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“In that day, I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the Earth in broad daylight. I will turn your religious feasts into mourning, and all your singing into weeping. I will make all of you wear sackcloth and shave your heads. I will make that time like mourning for an only son and the end of it like a bitter day.”[1]

Who mourned for Jesus that day when darkness came on the Earth about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining,[2] as a man mourning for an only son? Mary the mother may have mourned, but she would not have been mourning for an only son for she had other sons through Joseph. Mary Magdalene may have mourned, but not for an only son; only for a Saviour and a Man whom she loved. John the disciple may have mourned, but only for a Friend and Master whom he loved. But to mourn for Jesus as one mourns for an only son…?

Only God, for Jesus is the Only Begotten Son of God. All the other sons of God, as mentioned in the Old Testament in Genesis 6:2 and Job 1:6, were the angels, sons who were created by His word, but not begotten as Jesus was Begotten. And, from men who take up the right to be children of God through faith in Jesus, these are sons who are created and salvaged by faith, not begotten. Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God through whom and by whom God has and will have many sons, for by Him all things were created: things in Heaven and on Earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him.[3] And through faith in Him, to all who received Him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God.[4]

Thus, when God said through Amos, “I will make that time like mourning for an only son,” He was already speaking of the cruel and unjust death of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I and the Father are One,”[5] and if we are one with Jesus, then we are also one with the Father. And if we are one with the Father, then we would mourn for Jesus as one mourning for an Only Son. It is time for us to not just look to Jesus Christ and His finished work for all its benefits, but time to grieve with Those who are grieving and rejoice with Those who rejoice. So then, if we have rejoiced at our salvation and adoption as sons through faith in Jesus Christ, then those who are mature should see that we have to be able to grieve for Jesus, not as Mary the chosen vessel; not as Mary the salvaged vessel, nor as John the disciple, all of whom loved Jesus, but to grieve for Him with the Father as He grieves for Jesus His Only Begotten Son.

We think of Jesus the Son, and we often think only of the Father, but we forget the Holy Spirit. For God was grieving for an Only Begotten Son – the Father was grieving – but do you not see also the grief on the Holy Spirit? For it was by His power that Jesus was conceived in the mother Mary when she was a virgin. The Holy Spirit may not have grieved for Jesus as the Father did, but His grieving would have been so One with the Father that you can say They are the same in emotion, but different in description of word. For the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Sonship, and it is by the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus first came to exist in the flesh.

John wrote: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.[6] The Word could not have become flesh without the power of the Holy Spirit, and it was through Him that the Word became flesh to show us the Image of the Invisible God, the Firstborn over all creation.[7] The Holy Spirit’s grief for Him was that of the Spirit of Sonship grieving for His Firstborn in the flesh, yet not as that of the Father’s. In His grief, the Holy Spirit made Jesus alive in the Spirit,[8] and on the third day declared Him to be the Son of God by His power, as Paul wrote in his verbatim: Jesus Christ our Lord… who through the Spirit of Holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead.[9]

And what happened at His resurrection? What was the first thing that happened at His resurrection? The grieving of the Father was removed and was turned to joy, as it is written: “Your days of sorrow will end.”[10] And the Father’s grief turned to joy, the unspeakable joy of a Father receiving His Only Son back from the dead. When Jesus rose from the dead on Resurrection morning, He stepped out of the tomb and went to Galilee, leaving the angels to tell the women to tell the disciples to meet Him there, but when it became obvious that both John and Peter, after examining the tomb, were not going to Galilee but went home, Jesus then revealed Himself to the one who would listen to Him, Mary, and said, “Do not hold onto Me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.”[11] Although God the Father knew Jesus had risen, God the Father had not yet met with Him.

The reunion of unspeakable, indescribable joy of God the Father and Jesus Christ the Only Begotten Son of God was to happen that morning on the Mount of Transfiguration in the presence of the Holy Spirit, and the disciples were to be partakers of that joy. We were supposed to have witnessed the joy of God, as once more They were reunited. If the joy of the Lord is our strength, and God enjoys forgiving sins because of Jesus, what would the joy of the Lords’ reunion, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, have given the disciples that morning? They do not know for they did not go. And although there was joy in the early church, the joy of salvation, there was no joy of reunion. The joy, the indescribable joy of the Son being brought back into the Presence of the Father alive, was not there.

