We’ve moved on past Christ.
That’s clear every time we feel panic when someone wants to give us feedback. It’s the reason we are obsessed with our body image. It’s why we’re so terrified of failure that some of us have just laid down all together – given up the fight because we’re so tired of feeling like a disappointment.
Those things indicate that you and I have walked through Jesus – as if He’s a door or a passage way that we just pass through to get to our destination. We have forgotten the glorious distinction between the word ‘through’ and the word ‘in‘. We’ve forgotten the purchase of the Cross was not just a through, but an in.
In the first fourteen verses of Ephesians, the phrase ‘in Him’ happens about 10 billion times. We get election and blessings and an inheritance because of Christ. Got it.
But why not say ‘through‘? It makes more sense. We get salvation and blessings and an inheritance through Jesus, right? But Paul – throughout all his letters – seems to be sort of obsessed with communicating that we get these things ‘in Christ’.
Whats’ the difference between in and through?
In is going nowhere.
It has no destination in mind. It has no other trajectory. It isn’t moving on.
In & through both believe that we are carried through the gates of Heaven because we’re hidden inside Christ. When God does His little body scan of Christ He finds nothing but righteousness. So you and I – tucked away inside of Him, get in based on that. Through Him. In Him.
But on the other side of those gates, in & through are really different ideas.
Through communicates that once we’re saved, we’re on our own. We get let loose in this world – eternity secure – but on our own. Jesus delivered us, but now it’s up to us.
Too many of us live in a through world.
We’re good. We’re loved by God. But that isn’t helpful to us when we are failing, rejected, abandoned, unwanted, discouraged.
But in – that beautiful word – it means we’re never let loose. We never move on from Jesus. We never climb out of Him.
In believes that the same way we were saved is the same way we breathe today. In believes that we aren’t doing any of this on our own or in our own power.
In promises that Jesus doesn’t leave us to go before the throne of the Holy one of Israel on our own. He keeps us tucked away in Him so that it is a guarantee that you and I will be received by the Father in the same manner that He receives the Son.
In believes that as the Father loves you in the same way He loves the Son – because we’re in Him. In believes that as the Father pours blessings on the Son, He pours them on us – because we’re in Him.
In is the mysterious glory of the Gospel.
It means that when someone calls out your weakness, or when failure comes, you can take a deep breath and remember, that you are in Christ. Your failure and your weakness is hidden by His perfect victory. That’s all our just judge in Heaven sees when He looks at you.
In means that when you look into the mirror today and you feel disappointed or discouraged, you can let your eyes blur a little and imagine the glorious beauty of Jesus that it surrounds you. Practice seeing yourself through faith filled eyes. Believe in the invisible reality that even now – as all the saints and angels and spiritual forces look at you, all they see is the glory of His perfection.
Each and every time you feel like God might not want to hear from you; every time you fear rejection or feel like a burden, squeeze your eyes shut and let your mind draw out for you this great mystery – you are hidden inside of Christ. You have been from eternity past, and you will be for eternity to come.
As Christ is exalted, you will be too – inside of Him.