Protection, security, salvation. That is what is found under the wings of our God. He will cover you and completely protect you with His pinions. That sounds like a once and for all deal to me. Complete, total and inviolable. Permanent. How can He do that? Something that will stand the test of time, that will never be done away with? What struck me deeply as I was studying that verse in Psalm 91, was the word pinion. I knew it had to do with the feathers. But if you read the definition, there is a deeper picture. According to dictionary.com, as a noun pinion means the distal or terminal segment of the wing of a bird consisting of thecarpus, metacarpus, and phalanges, the wing of a bird, a feather, the flight feathers collectively. Makes sense, just what you would assume from reading the verse. But if you look at that word pinion as a verb it takes on a deeper meaning, an eternal meaning. To cut off the pinion of (a wing) or bind (the wings), as in order to prevent a bird from flying, to disable or restrain (a bird) in such a manner, to bind (a person's arms or hands) so they cannot be used, to disable (someone) in such a manner; shackle, to bind or hold fast. To cut the wing as to prevent flight, to restrain or bind, to shackle and hold fast. That is a picture of what Jesus did for us. He allowed His wings so to speak to be cut, He could have chosen flight in the garden of Gethsemane. He could have at any time called on a legion of angels to save Him. He could have said no. But He loved us so much that He chose to be bound, to be shackled, to be restrained and then placed on that cross. He chose to be held fast on that awful piece of wood. He voluntarily placed Himself there in our stead. Picture this...a bird having its wings cut so it cannot fly. Sounds awful and cruel. But picture if somehow that bird could cut its own wings. Sounds implausible and impossible. How and why would anyone or anything do that?
How and why? Because of a love so deep and a concern so immense that it couldn't not do it. Because of a plan so grand and a desire for fellowship with us so great that there really was no choice. This is a God who in the form of His Son gave His all for us. When I reread the book The Shack after watching the movie a few weeks ago there was something in the book that I hadn't remembered. When Mac meets Papa and Jesus and Sarayu, it is not only Jesus who had the nail scars. They all had the scars. They all endured the pain of that crucifixion. They all made the sacrifice for us. I cannot even imagine. I love my children so much, how could you endure that pain, and not only watch the death, but feel the pangs right along with them? Physical, emotional, all of it rolled up into one big ball of agony. Dear Lord, it breaks my heart to think of it. And then to think of how lightly we sometimes take that. Read in the Message a picture of Jesus, the beloved Son of our heavenly Father, what He went through..."The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling, a scrubby plant in a parched field. There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look. He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand. One look at him and people turned away. We looked down on him, thought he was scum. But the fact is, it was our pains he carried— our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed. We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost. We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way. And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong, on him, on him. He was beaten, he was tortured, but he didn’t say a word. Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered and like a sheep being sheared, he took it all in silence. Justice miscarried, and he was led off—and did anyone really know what was happening? He died without a thought for his own welfare, beaten bloody for the sins of my people. They buried him with the wicked, threw him in a grave with a rich man, Even though he’d never hurt a soul or said one word that wasn’t true," Isaiah 53:1-9. Not a pretty, sterile picture is it? Not a clean and tidy death. Even our inmates on death row get treated better than Jesus did. A quick injection, no torture, no enduring physical agony. And why did He do that? For us. Only for us. That was the Father's plan all along, so that we could have fellowship with Him here on earth and later in heaven. The rest of Isaiah 53 reads like this in the Message, "Still, it’s what God had in mind all along, to crush him with pain. The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin so that he’d see life come from it—life, life, and more life. And God’s plan will deeply prosper through him. Out of that terrible travail of soul, he’ll see that it’s worth it and be glad he did it. Through what he experienced, my righteous one, my servant, will make many “righteous ones,”as he himself carries the burden of their sins. Therefore I’ll reward him extravagantly—the best of everything, the highest honors—Because he looked death in the face and didn’t flinch, because he embraced the company of the lowest. He took on his own shoulders the sin of the many, he took up the cause of all the black sheep." He looked death in the face and didn't flinch. He pinioned His own wings for us, for the black sheep, that we would be made white as snow.
I know it seems I dwell a lot on the crucifixion and the sacrifice that Jesus made in my writings. I believe until we get that...until we understand the depth of what He did, until we get the fact that it was done, once for all we will never live in the freedom that He desires us to live in. He made us righteous by His sacrifice. He wiped away our sins so we can live a life free of the darkness and free of the turmoil that comes with trying to make ourselves good enough. His surrender to His Father's will on the cross brought with it the transference of our sins onto Him. It brought the exemption and immunity from death that was the price of that sin. It brought us liberty and life and that life is not only ever-lasting, but it is for us here and now. We have the choice to live with abandon the life He bought for us. We can choose to believe all that the bible tells us and walk in that light and that truth. There is a scripture in Hebrews that says those that have tasted of salvation and walk away are "by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame." When I came back to the Lord many years ago and read this verse, it was a revelation to me. I don't think I had seen it before. And it was convicting. How my heart hurt, to think that it was like my taking that blood bought salvation and crumpling it up like used toilet paper and flushing it down the toilet. Sorry to be blunt, but that's the picture I see. Something so precious, a gift so costly thrown away. Trashed. Just refuse, garbage to be thrown away with the rubbish. No. We are given this freedom so that we can live a victorious life. So that we can share that good news with others and see them set free. We are given this great gift so that we can become infectious Christ followers and spread it abroad.
It's funny, as I sit here and write this I hear a rooster crowing outside. What a full circle here in this post. When the rooster crows it is supposed to mean that the sun is cresting on the horizon. Well, the Son has risen and He is alive and well and living in us. And He desires to draw us unto Himself and hold us near, safe from danger and close to His heart. I pray that you feel that today, His deep and abiding love, His safety and protection and His heart beat in yours.