trying to get through. He starts with young lives, as early as ever possible, He tries to get through later on, perhaps as they resist, He tries to get through. Later on, if they still resist, He tries to get through and very often He does it.


You find in this story, it tells about how there were women following Him to the cross, they were weeping, they realised the kind of torture ahead of Him. He said, "Don't weep for Me." He realised those people hadn't begun to follow Jesus, their future was black unless they did. "Don't weep for Me," finally they nailed Him to the cross, two thieves, one each side of Him. One man, you know what he wanted, more of the same kind of life he had always lived, "If thou be the Christ, imagine doubting it. Remove yourself and us from this cross." He wanted to go on as always. One man was different. His heart was softened. He just asked a simple thing, "Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom." You know, the Lord was getting through to that other thief. You know the man in charge of that occasion was a centurion, a Roman officer with at least 100 men under his control. He had seen wars and battles and bloodshed, lives taken, it was nothing new to him. He would have seen lots of crucifixions; it was the common form of taking care of criminals in their day. As far as he was concerned, three people were crucified, he was in charge.


That man began that day as an ordinary day. Do you know when the darkness came over the earth for three hours in the middle of the day, the whole world was made to realise this was a different One hanging on the cross than had hung there before? The Lord got through to the centurion, even the centurion, in another chapter said, "Truly, this was the Son of God." You know, that man, the Lord got through to him that day; the Lord got through to the thief on the cross and others in Luke 23:48. A great multitude, some so arrogant at the beginning of the chapter, when they beheld the Sight, smote on their breasts; it is now the Lord got through to them.


You read in the first part of Acts and you find that some of the same crowd Peter preached to and said, "You who crucified the Lord, the same multitude," he said, "This is the story of God's plan from the beginning." Finally, some of those same people asked, "What shall we do?" The Lord got through. So it is, friends, God longs to even get through to us today, help us to realise what has been done for us to make it all possible that we would be able to find something, put into our lives, something we didn't want at all. You find, in the world, people do lots of things that are artificial, a lot of people bulk big in this world; it all finishes differently.


We read in Matthew 6, it tells about some people Jesus talked about, "They have their reward." For a lot of people you know, it will be a dreadful thing. Many of God's people are brought in the same classification, those people you read about in Matthew 6, seeking to do things to be seen of others, for recognition, with the wrong motive and so on. As a result, they have their reward.


You read about Belshazzar, that man, didn't he bulk big in the eyes of the world: he was a king; the last night of his life, he had a feast for a thousand of his lords. He was the most important one among them; you know what Daniel had to tell him, "Thou art weighed in the balances and are found wanting." He didn't weigh anything. He bulked big in this world; when it came down to being weighed on the kind of scales God used, he weighed nothing. You know, here we are, God's people; we are to examine ourselves, ask ourselves the motives behind the things that we do. It might seem to be right, it might appear right, in order that we can be those at the end of life wouldn’t find we do not weigh anything. Good for us to remember some of these little things.


We read in Luke 23 about the Lord and His time, then it goes down and tells about the hours of darkness and Christ calling out, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" You know, in ordinary life, if you had parents, you would be expecting them to stand by in your hour of distress; some people you know who are only acquaintances, who are nothing special to you, don't stand by in the hour of grief, you accept that. You know, friends, if your very dearest and best friend, at the time you needed them most, turned away from you, it would be hard. You find the reason for it in Isaiah 53 where it tells about Jesus, "All we like sheep have gone astray and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all."


In Habakkuk 1:13, it speaks about God, "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look on iniquity." There never was a time when there was a greater accumulation of iniquity than that day when Jesus hung on the cross. The iniquity of the whole world gathered together and laid on His shoulders. It says of God, "His eyes were pure and He couldn’t look on iniquity;" God didn't forsake His Son because He was disappointed in Him, because He had done wrong, it was nothing of that kind. No, there was a close relationship between the Son and the Father but it goes on to say the Lord turned His eyes away and to the Son, it was more cruel than the nails in His feet, the thorns on His brow, the lashing He had received, the cruel things that were said about Him didn't mean as much as the fact His own Father forsook Him for us, because the iniquity of the whole world was upon Him.


So it is good for us to just appreciate what was done that day, to realise there was Jesus in agony as far as the body was concerned then to find His Father forsook Him. It goes on to say on His shoulders was the iniquity of the whole world, including us. So it is good for us to just realise this. You find the same Jesus we talk about before the world began, we read about His coming, His life, now we are talking about His death and then the resurrection that brought hope to the world; a little band of people. Maybe to those that turned away from Him, you know what the darkness did to them. It brought terrible condemnation in their hearts; they realised, here this arrogant, boisterous crowd with their demands to crucify Him. When they realised God was in this whole matter, terrible condemnation subdued them, they smote their breasts. You find a little band of people who began to follow Jesus. You just picture how there was some joy and satisfaction in the fact that God was in it and then picture perhaps a little sadness.


