The Hidden Life Of Jesus
By Johnny Tatum
The Hidden Life Of Jesus
By Johnny Tatum
#14) JESUS PRAYS – REFLECTS – PRAISES HIS FATHER
[PSALM 18, continued]
Jesus is in Hades, and, remarkably, He is still thinking:
6 In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to My God for help;
Why is Jesus in distress? Because He is in Hades.
He heard my voice out of His temple, And My cry for help before Him came into His ears.
Jesus had been in the tomb thinking; His spirit goes down to Hades; He releases the captives; now He is about to move again. Remember, He is a Human Being with no divine encroachment (He is a sinless human being, but He is a human being), so He cries to His Father Pull us up! And because Jesus is sinless, something starts moving again.
7 Then the earth shook and quaked; And the foundations of the mountains were trembling and were shaken, because He was angry.
Why was the Father angry? Because an innocent Man—His Son—was in Hades. And no doubt, Satan and his demons were rejoicing at what must have seemed to be a fortuitous turn of events for them. Here was Jesus – Messiah – Son of God – the Person they knew well as the Eternal Word – the second Person of the Godhead – in Hades!!
God the Father, however, seeing this dual spectacle of His innocent Son and His righteous saints in Hades, and the glee of Satan and the demons, reacts. And He reacts in holy, righteous wrath:
8 Smoke went up out of His nostrils, and fire form His mouth devoured; Coals were kindled by it.
9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down with thick darkness under His feet.
There is something interesting in the next verse:
10 He rode upon a cherub and flew;
Cherubs are guardian angels around the throne of God; and here, God chooses to ride on a Cherub.
Note: It always intrigues me that Cherubs are God’s preferred form of transportation. Actually, God does not need transportation because He can zap Himself anywhere. In fact, He does not even need to zap Himself, because God is imminent (100 percent everywhere in the universe at the same time). However, He chooses to ride on Cherubs.
So God the Father, His holy wrath aroused by the prospect of the demons attempt to trap His Son in Hades, mounts a cherub and flees to His Son’s rescue:
And He sped upon the wings of the wind.
Satan must have felt confident in his ability to trap Jesus and the Old Testament saints in Hades. Yes, here was the Eternal Word, but He was in a humbled state. The Word had come to earth as a human being, temporarily voluntarily waiving the use of His divine prerogatives.
At this point, since Jesus has not ascended back to heaven yet, He has not been glorified yet. So, practically speaking, the Person in Hades is not the Eternal Word, but the Human Being, Jesus of Nazareth. Therefore, as Satan fully knows, Jesus is in a weakened position and therefore in a vulnerable condition.
Satan’s confidence is misplaced, because of his misunderstanding of the fundamental nature of God. Satan must have thought that he was safe from the power of God. After all, Satan’s realm is the realm of darkness, while God lives in the realm of light. As in so many cases, Satan is half-right, but, fortunately for us and unfortunately for him, he is half-wrong.
Although it is true that God dwells in unapproachable light, it is also true that God is sovereign over all phases of creation. Certainly God is sovereign over the realm of light, but He is equally sovereign over the kingdom of darkness. Therefore, Satan is not sovereign over Hades; God is sovereign over Hades!
This knowledge of the ultimate sovereignty of God comforts Jesus. It is amazing that here in Hades, Jesus’ thoughts are comforted by the Scriptures He began to learn as a Boy under the nourishment of His father and mother.
He knows that His being in Hades does not hinder the ability of His Father to rescue Him:
11 He made darkness His hiding place, His canopy around Him, Darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies.
12 From the brightness before Him passed His thick clouds, Hailstones and coals of fire.
Note: Hailstones and coals of fire gives us a clear picture of where Jesus is.
13 The LORD also thundered in the heavens, And the Most High uttered His voice, Hailstones and coals of fire.
14 He sent out His arrows, and scattered them, And lightening flashes in abundance, and routed them.
16 He sent from on high, He took Me; He drew Me out of many waters.
17 He delivered Me from My strong enemy, And from those who hated Me…
18 They confronted Me in the day of My calamity, But the LORD was My stay.
Here the psalmist, under the direction of Holy Spirit, has lifted the veil separating the spiritual and physical realms and permitted us to witness a cosmic battle, which would put the “Star Wars®” battles to shame. Ultimate evil attacking ultimate good, and the battleground is Hades itself.
Let Us Not Forget: The battle is not just for Jesus, but also for us! As Jesus waits in heaven for deliverance from His Father, His thoughts are not joys for Himself; He is consciously thinking of us.
Likewise, Satan’s glee at having Jesus trapped in Hades—or so he thinks—must have been compounded by the knowledge that Jesus was identified with us. So Satan, in wicked joy, was probably overjoyed at the prospect of having Jesus and all of the Old Testament saints forever separated from God.
For, through the power of Holy Spirit and the strength of Almighty Father God, the Human Being Jesus was raised from Hades, from where He returned to earth, and 40 days later He ascended to heaven in a glorified state:
19 He brought Me forth also into a broad place; He rescued Me, because He delighted in Me.
This is describing the entry of Jesus into heaven.
We Can Never Forget: We could not possibly enter into heaven on our own merits, because we are sinners and God cannot accept the presence of Sin in His presence. Our access to heaven is based solely on our identification with Jesus. The blood that He shed was the blood that should have been spilled for us. The righteous life that Jesus lived was then placed on our account. That is the basis for our entrance into heaven.
Jesus of Nazareth was, and is, the only human being who has the right to enter into heaven on His own merits, being totally righteous.
20 The LORD has rewarded Me according to My righteousness;
and totally sinless:
According to the cleanness of My hands He has recompensed Me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD, And have not wickedly departed from My God.
22 For all His ordinances were before Me, And I did not put away His statutes from Me.
23 I was also blameless with Him, And I kept Myself from My iniquity.
24 Therefore the LORD has recompensed Me according to My righteousness, According to the cleanness of My hands in His eyes.
Now, upon Jesus entering into heaven, we are still privileged to overhear Jesus’ thoughts. As He enters He reflects on the ordeal He has just endured. He remembers that in His moment of greatest darkness, His Father was His light:
28 For You light My lamp; The LORD My God illumines My darkness.
He remembers that when He was weak, His Father was His strength:
35 You have also given Me the shield of Your salvation, And Your right hand upholds Me; And Your gentleness makes Me great.
He remembers that when He was attacked, His Father was His Defender and Avenger.
37 I pursued My enemies and overtook them, And I did not turn back until they were consumed.
He remembers that when He was powerless, His Father empowered Him:
38 I shattered them, so that they were not able to rise; They fell under My feet.
39 For You have girded Me with strength for battle; You have subdued under Me those who rose up against Me.
40 You have also made My enemies turn their backs to Me, And I destroyed those who hated Me.
41 They cried for help, but there was none to save, Even to the LORD, but He did not answer them.
42 Then I beat them fine as the dust before the wind; I emptied them out as the mire of the streets.
And Jesus Christ, fully God Himself, is now restored to His full glory. Even Jesus is consumed with gratitude for what God the Father has done for Him:
49 Therefore I will give thanks to You among the nations, O LORD, And I will sing praises to Your name.
We have seen many times throughout this study of the thought life of Jesus that, during the ordeal beginning with Gethsemane and culminating in His ascension to heaven, no matter how severe the situation, His thoughts never left us.
50 He gives great deliverance to His king, And shows lovingkindness to His anointed, To David and his descendants forever.
Here, at the moment of the Son’s exultation, He continues to identify with us! This means when Jesus was pulled up from Hades, we were simultaneously pulled out of the power of Satan. When Satan was defeated at the Battle of Hades, his defeat was our victory.
If Satan had been able to keep Jesus in Hades He also would have been able to keep the Old Testament saints in Hades. He also would have prevented us from being justified. You see, our salvation was not complete until Jesus was raised from the dead. As Paul says:
…and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. (1 Corinthians 15:17)
If Jesus had remained in Hades, the penalty for our sins would have been paid, but that remission of sins would not have meant much, because we still would have been shut out from heaven and we would not have access to God. Satan would have maintained control over the grave (death) and over Hades. That explains why Jesus considered it so important that we be rescued from Hades:
Application: Some of the great psychologists have told us that depression, anxiety and worry stem from fear. And there is really good evidence that the reason we have undefined fears (we are fearful but we cannot pinpoint what it is) or untraceable depression (we are depressed but we do not know why) is because of masked fear; we always feel like we deserve punishment for something we have done. So what is the remedy for those times when we have fearful driven depression – anxieties – worries?
Think back on all of the things that we have seen Jesus of Nazareth go through, beginning with His death sentence. Then remember, whatever it is you did—think of the worst thing you did—how was that sin punished?—
What else is there?—
After this, Jesus’ spirit returns to the tomb and He is reunited with His body. Since He is still carrying blood, He goes to the Father and He spills His blood on the Mercy Seat, where His blood turns into crystal silver.
In Psalm 2, Jesus is speaking again after He has ascended back up into heaven:
7 I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD:
And His Father speaks:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
God the Father is welcoming His Son back into heaven! Jesus of Nazareth has been His Son, but there is a difference now. It is a brand new relationship, because the Eternal Word (the Son of God) has merged with that Human Being (Jesus of Nazareth) who ascended to heaven. Now He is a Son in a different sense.
Picture: Some of the old hymns express good theology, and I thought about the following song’s chorus when I pondered this heavenly reunion:
“Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes;
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah Christ arose!”
-From “Christ Arose!” by Robert Lowry (1826-1899)
I close with a verse from Isaiah 51, which I saved. Do you remember that when Jesus was first placed in the tomb, there was a little window of time before His spirit descended to Hades? I believe it is during that time that God the Father says to His Son:
Look to the rock from which You were hewn and to the quarry from which You were dug. (Isaiah 51:1)
Note: It Is Ironic—
Jesus’ life began in a cave, and His life ended in a cave. Jesus’ life began in a cave that was carved out of the side of a mountain, and His life ended in a cave that was carved out of the side of a mountain.
Jesus of Nazareth could bear Gethsemane and the Cross because He always had full assurance that after He died, He would be resurrected. However, I think that Jesus had one final moment of doubt in the cave (tomb)—and it is understandable—Wait a minute; I thought that there was going to be a resurrection! And this time the Father responds to His Son Look to the rock from which You were hewn and to the quarry from which You were dug.
Application: Though most of us were not born in a cave, I think this is a promise that God gave to Jesus to us Look how far you have come from where you were born again (saved). What did you know when you were born? Just think of what we know now and of what we experience now in our relationship with the Father; and God tells us As far as you have come, from the time you were born until now, that is the same distance that I will take you before you die. Not a bad promise, is it?
Next: Hidden Life #15) LOOKING BACK AT JESUS’ THOUGHT LIFE
Back To: The Hidden Life Of Jesus Series Page
Copyright © 1996, 2002 Worldnet Grace Ministries