Death by crucifixion is slow– it is not accomplished in a moment. It takes time, which provides you the opportunity to re-evaluate your life. With nails in your hands and feet you are skewered to a painful situation. The death of your earthly joy becomes certain and unavoidable. Time drags on. Soon you stop struggling to free yourself. The human sphere becomes profane and unsatisfying. Your earthly hopes are dashed to pieces, it all fades, the dream dies. For what is exalted and highly thought of among men is detestable and abhorrent, an abomination, in the sight of God. Luke 16:15 (Amplified).
Then slams a great stone slab upon your own will, burying your efforts for human pride and gain. The person you were and the goals that you had, move forever behind you, as sealed in a tomb. Then comes the change in your spirit. If you have followed the steps of Jesus Christ, all your hope turns suddenly to resurrection. Your dream takes root in another realm, the realm of spirits, raised from earthly death into the incorruptible glory of Christ. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. Then before you stretches a new vista of permanent resplendence, and a myriad of new possibilities which could never have entered the mind of the mortal you were. We had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead. This is the cross, to trade your life in this world, for resurrection in another. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Resurrection can only be obtained through death. Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die. It requires the death of your fallen Adamic nature, and this is accomplished at the cross. If, by the Spirit, the deeds of the body ye put to death, ye shall live. Romans 8:13 (Young’s Literal).
Jesus demonstrated this. He completed a sequence of events that were prescribed by God’s wisdom to kill the Adamic nature. Completing this process resulted in his glorified resurrection. For a covenant over dead persons is firm. Hebrews 9:17 (Emphasized). Like following a map, Jesus passed alone through betrayal, surrender, forgiveness, and sacrifice. By these he came to his cross and so arrived at the treasure of God. When they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. But God raised him from the dead. When Jesus’ earthly life was shattered, it produced the eternal outshining of resurrected glory. The way of the cross is God’s recipe for resurrection. He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
By the cross of Jesus, God certified the crucifixion-resurrection process. The Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. Jesus Christ is the consummate proof that Adamic crucifixion leads to resurrection. Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. Those who wish to obtain a similar result, must conform to this same example. That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. As proven by Jesus, death by the cross is your only means to the ascendant spiritual glory of resurrected immortality. There is no other way to life. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection. Like a brilliant beacon, the success of Jesus illuminates your path. His victory is the reason for your faith. That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people. If you will follow this path you will come to the same result, and obtain your own resurrection. For since by man [Adam] came death, by man [Jesus] came also the resurrection of the dead.
The triumph of Jesus made it possible for you to vacate Adamic failure and follow his steps to immortal glory. When you partake of his life you are empowered to follow his example through the cross to resurrection. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. The promise of this resurrection is the awesome splendor of Christianity. It is the power and promise of God for you. The exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead. Resurrection begins slowly, imperceptibly. As your carnality is crucified there is a daily awakening that takes place in your spirit. This is the maturing process of spiritual gestation. Being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit. When trust and hope in God arise from the ashes of your earthly dreams, your spirit is completing its gestation and rising in resurrection. The Spirit is the life-giver, the body is worth nothing. John 6:63 (Fenton). As your Adamic carnality is slain by the cross, there is a steady internal birth of resurrected life. Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. This is spiritual victory, that leads unto life eternal. Having stript off the old man, together with his practices, and having put on the new, who is being moulded afresh unto personal knowledge, after the image of him that hath created him. Colossians 3:9,10 (Emphasized).