You read in Luke 24 of two disciples walking on the road to Emmaus, troubled and puzzled because of the events that had happened. But now, Christ arose and showed Himself to them. You know, friends, what the world saw when Christ was resurrected from the tomb? They saw an empty tomb. Only the Lord's people saw Christ but the world, they were blocked out, they saw an empty tomb and they realised no tomb could hold Him. They said the disciples came and took Him away. The soldiers were paid big money to tell lies about what happened, claiming He had been stolen away; a greater condemnation to them; to prove He hadn't risen from the grave they paid big money. You know, the world today, people are paying big money to be told about Christ that which isn't true about His resurrection.


You find this part of the story of Christ, this same Jesus, in John 14 when He was talking to His disciples about these events taking place. Christ talked about His coming death, He didn't talk about the manner of how He would die, He was going home. He spoke about His Father's house, that is where He was going ahead so that they would be where He would be found. That is how He looked upon death. Home, in our language of ordinary life is one perhaps of the more vital words you can find in the world. People get separated from home at times, they long to go home, they have the feeling, "I would like to get home;" as they get near home, it is a joy to think of getting home. You know, the fact is God had prepared a home, an eternal home. Now members of that eternal home are those who are making a home in their hearts for His Spirit; when that is done, God will open to us His eternal home.


There is a song gone round the world, "Home Sweet Home." It wasn't written by a man enjoying the comforts of home; it is the story of a man walking along the street on a cold, rainy night, he had nowhere to go. He stood in front of a window where the curtain was open, he saw a family gathered around an organ enjoying the comforts of home. He went away to spend the night under the bridge and because of that experience, he wrote those words, "Home sweet home." There is no place like home. Not because he was enjoying a home, he was wishing he had a home. You know, in eternity, you find Jesus telling about the rich man. Lazarus was on the other side, he was looking at Lazarus enjoying the comforts of home. He wished somehow or other Lazarus could come and change the picture for him. He had brothers still on earth; he wasn't enjoying the eternal home God had planned for him. It was a little picture of death Jesus gave to His disciples, just to be going home.


You read about Paul when he talked about soon leaving the world, "The time of my departure is at hand." You know the word departure, I read a while ago in the Greek language there are several meanings. It is used when you unyoke an animal from the plough. The word departure is used when someone was losing their chains or bonds. Departure is used when loosing tent ropes when the tent is picked up and moved to another location. Departure; it is used when a ship is being loosed from the ropes from the docks, ships and even railroad stations, the time when the train arrives and departs, the airport, too. Paul looked upon leaving this world this way as a time when he would be unyoked from the toils and labours, from this world, free from the bonds and chains he had experienced so often, losing the tent ropes to move to a different location, a ship leaving the dock.


You know, in the old days, people used more ships to travel on. Friends would gather down at the dockside, there would be streamers between those and friends; finally the boat moved out and the paper would break. All those that were left on the shore, they realised their friend, or friends were now on a safe voyage. Someone was in control of the ship sailing out to move on to another destination, sailing on to another shore. That is the picture of death. You find especially if it were possible for friends to watch the ship going further and further out, it is seemingly growing smaller, but not so, the ship is not diminishing in size, it appear that way to the human view. Sometimes we have waited beside the bedside and seen human life ebb; they are not as strong as they once were; they get weak and seem to disappear to the human eye, but actually not, but it is by the will of God they are on another shore. It is a picture of death.


Then in the Scripture it tells us about in Samuel, "We are as water spilt on the ground that cannot be gathered up again;" a picture of death, a very clear picture. You know when water is spilt, it can't be gathered up, for sure. You know, our lives are being spilt day by day, drop by drop we can't withhold. We could say, "Well, I am 20 I would like to stay 20, 40, or 60," no we can't; day by day, drop by drop our lives are poured out, we can't withhold or stop it. One thing, we have a choice in whether it is poured out inside or outside the will of God. You find Jesus set the example by His life. He poured it out inside the will of His Father right down to the time in Gethsemane when He prayed. He wouldn't have minded passing up that experience, "Nevertheless, not My will but Thy will be done." Every bit of His life was poured out, drop by drop till the last drop was poured out inside the will of God. This is our privilege.


