DISROBED, DEAD, AND GONE ‘AWAY’
Well . . . “yes” and “no” to the title.
The Son of God came for a purpose. He had a mission. “He came unto His own. . .” (and “His own” received Him not); and he came to “seek and to save that which was lost.” (He did His part, but not all little lambs want to be found) “He laid down His life for the sheep” (and that part worked – it was efficacious — the Father accepted His life as propitiatory sacrifice.)
But the Final Act of sacrifice occurs here, on Good Friday, this last 24-hour period of His life on earth, beginning with a meal in preparation for the Passover.
At the Passover table, the unleavened bread is presented on a plate, and the bread is covered with a white linen cloth. Here is some bread (some Finnish bread), and the cloth is not white linen — but this is the act of “uncovering” the bread, because soon it will be eaten – literally, physically.
When Jesus and His disciples did this at His Last Supper, the uncovering of the bread foreshadowed the very soon upcoming Disrobing of the Body of Jesus in preparation for the crucifixion..
“I am the Bread of Life,” Jesus taught.
And soon the bread will soon be “broken” just as the bond between body and soul will be broken within Jesus, the appointed Christ of God.
Then came insults, mockery, and rejection. “He was despised and rejected.” “He became a worm, and no man.” “He who knew no sin became sin for us.”
And He became dead.
The Bread of Life is uncovered, exposed, and vulnerable — and “broken.”
We can dispense with two heresies, two erroneous opinions which keep coming up in the incredulous minds of men:
Human nature alone: He was a man — specially appointed, maybe; specially empowered by God, maybe — but just a man like any other man. (And if that were so, He would have his own sins and existential separation from God to die for. He could do nothing for us. He would be the savior of nothing and of no one, and God would have been making false promises.)
Divine nature alone: He did come down from the heavenly realm, but He only appeared to be a man so that He could perform an act for us. He only appeared to die, because a god can’t die. (And if that were so, there would be no real contact with real humans. He would not be one of us men who need salvation.)
Only with both true natures could Christ offer Himself to die on behalf of and in place of human beings, and then have the power to visit the poor souls who have already died and to raise Himself up back to life . . . .
. . . .and to return to Heaven, giving the human race enough time to hear and to respond, “whosoever” will.
There is time now for “whosoever” to go to Him, to commune with Him, to unite with Him: Jesus, the Bread of Life; because there is Peace now between God and “sheep.”
Because He is eternal God, living by nature in eternity, He is ever-present in every place in Time — “from the rising of the sun to its going down.” (Malachi 1:11) Truly present for us.
He’s been broken dead. Gone. But not “away” — That’s the “no” answer to the title of this post.