This is a guest blog by the wonderful Jessica Swart – You can find out more about her at the bottom of this article or by visiting her website here.
Blood gushes from the wounds of a scorned King and stains the wood on which his tender body hangs. The curtain tears violently, along with His flesh. Through his wounds, lost children run into the open arms of their Father, Creator. Through the torn curtain a Royal Priesthood shamelessly enters the Holy of Holies, their eternal dwelling place. A divine exchange. Separation for union. Striving for rest. Desert for Eden. He became the new and living way, the Ancient doorway unto the Everlasting God, and invited all to step through the curtain of his broken flesh into a new life, real life. As I lifted my feet in faith and walked through the cross-shaped door, who I once was gave way to who I was created to be.
A few years ago I had a head-on collision with the real Gospel that had been hidden under the illusion of freedom that was once my reality. This marked the start of a radical pendulum shift in every avenue of life, every thought process and every once warped view of Father God and myself. As if I had been born-again, again, I began to see everything with new eyes through the lenses of Grace. I traded in my do-it-yourself morality program for a life of embracing all that he had already done for me. His blood purchased in a moment what a lifetime of human sweat and tears never could.
Ever since, Jesus has swept me off on an adventure of discovering the sweet and intoxicating dimensions that lie like secret passageways behind the cross.
For the most part of my Christian life, the cross meant forgiveness of sins and this was the pinnacle of its purpose, until Holy Spirit opened up the world behind the John 17 prayer for union. Jesus prayed “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am.” At the core of God clothing himself in humanity, was an unquenchable desire to not only be with the ones he loved, but to have them inside him, and he in them. As the sinful nature was the only thing that stood to prevent this, through his death, he changed the genetic code of everyone who would come to him by faith and through a divine transaction, replaced our sin with his own holiness. Like the mixing of two colors, we have become one new substance in Christ, and the Father cannot tell where we end and Christ begins. “I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20)
The mystery of “Christ in me” is one I have been blissfully freefalling into since the day he revealed this to me, and I know I will never see its end. Life as a new creation means that we not only have access to Christ, but we have his DNA and have been grafted into the bloodline of the trinity. Wherever we go, the holiness in us diffuses out into the darkest parts of the atmosphere that are most thirsty for the reality of true light.
As new creatures in Christ, we are his dwelling place, the contact point between heaven and earth. We live with one foot in time, the other in eternity whilst our entire being is saturated in his presence. Christ doesn’t live in one compartment of our hearts, but all of Him dwells in all of us. Every cell, every atom filled with all the fullness of God. We haven’t merely come into the tabernacle, the tabernacle has become us. Living, breathing vessels of the presence of God, a bride that with one glance of her eye captivates her beloved. He has created us with the ability to take his breath away, to mesmerize Him with our flawless beauty as we sit at his banqueting table adorned with jewels of purity and draped in robes of righteousness. The King swept us off our feet and carried us into the bridal chamber, the innermost place of intimacy where he is eternally delighting in us. Whether our consciousness realizes it, we are ever being adored by the King, ever feasting on the bounty of His house, and ever drinking from the torrent of divine pleasure. His presence is not something we come in and out of as the ancient priests once did, but is a constant state of being that is both in us and around us. Whether in solitude and on our knees, or in the midst of chaos and confusion, we are the target of all the Beloved’s affections and all his delight is in us, his bride. (Song of Solomon 7:10).
“The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation, the Kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21). Our walk of faith is not about lifting ourselves up onto our tip-toes trying to reach to the top of heaven’s closet and pull the nearness of God towards ourselves. The Kingdom has been placed within, this is where the King is enthroned, and this is where he can be found. Distance from his presence exists only between the ears. To assume we are still separate from the King and can know distance from his presence is to assume Jesus failed on the cross. Intimacy is the height of his desire. Oneness was His mission. Union is the trophy of the cross. He in us and us in him. We walk to the rhythm of the beating of His heart. Our spirit dances with His to the Song of Songs. This life is a marriage of wills, a harmony of desires and an infusion of two things, that have become inseparably one.
Some people travel the world to find themselves. I find myself hidden in him.
You can connect with Jessica and find out more about her by any of the following links: