His blood never failed me yet

When the record ”Jesus blood never failed me yet” in the 1990′s many listerners were fascinated in how much could be done with a beggars little tune in poor London. But I can imagine a lot of people actually being moved to Christ by this lovely musical production. In my family this cd was on whole afternoons for all to hear in the background of worldly life.

And the remarkable thing for me is the connection to the apostle John. He was the one single apostle who did not rely on his own love for Yeshua — which did fail when things were tough. Peter of course shows us the great failure, after the proud reassurance of loyal love for the Master. The denial three times were just the epitome of this failure.

But John trusted the love of Yeshua more than his own love for Him. So he ends up at the cross, with mother Mary. He understood that his relation to God was not based on his love for God but on God’s love for him, Yeshuas love for his disciples. John ran away in the Gethsemane garden but came back to the cross. We also have to realise how this relationship works: we fail daily, but He loves us more than we can fathom.

That is how our relationship should be working. Then we can sing away with that poor man in modern secular times: Jesus blood never failed me yet, never failed me yet, Jesus blodd never failed me yet. Cause one thing I know, that He loves me so…..

The old one and the New

It is always such a remarkable discovery that Paul shows us in Romans 7 — the old sin is still around ! It is no longer I who is active, it is sin itself using my body/brain/emotions/will. I myself is lived by Him. This is so comforting. Sin can run around and try to get vain pleasure or pains, the fact it still that Yeshua is the victorious New one living my life.

Still many believers fall into despair: why I am still full of envy at times, full of irritation at times, full of weird desires, not loving really, not generous? I do not want to be like that. Still there it is. And then we realize: Oh ! It is not me, it is old sin still raving around, trying to find something to be miserable about. And then we just smile at sin. Ok, you loser. I have to go now, I will spend my time with the New Life, the New Light.

And then, of course, when God takes us home to be only with the Saviour, how marvellous this is already now. We can appreciate this coming of the Kingdom of Light especially when our brothers and sisters in the world suffer from doubt about the constant sinning and the constant misery all around us. We can look at them, helping them with actions and prayers as far as possible. The New one is hear already, be of hope !

What would He have done?

The human body and mind are superb instruments for imitation ! We are created to imitate God in the form of His Son Yeshua. Not so that our ego try to be like Him but so that He lives us, which is the only thing he wants to do. God incarnates so that shall happen, Yeshua saves us, dies for ur, rises and go to the state which makes it possible for him to live as us, just as us. And we really do not find anything else worth doing but this ”He living us”, which is what the true imitation of Christ is all about.

Once you think this simple thought: I am lived by Yeshua right now! This body, mind, emotional system is expressions Yeshua in this very action and moment — then the body starts to change its energy, the emotions follow after, your thinking is informed by the words and teaching of Yeshua in the gospels and you live differently. People you meet can see this. You start to live for others, whether it is with the reaction ”Oh Martha, Martha, you are so busy with the world!” or with the reaction: ”Have faith in Me, leave that doubting mind behind!” or ”Go find the pearl in the ground, give everything away to keep this pearl of great price!” or ”Never let the right hand know what the left hand does!” The gospels are full of situations you will find yourself in and your mind is informed. Just invite Yeshua to live your life, everything is prepared for it. And if you meet staunchy churchy people, don’t give them ”You vipers…” immediately; be polite about it. But of course you can think it when appropriate.

It it easy to critique the standard question pastors deal out to the parishioners: Ask yourself What would He have done? — because of course the little ego cannot do what Yeshua is doing, and it most often turns into new rules of behaviour, like ”Don’t smoke!”, ”Don’t have sex before marriage!”, ”Don’t cheat!”. But in a more profound way this question is sound. What would He have done? Well if He is allowed to live us, there is the answer. When you give up legalistic reactivity and really open for Him to live as you in your very circumstance, then there is real life, real abundance, real joy.

Uncomfortable?

I wrote in a previous post on how uncomfortable it is to live outside of Yeshua. When we live in Yeshua’s name and love, life is comfortable, good, clean, peaceful, almost entirely regardless of external circumstances. But when we suffer from absence and world, even though it seems desirable and normal, we almost immediately end up in a deeply uncomfortable situation.