We find another picture of death in Ecclesiastes, four little things that are likened to death. Pitchers, you know, pitchers in that day were made of clay, anything made of clay is easy broken, sometimes even when quite new, it could be broken beyond repair. This is true of life. Sometimes a little life, not very old, can be broken beyond repair. It tells us about the pitcher you read about broken beside the fountain. Jeremiah said, "God was a fountain of living water." You find some lives, their pitchers are used for a long time beside the fountain; perhaps they look kind of checked and cracked and chipped but still in use until finally the day comes when it is broken beyond repair, it could never be used. It is wonderful it was still beside the fountain. We have seen some lives, they don't look any longer brand new, they are chipped and cracked, showing marks of age but they are still beside the fountain. You go to visit those people you can get a little something there to refresh you coming from the fountain. The day comes when it is broken beyond repair, it is wonderful to find them still beside the fountain at the very last.


Another little picture of death, Paul wrote about how this earthly tabernacle is dissolved, he spoke about a building not made with hands. You know, referring to the old tabernacle you read about in the Old Testament, that Old Testament was made of perishable material, cloth, wood, and skins. You know it was used for a long time. If you read the history of the tabernacle, you know what it would be, it wouldn't look any longer brand new as the years went by. It would be weathered in the sun and wind till finally it had marks of age upon it; finally the day came, it tells us in two different places, when that which was more permanent was erected. Solomon’s temple made of stone and in the heart of the tabernacle was a little box we read about. It was called the ark and that Ark of the Covenant was 45 inches long, 27 inches wide, 27 inches tall; in the heart of the tabernacle, there was a pot of manna and Aaron's rod. What happened to it? I don't know.


In the day when the tabernacle was led away, never to be used or read about any more, that little box was moved to the temple and do you know what was found in it? Nothing was found in it but the law of God on two tables of stone that were put there at the beginning; God had written His law upon two tables of stone. Before God did that, God wrote His laws on the fleshly tables of the heart. So it is friends, a wonderful thing for a day is going to come that this tabernacle, this body of yours and mine, are going to be laid away, no longer to be used. Won't it be wonderful if out of the heart of this tabernacle of yours and mine is taken the law of God, the law of Christ, the law of love and not junk? No selfish human desires and ambitions will crowd out the will of God but just the law of God, the law of Christ that came into the world that we read about. There is so much in Hebrews, as we were saying in another meeting about the new covenant that came with Christ, there came a better covenant. Wonderful if we could be those when that day comes, the day of death, as it is going to come for everyone of us, that there will be nothing found there but that.


So these are all little pictures of death and there are a few verses in the Bible tells us about the time Elijah was taken up and Elisha was left. Some others you read about after that occasion went to find the body of Elijah; Elisha spoke against it. Anyway, they never found him. You know, Elisha didn't want to speak anything about the body of Elijah. As soon as he was gone they asked, "Where is the Lord God of Elijah?" Wouldn't it be a wonderful thing because of your life, my life, when the Lord takes us home, someone could feel because of what they saw in our lives they would ask, "Where is that same God?" and as a result, they might seek Him and find Him. You know, there have been some occasions in our day like that. Some people died, when they finished, some people watching their lives felt, "I would like to know the same God they did." Just like Elisha did, he wanted the same God to be His God.


Friends that is a little picture of death, another little picture, it tells us in Matthew 13 about the pearl. Jesus said His Kingdom was like a merchant man seeking godly pearls; when he found the pearl of great price, he got rid of what he had to get that pearl. Perhaps the background for this was, in those days there were very troubled times. Sometimes people had to flee; they would invest as much as they could in this precious pearl. When the time came in the middle of the night, they would get warning they had to flee. They have to leave their herds and flocks and homes, even their family. But they could take a pearl and you know, friends, it is a little picture of what Jesus was trying to explain that day. Those that find the greatest prize, they day will come, it doesn't matter whether you have much or little, you will leave it behind you; family, money, property, all will be left behind. Whatever your activities have been, you will leave it all behind; if you have the pearl of great price, you can take it with you. It tells us about this man, a lot of people admired the pearl and realised the value of it but this man bought it, he made it his own. It is good to be those when life comes to an end for us we will be those people who have that which we can take with us, even if everything else has to be left behind.