This internal resurrection is the development of spiritual maturity. Those who complete this maturity during their earthly lives, will be called to the first physical resurrection. This will occur at the start of the Millennium. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. This stellar scene will be the glorification of the firstborn Sons of God. They who have been accounted worthy that age to obtain, and the resurrection that is from among the dead … they cannot even die any more … and are sons of God, of the resurrection being sons. Luke 20:35,36 (Emphasized). These Sons will be suddenly thrust into a state of shimmering brilliance, being vested with eternal life, infinite wisdom, and all the power of creation. This corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality. Each will arise with distinction and a unique signature of radiant glory. For one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. Raised into splendor, these firstborn Sons will inherit all the fullness of God their Father. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
The incomparable grandeur of this glorified resurrection beckons from beyond the capacity of human imagination. But this is the goal of God, the destiny he has conceived for man, and the purpose for Christianity. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. At the end of the Millennium there will be a second physical resurrection. Those people who did not complete the process of the cross during their earthly lives, will be raised up to begin again. The rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. All those who remained spiritually “dead,” will be summoned to this resurrection. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. This second resurrection will prompt the start of the “Second Death,” symbolized by the lake of fire in Revelation 20. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. The “Second” Death will bring to maturity the second-born Sons of God, just as the “first” death is now maturing the firstborn Sons. And the Devil who deceived them was hurled into the lake of Divine fire, where also were the beast and the false prophet. … Then Death and the Grave were thrown into the lake of fire: that is the second death, the lake of fire. Revelation 20:10,14 (Fenton).
The Second Death will simply reassemble all the maturing elements of Satanic evil that you now see in the world around you. Once reunited, these will re-ignite the crucifixion process for the rest of mankind. In loneliness, betrayal, surrender, forgiveness, and sacrifice, all men will eventually be introduced to the cross and all will come to resurrected life. In the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth. The cross is a sequence of seemingly impossible events, each being contrary to human reason. Jesus could call twelve legions of angels, yet he was captured by a band of thugs with sticks. Jesus could command the weather, yet he yielded to the Romans. Jesus had blessed the earth with healing and truth, yet he was maligned, falsely accused, and condemned. He had done nothing wrong, yet he was executed as a criminal. They have spoken against me with a lying tongue. They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause. For my love they are my adversaries. These events seem as bewildering contradictions to carnal men. They appear as illogical extremes that cannot be reconciled. These dichotomies are clues to a mystery. They are the fingerprints of a spiritual work. Like signs to a supernatural gateway, they point to another dimension, the realm of begotten glory. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. By this cryptic wisdom of God, the cross is your secret entrance into the begotten Body of Christ. Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
Jesus explained this irrational, crucifixion-resurrection relationship in his Beatitudes. The Beatitudes are dichotomies that describe terrible events which lead to wonderful results. The Beatitudes are a description of someone being crucified. They depict the crucifixion and resurrection of the Sons of God. And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. The poor in spirit are those who have been to the cross. They will walk alone with God, far from the throng of man’s giddy religious nonsense. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven. Those who are betrayed will pass their earthly lives in mourning, but this is the path to resurrection. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Those who surrender to the cross are the humbled who will inherit the stars. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Those who are crushed by the cross will learn to forgive, and obtain the character of God. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Those who are sacrificed will have their carnality consumed, and by this purity shall enter into the presence of God himself. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Those whose earthly pride is drained from holes in their hands will generate a weeping craving for righteousness. This anguish of heart is the prerequisite for resurrection. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. To be pierced by the cross is the path to the opulence of limitless spiritual wealth. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. Jesus made peace by his death on the cross. Having made peace through the blood of his cross. This is the process to perfection for all the Sons of God. Happy the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9 (Emphasized).
The character of God must be written on your heart, or it is not written in your life at all. For this purpose, the cross is the stylus of God. Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you. The cross is an ancient formula, conveying the power to rise from the dead. It is a celestial intersection, where Adamic death turns to become spirit life. It appears as a consuming grief that is contrary to the laws of mortals. But if you look beyond the circumstances, you will see the explosive wisdom of your loving Heavenly Father, calling you to share his immortal splendor. When your carefully arranged world suddenly erupts into irrational chaos, you have entered the secret passage that leads to the spirit realm. When this occurs, follow the steps of Jesus Christ. To arrive at his destination, you must respond exactly as he demonstrated. Cast off the stunted and impotent doctrines of Organized Religion stand alone with your Heavenly Father. Endure the betrayal. Surrender your earthly desires. Forgive your adversaries. Make yourself a living sacrifice. Then reach for a new life in another realm. From now on let no person trouble me, for I bear on my body the brand marks of the Lord Jesus, the wounds, scars and other outward evidence of persecutions. These testify to His ownership of me! Galatians 6:17 (Amplified). Amen.