And when you do not have the joy of the reunion of the Father and the Son, it does not take much before you slide back into your servanthood and salvation, and religiosity takes over again. That is why so many receive the joy of salvation, the joy that Jesus spoke of: “The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once received it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time.”[12] The joy of salvation can wane, as it waned in the early church and life in the church reverted to a set of rules based on do’s and don’ts, and men like James the Younger and Nicolas from Antioch built up their followings. You see, Nicolas was a convert to Judaism, as such, even the joy of salvation may not have been there, much less of reunion, and as for dear brother James, he was not with the women that morning. Indeed, we do not know if he was with the eleven when Jesus first went to them. Without the joy of the Lord, we have no strength, and for what is to come, we need the strength that comes from the joy that exceeds the forgiveness of sins, we need the joy of the reunion between a Father and an Only Son. If you read the Parable of the Prodigal Son, you might see a small extent of that joy.

A return to the Mount of Transfiguration to recover what was lost to us, the disciples that morning, is not physically possible, but it is spiritually possible. It is possible when we seek the attitude of being able to mourn for Jesus Christ, not as Lord and Saviour, or Master and Teacher, beyond that of the two Mary’s and John combined, but to mourn with the Father as One mourning for an Only Son. Not just in sympathy but in a common mutual experience, the only life more precious to a man than the life of his only son is his own life. When you are prepared to lay down your life to lose your own life, and mourn its passing without expectation of recovery, then you have begun to experience the mourning of the Father who lost an Only Son. For to a father who has only one son, the life of his son is far more precious than his own. That is why Jesus said, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it.”[13]

For it is at the cross of Jesus Christ that the grieving of the Father begins, and it is at the Mount of Transfiguration, that it ends, and the joy of the reunion is made manifest. Anyone who takes up the cross will begin to experience the grief of the Father, for that is when the Holy Spirit will begin to make known to that person the darkest moment of the Father as He faced losing His Only Son.

God called Abraham ‘friend’, and Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteous, for Abraham was prepared to sacrifice Isaac, being fully convinced that God would raise him, for Abraham loved Isaac. However, Abraham was spared of having to grieve for Isaac because God spared him. Abraham never actually grieved for a son he loved. Indeed, he sent Hagar and Ishmael away with only some possessions. But king David is known as a man after God’s own heart because king David grieved and wept for his sons, even the son who rebelled against him and sent him into exile, Absalom. He grieved so much that his general rebuked him. David, for all his faults, knew how to grieve for his sons, even the rebellious ones. In him is found a father’s heart that is after God’s own heart.

And anyone who wants to lose his life for Jesus, to lay it down for Jesus, is someone who is prepared to sacrifice himself to spare God the Father the grief of losing Jesus. It is little wonder that Jesus said, “Whoever loses his life for Me will save it.” No wonder all the martyrs are coming back for the Millennium.

So what was the mourning of the Father like for Jesus, and what was the joy of the reunion like that morning for Them? Who knows? The Holy Spirit knows, and He will make it known to those He chooses, and He will choose those who have it in their hearts to lay down their lives for Jesus, and those who are willing, who desire, who want to mourn for Jesus as a Father mourns for an Only Son, and those who seek to avenge Jesus as a Father seeks justice for His Only Son who has been unjustly killed.

To such as these, He will make known to them the joy of the reunion that was manifested on Resurrection morning, and it will be their source of strength through the days of distress that nothing, nothing, can overcome. But to experience that joy, you must be prepared to experience the grieving and the mourning.

For when man will mourn for Jesus Christ as they would mourn for an only son, then will the Spirit of God privilege them with the joy of the reunion. And when we, man, grieve for Him as our Only Son, then truly Jesus Christ has become the Son of Man, and “At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And He will send His angels and gather His elect from the four winds, from the ends of the Earth to the ends of the Heavens.”[14]

Amen


 

[1] Amos 8:9-10

[2] Luke 23:44

[3] Colossians 1:16

[4] John 1:12

[5] John 10:30

[6] John 1:1,14

[7] Colossians 1:16

[8] 1 Peter 3:18

[9] Romans 1:4

[10] Isaiah 60:20

[11] John 20:17

[12] Matthew 13:20-21

[13] Luke 9:23-24 (Matthew 16:24-25; Mark 8:34-35)

[14] Mark 13:26-27

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