One thing that made it possible for Jesus to finish as He did was because, as has already been mentioned, there was faithfulness is His life preceding His death. You know, in this world today, we find they run in certain places what is called a marathon race. Back in the days of Greece, the marathon is a little over 26 miles, it is a good long race. Today they run this race; you know what happens to a lot of people? There is usually a big crowd at the starting point to encourage them, there is a bit of excitement because the race has begun. Then friends, we are down the trail, there are a few perhaps at the finish. Perhaps there are some there to encourage them to put their best into the last little lap of the journey, the finish. I will tell you something, you know where the big toll comes? It comes in the middle miles, after they pass the little starting point, the strain of a long race begins to take its toll out on the lonely road. Then there is no crowd around you, the miles become a weariness, unexciting now there is no romance or glamour, they are out on their own, travelling the middle miles. I will tell you something, those middle miles are very necessary if the beginning is going to have any meaning. If there is any hope of a glorious finish, those middle miles are very, very necessary and without those middle miles, the beginning is meaningless and the glorious end is impossible; the middle miles are necessary. So it is friends, you find now it can happen.


Over in Isaiah 40, the last verse in very familiar to most. It tells us, "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, run and not be weary and they shall walk and not faint." You know what that amounts to? Those people on a long race, they don't run continually, from time to time they will pause, not to quit but just perhaps to get a little refreshment, get their breath back, to look behind and see away in the distance where they started. They see that they have accomplished quite a little they look ahead and see the goal way off in the distance. Weill have gone this far, I will make it the rest of the way. They pause, quitters never win, winners never quit. Just pause in the race and go on after a rest, they don't quit until finally they cover the middle miles and a glorious finish is possible.


I remember a boy in Canada, 1200 miles from home. I know the very place where his life came to an end. He told some he was going to drive without stopping. He drove continually 1200 miles. You know, in the early hours of the morning, no one knows exactly what happened, he was within sight of his home town, he wanted to get there but weariness came over him and he went off the road. I know the place where he finished his life, within sight of his home town, because he never stopped to have a rest. You know, friends, if you have the feeling, we can make this journey on our own, we can't. There is the answer right there in Isaiah, "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength," and as a result, to be able to cover the middle miles and make the beginning meaningful and make a glorious finish possible. Jesus was one, He renewed His strength often; He prayed often to His Father and gained that strength and encouragement and finally finished gloriously. No life ever finished like His.


You know, some of you are acquainted with the fact that James Jardine, a worker in Scotland, who preached many years in Germany and the US composed a number of hymns. He had a brother Nicol who never composed hymns that anybody knew of. One time at a convention, he said, "You know, I have written a hymn;" everybody wondered at Nicol writing a hymn. "I will tell you what the first verse is, 'Go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on,' and the second is the same as the first." That was his hymn and you know that probably friends, we all of us sitting here in the middle miles, we need to be those that would seek to learn what it means to get a little strength from the Lord day by day in order that we might have a glorious finish. Some of these little things are good for us to remember. God is anxious we would be those who would know a glorious ending and as a result, prove God's love for us has not been in vain. Remember this same Jesus came to this world and faced the cruel things the world heaped upon Him, the fact that He was faithful right to the death. This same Jesus faced the boisterous crowd. His last words were to pray to His Father to forgive them. He knew if anything the crowd needed, everyone needs it at the end of life, it was to be forgiven. When we have come to the end of life, because of something in us we make it impossible for God to forgive us, that is going to be a terrible thing. Let us be those that will make it possible for the Lord to be able to forgive us.


You find this same Jesus, He is the one we read about in Hebrews 12. It speaks about looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. You know, in the world, sometimes people have targets, they make them out of paper, wood, they are not very expensive targets. Well, you read about Solomon, he made targets of gold. There is a lot of difference between gold and paper and wood. You find some people in the Bible had targets of gold. You read about that man Noah we have heard about already, his target was complete obedience to the will of God, a golden target. You find when Abraham found Lot had chosen to go down to Sodom and Gomorrah; when the time came, the place was going to be destroyed. He could have felt, "That is what he chose, that is what he is going to get. That is what he deserves." No, Abraham pleaded help would be sent. Abraham had a golden target. Even when Joseph was sold so cruelly by his brothers down to Egypt, he was put in a pit without water, his brothers were eating their lunch. Finally those men came and Joseph was sold; his brothers went home and told the story that was a lie, they said he was killed by an animal. Joseph could have gone down to Egypt and said, "Well, my target is to get revenge;" he didn't. Could we forget? He could have said, "They don't deserve one thought of my times;" when he had an opportunity, his desire was to see his brothers made right; a golden target.


