Then & Now

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We often see advertisements of people’s craft, abilities, or trade displaying items before, and then what they might look like after their skilful hands or machinery have been to work.

A carpet cleaned - before/after. A garden makeover - before/after. Interior decorating - before/after. Weight loss - before/after … the list is endless!

When the result is favourable we are perhaps tempted to hire the services of those advertising their abilities, or embark on some personal goal to achieve similar results as advertised. How pleasing this is when we get to experience those same results for ourselves.

But there are times when ‘then and now’ is not so favourable, especially when looking at photos of ourselves in times past … when we look back to ‘then’ and wish we could turn back the clock. 🤭

🔸 Sadly, some things never change! When we take a look at the attitude of people towards the Lord Jesus when He lived on earth we see that He was not received as we perhaps feel He ought to have been received!

Today for the most part He is unwanted as He was back then!

'He is' - 'He was'

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:
and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
Isaiah 53: 3

This precious Man; there was never a man like He! Perfect, sinless, spotless, and pure. How much of a shock to His system it must have been to live in our corrupted atmosphere where sin abounded. At every turn there would have been the heartbreaking reminder to Him how far humankind had fallen from where God purposed them to be.

Sin abounded. Darkness abounded. Sickness abounded. Oh, how helpless they were, and we are today! What a God of compassion we have, and what an obedient Son was the Lord Jesus to leave the delights of His Father’s presence, and the presence and praise of adoring angelic beings to come on His divine mission.

Who wouldn’t love Him for doing such a thing? So many it seems did not love Him then ... or now, and all for no purpose. Could we ever get our minds around what kind of pain His heart must have felt being ‘despised and rejected of men.’ No wonder He was called ‘a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief’!

Those of us who by the grace of God have trusted in Him know how ‘altogether lovely’ He really is, while the world still despises Him, and counts Him as nothing! So sad indeed!

🔸 How precious it is to the hearts of His believing people that our beloved Lord and Saviour is a real Man in heaven … today!

We see that His life of sorrow and suffering led all the way to the cross upon which He suffered, bled, and died for lost sinners like ourselves.

It might appear for all intents and purposes that back then the whole account of His life, and the barbaric scene on Calvary’s hill was one of defeat and gloom. He died seemingly at the hands of wicked men … but the Bible clearly tells us that ‘He gave Himself’, and ‘He bowed His head and dismissed His spirit.’

He was in charge of all the crucifixion events even to His last breath, and when His work was done He dismissed His Spirit ... And became dead!

'He was' - 'I am'

I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen …”
Revelation 1: 18

🔸 It is over two thousand years since Jesus came, lived out His life in sweet perfection, died as our Substitute, and was risen in glory and power. Here we are today looking back with relief at what was accomplished on our behalf, and looking forward to the promise of His coming to take us to the place He has been preparing for us in His Father’s house.

He’s been gone a while now; that’s a lot of preparing! Oh, how wonderful that place must be! We could never have such a wonderful thing to look forward to without His amazing grace; because for us we also had a ‘then’ before who we are ‘now’. Like the hymn writer expressed so wonderfully:

“Amazing grace! how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch; like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.”
John Newton

Before we repented from the old way and trusted in Him, we were hell bound sinners, and probably living like it back ‘then’. But ‘now’ we have a new life, and it all wrapped up in Him our resurrected Lord and Saviour.

Let us never forget, and treasure forever all that our precious Saviour did in order to deliver us from where we were to where we are today.

'He was' - 'We are'

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
Isaiah 53: 5

👉 Do you have any questions or comments about the above thoughts? I would love to hear from you, why not say hello down below at the bottom of the page❣️

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