From A Pure Stand
Jesus, God’s Son, descended,
like what falls from a pure stand;
with majesty stripped and beauty no more,
insults absorbed and a whipping strand—
punishment He bore.
Jesus, God’s Son, suffered,
like what dies low on the ground;
left to waste and decay as earth takes back,
cast away and disowned, but not making a sound—
obedience, no lack.
Jesus, God’s Son, departed,
like what goes under the floor;
where there is no esteem in darkness laid,
smitten, stricken, in shadows more—
the price for us paid.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
FROM A PURE STAND
We are still locked in winter here in my neck of the woods. It’ll be a while before the snow melts, here above the snowline and in the depths of snow piled up in the woodland. Our neighbors in the valley have a little bare ground and they will see spring before us, which is how it is every year.
A wooded area that is not mixed or adulterated with any other type of tree (80% or more) is said to be a ‘pure stand’. There are pure stands of oak, pine, beech and maple trees. In these splendid groves of a single species, one can be reminded of the holiness of our Creator, who is 100% pure.
The LORD reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved. The LORD is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people. Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy.
Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.
The Bible declares that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, pure and holy. We also know this by the presence of the Holy Spirit who helps us to realize who Jesus is and what He did for us. And what He’s doing now. Pray for faith sustenance. Faith is being sure of what you believe.
I recently read about Vibia Perpetua who was martyred for her faith on March 7th in AD 203. This brave twenty-two year old young mother took a stand for her belief in Jesus Christ and faced the wild beasts in an arena in Carthage (modern Tunisia). Her death would be entertainment in front of an assembled mob for a birthday party for the emperor’s son. When asked, she would not denounce her Christian faith.
Martyrs, like Vibia Perpetua, made a stand with their lives for our 100% holy God. I also think of John the Baptist who was beheaded and those on a dreadful beach who were also beheaded because of their expressed belief. God remembers martyrs and every believing person, including you and me. Look at this interesting verse in Revelation:
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
We can be encouraged by martyrs to keep the faith by praying persistently, calling on God to help us. Let us promote our recognition of the holy Creator in the human flesh of Jesus Christ because, like the martyrs, we also believe that:
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
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.
Another Lent season has begun. We remember Jesus willingly went to the cross and bore our sin on it. He could have called a thousand angels to His side. But He went anyways, even knowing not everyone would believe in Him. He was obedient to His Father, even to death on a cross, and went as a sheep to the slaughter. When Jesus returns, as the Bible declares, He will not come as the sacrificial Lamb but the reigning Lion.
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
Pray for strength to endure hardships and even injustice because remember, Jesus loves you very much. And He will return with justice and vengeance, as it is His to avenge.
Stand with beautiful feet in a pure stand grove (or imagine it) to be encouraged to bravely publish salvation and peace.