In the old Swedish 18th century we read in Romans 1:28 that we are abandoned in an angry sense, and we conduct ”uncomfortable things.” It is right where it’s at. Life without Yeshua is deeply uncomfortable. Paul talks about all people, whether they call themselves believers or not. It concerns cultures, it concerns interest groups. Postmodern culture, for example, feels deeply uncomfortable due to it’s lack of values.

The good, indeed goodness itself, is a love and it feels so in the body. Yeshua has taken body in us – your body, my body. It feels right here and it’s joy and kindness. As John Piper says: God ”is an unshakably happy God. His happiness is the delight He has in Himself. Before creation, He rejoiced in the image of His glory in the person of His Son. Then the joy of God “went public” in the works of creation and redemption. These works delight the he art of God because they reflect His glory.”

The place of goodness is the one you are in Yeshua. He gave himself to you so that you find yourself in You my Lord. Here we can understand what ”anti-christian” is – that you are not yourself comfortably in Him as yourself. You try with different masked denials: be empty, be in a space where nobody is there, give up yourself and stand up with how boring it is, kneel and repeat words in Church, force yourself to defend Christian faith and dogmas, defend the Church, defend its argument. All these common forms of anti-christ are completely normalized in our culture and on the priest blogs it is profoundly dominating the conversation. Yeshua does not have a chance to realize Himself in us and as us.

And that is really uncomfortable !

Where is He?

Many who call themselves Christians places the truly good and truly joyful outside of themselves. They see it in something or someone they very much want to come in closer contact with. We have been indoctrinated to not let Yeshua BE US.

And this distance is often quite romantic, as in Sarah Flower Adam’s psalm:

Nearer, my God, two thee, nearer to thee!
E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
still all my song shall be,
nearer, my god, two thee;
nearer, my god, two thee, nearer to thee!

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
darkness be upon me, my rest a stone;
yet in my dreams I’d be
nearer, my god, two thee;
nearer, my god, two thee, nearer to thee!

This is very tragic. The important thing for this sceptic attitude to Jesus is you almost certainly will not meet Jesus. Note all instances of the word ”though” — in Swedish it is rather ”but”: ” Oh yes, Jesus is my savior, but … Yes, I believe in God, but … The darkness is over me, yet I think of God.

This is a lesson in distrust, is it not? Notice how the activity itself to look beyond our darkness to the light, in advance defines light as a distance. This is dark and miserable me. So, it’s like self-denial again. It’s not good here. That means: Yeshua has not come as God in the flesh here.

But that’s exactly the life Yeshua is looking for — here in me. Glory and strength come with immediacy, this is the real virtue of revelation. Yeshua has no gap between arrival in the flesh and happiness or rescue. They are simultaneous. He in us, we in Him.

What you are in Yeshua is all you are in today’s every activity. Even your sins? Yes even there. His compassion is to be you even there. Congratualte yourself for this! Con-gratulate is a word that comes from latin ”gratia”. So you have received God’s ”gratia”, God’s grace, goodness and happiness for free now — as the grace itself is free. Therefore, thank you and laugh at yourself ! Take an act, any one, even your sins, regard yourself as yourself in Yeshua and congratulate. Just this is amazing ! There will of course be times when this is quite incredible. That is how great He is.

There is such a hidden self-denial and anti-christian energy in creating distance to the good in Yeshua. It is most certainly Satan and his doubt. But at the same time it is romantic and normalized in church psalm-theology. I poor sinful man, oh what distance is it up to the Lord. So, we try to deceive Yeshua’s direct presence in us just as we are in this now. ”I will go to my Father” says Yeshua. ”Where is your Father, show him to us!” say the apostle Phillip. ”You’ve been with me all this time, and you have not seen Him?” Yeshua says. He is here in us and as us.

