Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale shadows our soul-body journey . . . from the darkness of the soul to the promise of a resurrection that can be filled with His righteousness. Undeserved, yet given from a love not of this world. Here’s how.
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READING TIME: 4 MINUTES.
HAVE YOU READ THE FIRST POSTS IN THIS SERIES?
The Lord can come to you like the rain—a glory rain, the true latter rain (resurrection to righteousness)—after the barrenness, brokenness, and blackened leaves of your soul’s winter tale.
A rain that heralds in the spring, hope, vegetation, new beginnings for your soul and all those souls who have lived and died in Him.
After two days, he will revive us;
on the third day, he will raise us up;
and we will live in his presence.
And let us know, let us strive to know the LORD:
like the dawn whose going forth is sure,
and He will come to us like the rain,
like the latter rain which satisfies the earth.
But in the winter tale of your soul, there can be lot of swerving here and there. And it can get complicated by a treacherous spiritual battle going on within you and around you.
Then there’s trying to do good. Human good. Well meaning but falling way short of God’s holiness and His righteousness.
He actually says our deeds—which we’re judged on and linked to our thoughts and words—are stained before Him. They’re like soiled rags from menstrual flux, per the Hebrew.
And we all have become like one unclean,
and our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment
[soiled menstrual rag],
and we all have withered like a leaf,
and our iniquities carry us away like the wind.
—Isaiah 64:5 (6)
So if your soul can become spiritually barren, holding on to the decayed, withered leaves of your wintry tale . . .
And if your best deeds, thoughts, words are like filthy menstrual rags compared to God’s holy standard . . .
Then how can you or anyone stand before God’s judgment seat—and receive a resurrection to righteousness?
GOD MADE IT POSSIBLE
his truth, his life, his way
The veil that covered your wintry soul can be gone. Death, gone. His breath can bring your soul-body to life—again.
On this mountain he [the Lord God of Hosts] will destroy
the veil which covers the face of all peoples,
the veil enshrouding all the nations.
He will swallow up death forever.
Adonai Elohim will wipe away
the tears from every face . . .
—Isaiah 25:6-8 excerpts
Despite the fractured stated of humanity, God made a way for you, me, everyone to receive a resurrection to righteousness—and avoid a resurrection of punishment.
He poured out Himself and sent His son—the Messiah, Jesus (Yeshua, his Hebrew name). On the cross, Jesus/Yeshua took on those filthy-ragged deeds/sins (mentioned in Isaiah 64) so his act of love could wipe your slate clean.
A perfect, holy atonement. A gift of grace. Not deserved, not earned. Amazingly given. God’s holy righteousness imparted to you.
Accepting the gift is your part: Admit you’re a sinner who falls short of God’s glory. Acknowledge Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross. Believe and confess Jesus as Messiah, believing God raised him from the dead to conquer the sting of eternal death (resurrection to punishment).
Accepting what God has done through the Messiah doesn’t mean you get to live your life willy nilly . . . it means putting on that precious gift and the responsibilities that go with it.
That means abiding in and with Him. Not the manmade yoke of religiosity and compounded burdens—but the gentle yoke of God’s Messiah. Easy, light, profound . . .
Standing on His wholeness, His holiness.
Steeped in His strength and faithfulness.
Submerged in a holy, grace-empowered process in Him.
Jesus is the only way to God for Jews and Gentiles. He is the Living Torah, the fulfillment of the Law and the Messianic prophecies, the Redeemer, the Holy Lamb of God who died for your sins, mine, and the world’s.
When you have a bodily resurrection in the Messiah,
your wintry tale and your soul-body war are over.
The body and soul become like a wheel within a wheel.
The RECEIVER-DRIVEN BODY is DEAD.
The RESURRECTED BODY is GLORIFIED.
Now it’s a GIVER and a RECEIVER.
Harmonious with God.
Donning the yoke of heaven.
Made holy in and with Him.
Reunited with its now-refined soul.
All things are MADE NEW.
Soul/Spirit/Body existing as one in HOLY TANDEM,
giving and receiving in a sanctified way.
Without self-gratification or self-adoration.
RAISED IN HIS IMAGE.
Mirroring His circular, love-funneled nature.
A soul-body tested, tried, submerged, empowered
by and through His Truth, Life, Way, Word.
IN HIM . . .
The latter rain is the greatest glory.
The latter rain is His gift to you, a glorified bodily resurrection.