For this very point God has been educating us, leading us, pushing us: that we may choose him and his will, and so be tenfold more his children, of his own best making, in the freedom of the will that we find for the first time to be our own when we make it a loving sacrifice to him, for which he has been working from the foundations of the earth, than we could be in the most ecstatic worship flowing from the divinest impulse, without this willing sacrifice. For God made our individuality as well as, and a greater marvel than, our dependence; made our apartness from himself, that freedom should bind us divinely dearer to himself, with a new and inscrutable marvel of love; for the Godhead is still at the root, is the making root of our individuality, and the freer the man, the stronger the bond that binds him to him who made his freedom. He made our wills, and is striving to make them free; for only in the perfection of our individuality and the freedom of our wills can we be altogether his children.
This is full of mystery, but can we not see enough in it to make us very glad and very peaceful?
by Dale Darling
I confess to being an insufferable Romantic. And I think MacDonald was, too. But there is always a direct-to-the-point toughness in his words; he will not romanticize Easter, for example, as many will. I imagine he loved Beethoven's sixth Symphony, the Pastoral, if you ever heard it. The portion of Easter he discusses here would be the storm to a power unimaginable.
The reality of the nails, lashes, blood, brutality and the ultimate suffering Christ experienced physically as a man, and more so as the son of God carrying the death of all humanity from Adam until the final enemy, death, is defeated, is beyond my ken. Which has nothing to do with its reality.
The way of sin, death, was the arrival of self-knowledge: hide from God; cover genitals; fear; be self-absorbed. "We remain such creeping Christians because we look at ourselves and not at Christ."
You are crucified with Christ.
What died? What was killed?
But free will remains, and flesh battles Spirit.
Whom do you seek?
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
Look at Christ, who began, works, and completes us unto good works.