There are many believers who still are ashamed that we should be blissful in Yeshua just as we are. Nevertheless, God is angry just because we are ashamed and not in our bliss. As the german medieval dominican Eckhart writes, ”Why is God angry? Not for anything but for the loss of our own salvation … so evil does God make us act against our own salvation. ”(p.112 Sermons I)

When it is so often said in the Bible that we should be ”pleasing to God”, it is simply about seeing yourself in Yeshua, drinking the new wine that the Lord invites us to drink. Certainly, many people will read sceptically and crazy: as if there was something outside to be obeyed, as we in vain tried to obey parents and teachers and priests! His salvation which is our own salvation is the place for us to be, it is the true universal Church in Yeshua.

The truth and He Who IS the truth

As humans we seek the truth. God made us so, so what can we do about it? Of course we shall try to find truth ! But there is a problem, isn’t there? As long as we seek the truth, conflict arises within us. We are always looking for new truths, right? We do not stop saying: Ahh, now it’s clear, here’s the truth ! And we are prepared to argue for it, fight for it if necessary. At least be in possession of it.

The day passes, night comes, we go to bed. We sleep and the next day we need to search again. Or time passes, something sad happens and we are looking again. New truths, new modification of truth, new placement of truth. New defense, new battle if necessary, new assessment of everything from it. Trying to get possession of it again. This is not wrong, but we have to realize our insatiability as long as we operate as ourselves, separate from Christ.

But in Yeshua, you see, another process is going on. We do not avoid the search for truth but we believe more in love and presence. We are giving attention to Someone close to us, even living as us ! We are celebrating that we are perfect creations of God. And everyone we see around are too ! This becomes infinitely more important than possessing the truth or being enlightened.

And now, as He lives in us and as us, there is no tendency to conflict – who wants to fight when He makes us love each other? Who can continue claiming that he or she is right about anything when He just loves us as we are in this moment? We can only praise God because we exist in this awareness and can meet each other for a while on earth !

Yeshua’s presence never needs any defense or indeed explanation. I heard about an african missionary who said his job was to percieve how Christ was running around in black bodies all day long in the villages ! Words come much later. Doctrine comes much later. First perception. No form of possession of faith or piety or confession are needed at first. For the Lord is self-initiated with His action, one after another. If you start talking too much, or claim knowledge of an abstract sort, nothing will happen.

The crusades were about something else. Church battles are about something else. Fanatic beliefs are about something else. That is another father than the Father that informs Yeshua. Nevertheless, there were good Christians in all ages, people who let Yeshua act through them. It’s like many other crafts. You choose to do it, you let in happen and it works by itself, it takes you from within. Yeshua does not want to be and exterior reality. He wants to live as you. And many faithful persons knew this down the history. However, they are not visible in the history books, only the cherished saints. It is not about dominating others with doctrines or sacraments.

Throughout the years, I have let students study the parables in the NT and asked them: what is to believe in this parable? They go over the material to find truths, which they either can reject or possess as their own insight. But I tell them: Oh no, not the truth or truths ! But what should you do, according to Yeshua? How does it work? What is the good in it? What does it mean in your own life when Yeshua says He IS the truth?

But often it’s like the ego must first get his or her little truth to argue over before any goodness in life can come up through the parable. It is the prince of the world who drives this, the other father that Yeshua talked about to the pharisees, not inspiration or holy spirit.

In the spiritual world, the same possessivnes is around. Who has the truth? In a zen monastery I lived in for a longer period, I could see roshis and masters of all sorts, eastern and western, trying to possess his or her ”enlightenment”. It was like a good joke ! Same conflict, same ownership. Sure, there was also good humour and vivacity, a kind of spontaneity. But not that which Yeshua always and immediately gives us: blissfulness.

The same applies to mystics who find the truth that everything is One. Put such a person among people who are confused by all the desires of the world. Conflict. He or she needs to point out certain things. Sooner or later there is a need to tell the confused how confused they are and point to the One, or the Source.

But remember that all the confused are loved by God, in this very moment. They are loved by the Highest Person with a love that goes beyond all understanding. The one who receives Yeshua tends to do the same thing. Love them, praise them, do things for them. We live self-for-others, not self-for-self. This is also Yeshua expressions himself as our lives. Then no mystery or enlightenment is required. Yeshua is all the good and expresses it through you.