You find when David was so ill treated by Saul, even to the point of Saul seeking to take his life, he was misunderstood and the terrible things that happened. When finally David became king, he could have felt, "I can get revenge against the house of Saul." No, he sent a message, "If there be any of the house of Saul that I may shew the kindness of God unto;" a golden target. You find Daniel and the three Hebrew men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, there were thousands of people down in the land that were captives, they are the only four mentioned that tests were brought on them. They were thrown in the furnace and the lion's den; the target was to remain true to God; a golden target.


Then friends, just remember, God made the world and put people on it. He watched countless generations living selfishly, godlessly, He could have felt, "I will close the chapter." No, He was willing to send His Son. You know, the Son was willing to come and you know that same Son never looked down and said, "What is the use of going?" He came that that generation and successive generations, including our generations today might have a hope beyond life. He had a golden target. "Whosoever believeth and followeth Me might have salvation." He was able to plant the very same thing in the hearts of His disciples who went out into the world to go all over the world preaching and teaching the same things, "Whatsoever I have taught you." Those men went out again with a golden target. One thing about a target, you know, if you don't keep your eyes on the target, you are sure to miss it. Our one hope of ever getting the centre of the target is by keeping our eyes on it. That is what it tells us in Hebrews 12, looking unto Jesus, keeping our eyes on Jesus that we would not be those that would get our eyes off the target.


Paul in Corinthians spoke about some people comparing themselves among themselves or measuring themselves by others; those people were not wise. You know, friends, when people start to do that, they have got their eyes off the target. If you or I get to the point where we look back and feel, "I am a lot better than I used to be," I look upon somebody and say, "I don't do the things they do." You know, we are comparing ourselves by ourselves among ourselves and others, our eyes are off the target; our eyes need to be on the target. Jesus has lived and as it tells us in Colossians, when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, "then shall ye also appear with Him in Glory." So, as we think of these things, we think about Jesus coming, Jesus' life, His death, His resurrection, and what it all meant. We are able to gather here today as we are.


We met some people one time who invited us to a little gathering, people that claimed they were seeking to follow the Bible. I thought we might find hopeful people there; we got there, they were interested in the next big event that would happen in the world. They somehow found some verse that told them when the UN would be formed; some other verse somewhere told them something else and now they were looking to see what the next big event would be. After leaving those people, I said to my companion, "You know what I think? Possibly the next big event for those people would be just pain, ordinary death." You know, friends, we could look back on lives, some have gone through wars, countries have been involved in but there will be no event that will ever affect our lives more than death. So it is good, friends, for us to be those when the picture changes and death comes, it would be wonderful if we could be those that realise Jesus came to give us life after death.


You know, my old grandmother, I spent my summer vacation on the farm, lived many years on the farm. In the evening as the sun would go down, she would predict the kind of day tomorrow will be by the setting sun. You know friends, what makes a beautiful sunset? The atmosphere around the sun when the sun sets. It will be a beautiful day tomorrow; if there is a black cloud over the sun, it indicates it is not a beautiful day. You know friends, it is true of people as they come to the end of life; we know, too, it is possible for people, when some breathe their last, you find a black cloud over their lives - rebellion, stubbornness to do God's will. You wonder about the eternal day that is dawning for them. Others' lives, you find a beautiful sunset, they are resigned completely to the will of God as a result the atmosphere is so different. It indicates the eternal day dawning for them will be a beautiful day. I hope and pray we will be those who realise we are hastening towards sundown, we need to be those who let God's Spirit rule over our lives, willing day by day to let His will be done, that Christ would be our life when we come to the end of our lives. Christ in us, the hope of glory. Good to remember these little things, remember the things as Nicol Jardine that day he composed a hymn, it was a matter of go on, go on, go on. Good for us to realise it is in the middle we meet some weariness, at times it is not very exciting but very, very necessary in order for the beginning to have any meaning and that a glorious end could be possible.

I hope and pray we will be those who would remember that Jesus was faithful in the middle miles. There were times the pressure was great, it would have been easy for Him to feel, "What is the use?" No, He was faithful in the middle miles and the result, in spite of the way the world turned against Him, He had a glorious ending. Remember the cruel thing that happened to Him, forsaken by God, it wasn't because His Son disappointed Him, but because His eyes were so pure He couldn't look upon iniquity. There was never a time when there was a greater accumulation of iniquity on the shoulders of the One who had never known sin, the iniquity of all the world, the iniquity of us all, that very experience happened for us. It was greater than anything else He went through in His experience, was the fact that His best friend, His Father, had turned away from Him because of what was happening because of us. I hope and pray we will be those who would appreciate more and more what God has done for us, what He has brought us into, we will be able to prove His love for us has not been in vain.