He is in our house at the beginning

An ardent Muslim wanted to make me realize that God can not have children. But I said with joking tone: What God is greatest, one that can create sperm in a young jewish woman or one who can’t? He laughed and realized what I meant by adding: But why would the Almighty do such a thing? I said: What God is greatest, that which you understand or you do not understand? He laughed again and understood what I meant. A good muslim right?

Since we agree that God’s presence right here is the key, not our quibbling.

And so it is. Anyone who has been busy in Yeshua – God’s salvation – has no time or inclination to split hairs. Sure it’s fun to do it. But admit it – it is a distraction, an entertainment, not the one looking into YHWH’s eyes.

So the contemplative life of Yeshua is God’s rescue of us, it is to feel his presence, as Antoine de Saint-Esprit says: Feel the touch of God, rather than look at a picture or think a thought. In the presence have no time to split hairs, whether they feel important to a doctrine or a set of concepts.

At the introduction to a class in Christian contemplation a priest objected that the important thing was not to sit in meditation but to study the Scriptures and learn what the Christian mythology is about. Of course, he did not turn up to the next sittings in meditation. He was busy thinking instead. And this is the problem for many priests. If they do not think on how the parish work has to be managed, they think about how the Christian mythology and theology is to be understood. Yeshua has to wait outside the door till later.

I read a nice sermon the other day. It was about how it would be like if Jesus was coming into our daily lives, literally. ”Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof,” said the Roman centurion. And the preacher, Johanna Larsdal, writes ”I do not know how the idea is tasting for you — to bring Jesus home to your house? What if he sees something you do not like Him to see?”

This is a good question for the contemplative life, which actually is to give my house, my situation, my body to Him. The central question !

The strange thing is that He was in the house before me. I live in his house, I discover Him here. Here is also where I go down in sin, in evil, jealous, anger thoughts on other people who have succeeded better. This is where I sink myself down in the dependencies I have aquired in the form of habits. But it’s also where I recognize Him. This is where I get to be naked in front of him, right in my misery.

It is so aptly said when Johanna Larsdal uses the words ”how the thought tastes” — to taste, to feel the touch, is most evident when Jesus will be here in me in this house. Our faith must come that way: through taste, touch, smell, rather than thinking and volition. He is here. Receive.

The heavenly Torah and the New Order

Maybe we should talk about the heavenly Torah, in distinction to all that we can find in the Tanach. That would be a consequence of what we find in the letter to the Hebrews as it says:

”But when Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come,[h] then through the greater and perfect[i] tent[j] (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), 12 he entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, with the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer, sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit[k] offered himself without blemish to God, purify our[l] conscience from dead works to worship the living God!

For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, because a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant.[m]” (Hebrews 9: 11-15 – NIV).

So the old physical Torah is not the divine order anymore. Could that be doubted? The New Order is actually not of this creation. I find that proposition very important. Yeshuas order is a heavenly order.

Under the old covenant time Moishe proclaimed all the commandments to all the people, and when he had done so, he took the blood of calves and goats, together with water, scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled it on the book, and to all the people.

”For when every commandment had been told to all the people by Moses in accordance with the law, he took the blood of calves and goats,[p] with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the scroll itself and all the people, saying, ‘This is the blood of the covenant that God has ordained for you.’ And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent[q] and all the vessels used in worship. Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Thus it was necessary for the sketches of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves need better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own; 26 for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of him. (Hebrews 9:21-26 NRSVA).

A simple man, like me, of course wonders how it can be that the heavenly things themselves needed to be purified at all ?

Maybe we find an answer to this in the Book of Job, where it says: ”God puts no trust even in his holy ones,and the heavens are not clean in his sight;
how much less one who is abominable and corrupt, one who drinks iniquity like water!” (Job 15:15 NRSVA).

The eternal reconciliation with God apparently did it better and more precious sacrifice – Yeshua himself.

Yeshua loves us

Yeshua loves us — that is something that is either taken for granted and is said again and again, with no deeper meaning, until it becomes repulsive to many to even hear. Or is it something that is harder in life than anything else.

I saw the other day a movie that someone sent me via e-mails. It is about a man by the car stops working, get the help of an angel in the form of a tow truck. He was taken to a small town where he’ll take part in another life – that he could have chosen some 20 years earlier, but did not choose. A fine film — the point is that God loves me.

To me this showed up when I was on a confirmation camp in Sunne 1964. A girl from Stockholm, whom I became very interested in, told me that Jesus loves me. How? I replied. In two ways, she said, he has given you life, and he has taken away your disease. My illness? said I. Yes, she explained, if you examine your life, you will notice that you have a disease there inside. The disease that sometimes leads you to sin several ways.

I soon forgot about the girl. Rock music involved me in another type of life. But she was a good teacher. Somewhere inside of me there was a message left for me to revisit. In the beginning was The Word, Yeshua, and this Word creates everything — and my sin is a disease that Yeshua can cure for me. It is terrible and wonderful and I wish now that I listened to her for real at the time, not just because she was so beautiful.

For those who are not investigating the matter, it certainly seems so arbitrary to say things like that, that a God loves us and that our sins are removed. Not until we experience the nature of the disease, can we somewhat understand the love of Yeshua. And it can take many years. For those who believe in reincarnation – it may take many lives.

In the 1960′s, there was a popular rock song — Express Way to Your Heart – and we can say that Yeshua is the way to our heart. He enters into us and live us in everyday life we ​​have. At anytime we can be distracted by the world or the religious public life. But He’s still there, waiting for the remembrance of the thoughts, words and deeds.

He Who is in our house from the beginning

An avid Muslim tried to make me realize that God can not have children. But I said with a humorous tone: What God is the greatest, one who can create sperm in a young Jewish woman or someone who can not? The Muslim laughed and realized what I meant to allow: But why would the Almighty do something like that? I said: What God is the greatest, one who you understand or who you do not understand? He laughed again and understood what I meant.

Then we agreed that God’s presence here is important, not our hairspliting theologies.

And so it is! Whoever is full of Yeshua – the very salvation of God – does not have the time or the desire to split hair. Sure, it’s fun to do it, the academies are full of this fun. But we have to acknowledge – it’s a distraction, an entertainment, not a true glimpse into YHWH’s eyes. ”Search for my face!” said the Lord to Solomon before he built the temple.(2 Chron. 7:14)

So the contemplative life in Yeshua, the salvation of God, is to know his presence, as Antoine de Saint-Esprit says: feeling the touch of God himself rather than seeing a picture or thinking of a thought. In that presence there is no time for theological pretense, however important they feel for a doctrinal concern or a conceptual apparatus.

When introducing a course in Christian contemplation, a priest emphasized the importance of not sitting in meditation without first studying scripture and learning what Christian mythology is. Of course, he did not appear the following sessions in meditation. He was thinking instead. And this is the problem for many priests. If they do not think about how the parish work is to be done, they are thinking of how Christian mythology should be understood. Yeshua has to wait outside the door for that long time.

I read a nice sermon the other day, which involved Jesus coming into our everyday lives. ”Lord, I’m not worthy to come under thy roof,” says the Roman officer. And the minister, Johanna Larsdal, writes ”I do not know how the thought tastes for you to bring Jesus home to your house? Imagine if he sees something you do not like? ”This is such a good question for the contemplative life is to give just my house, my situation, this ”my body” to Him.

The strange thing is that He was in the house before me. I live in his house, I discover that. That’s where I hurt myself in evil envious thoughts on others who managed better. That’s where I dragged myself down in my desires and dependencies. But that’s also where I recognize Him. That’s where I’ll be naked to him, just in my misery.

It is quite compelling when Johanna uses the words ”how the taste tastes” for the taste, or touch, it is most evident when Jesus may be here in this house. Our faith must go the way: through the taste, the touch, the smell, rather than the thinking and will. He is here. Receive.

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