An Unveiling of John 17
On Monday August 21, 2017, I saw the best movie trailer ever made. I was front and center in a most magnificent theater. The trailer was a little over 2 minutes long and it was incredibly dramatic and out of this world! The movie is still being shot, but the Maker wanted to put an invitation out there to let everyone know that a full-length blockbuster movie is coming. It is coming soon to a theater near you! The movie is all about a wedding between a beautiful woman and a radiant man. And it’s free: the Maker already paid for the tickets. And we are all invited!
This trailer was actually a solar eclipse that passed across the North American continent. I was able to witness this spectacular event with some absolutely beautiful brothers and sisters on a small hill overlooking a small neighborhood in Casper, Wyoming just a few hundred feet from the NASA published centerline of totality. It happened close to noon local time and for a little over two minutes: the sun was totally hidden from view except for a huge jetting corona against a dark blue sky.
If you’ve been reading my blog articles, you know they always start with “Seeing Christ in…” The reason I do this is because the Father loves to “reveal” His Son. The word “seeing” here is a metaphor for all the five senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch) for which the Lord has given us: a set in the natural realm and a set in the spiritual realm (if you’ve been re-born and have the Spirit of the resurrected God-Man in glory indwelling you and fused with your human spirit). It is particularly through these spiritual senses by which he reveals our Christ to us that we might image and reflect His Son’s Glory collectively in corporate “new-human” expression. This expression is as infinite and diverse as he is.
The Father is totally consumed with His Son. Totally! His Son is His magnificent obsession. It’s the one thing. It’s all about Christ. Everything!! There is no other purpose for creation other than to magnify and enlarge His Son. Period!!! All of creation, from the micro to the macro, is purposed to express the Glory of His magnificent Son and the enlargement of the giving and receiving dance between the Father and the Son to yet another: the bride of Christ: the body of Christ: the house of God: the family of God.
Within the fabric of all creation are images, types, and shadows of the reality of the person of Jesus the Christ and His sought after glorious bride. If we miss this in our lives, we’ve missed the reason we exist in the first place, we’ve missed His eternal purpose in creating both the heavens (the invisible realm (angels and the like)) and the earth (by the earth in this case I mean the visible universe). An early disciple of Christ called it “the mystery.” We (in corporate expression) together were made to intelligently, creatively, and passionately unveil the Glory of His Son, Jesus Christ. Like a black hole in the center of a galaxy, Christ is the central, dominate, all consuming passion of the Father. Christ is the “all in all” consummation of all we see, hear, touch, smell, and taste in life; that is, … if we are looking for Him.
Everything points to the living, breathing, person of Jesus Christ who is actually sitting in the heavenlies at the right hand of the Father (who continually pours out infinite expressions of His love for Him and to Him). These expressions are how He sees His Son. And He wants all of the visible creation to see as well. The invisible creation already sees Him face to face. The fabric of creation, both heavenly and earthly, was designed for the single purpose of increasing the Son: to bring forth a bride for the Son that she (while not divine) might join into and participate in the divine nature, the eternal dance: the dance of the Father pouring all of Himself into the Son and the Son in loving response pouring all of Himself into the Father: all though the flow of the Holy Spirit. He is the Lamb slain before the foundation of the earth. Laying down His life is the engine of His eternal nature, it’s in His DNA.
I had heard that one has to personally experience a total eclipse to really appreciate the fullness of the event, of the sensory overload. The stories were right: from shock, to amazement, to awe, to wonder, to joy, to celebration, to appreciation, one is left spellbound as the Father reveals the character of His Son, how much He loves Him, and how much He desires to enlarge Him. This painting of love, in glorious living expression, is better than any 3 dimensional 4K hi-resolution movie ever made. And it was played on the biggest screen imaginable! So fasten your seat belts, we are about to take a virtual tour through the best E-ticket ride of the week as the Father expressed His love for the Son:
In totality, the lights dim in the theater so that the audience can see, at high noon, the Son’s beautiful crown of glory (the sun’s corona) that the Father has placed upon Him: our true King: Christ the Lord. (It just so happens that it was at high noon (the sixth hour) that Jesus met the Samaritan woman at a well, and He told her His-story. And, her reaction? Well… (John 4)).
In totality, the solar atmosphere is made visible and glorifies the moon with white wispy solar wind-blown cloud-like jets of plasma projecting out into millions of miles deep into space. One can only see this corona in total eclipses of the sun and the movie Maker shows in actuality how she is beautifully adorned in the Spirit and the Glory of the Son.
In totality, the veil of the light blue sky that normally hides the stars behind the daytime celestial dome, turns to deep royal see-through blue that speaks of His Royal Son, the King, who rules over both heaven and earth.
In totality, the brighter stars and planets appear from behind the veil and remind us there is a Story being told right over our heads every day. In this particular event, the sun was right next to the star Regulus in the heart of the constellation of Leo the Lion who is, in the grand story, our Lion: our King. The moon (bride) was nested perfectly inside the sun (Son) in the very heart of the lion. Let not the veiled Story go “over our head” our whole life: day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade and not know the story of His eternal purpose: Christ in y’all the hope of glory. As she sees the universe aligned and the story behind the veil, she sings to him in loving response.
In totality, the fully sunlit day instantly turns to a glorious 360 degree sunset that frames Him and Her at center stage in the dark zenith of the theater.
In totality, the city lights ignite out of the darkness as a witness and celebration to His true light in the heavenlies.
In totality, there is wondrous applause in the earth as hot air balloons glow in the dark sky from the burst of flame that keep them airborne and fireworks brightly explode in celebration.
In totality, the atmosphere instantly cools to nighttime temperatures and breezes begin to flow to remind us how the Son loves walking with His bride and talking about His fellowship with the Father in the cool of the day: a wonderful picture of how the trinity has enlarged the dance to a fourth: the cool flow of the wind of the Spirit creates the perfect setting as the Son through the Spirit pours out the passion of His all-consuming love of the Father into the heart, mind, and soul of His bride and she in loving response pours her love and life back into Him.
In totality, the moon is hiding herself in the fullness of His intense glory. Remember the moon is a picture of ekklesia, His bride, His body. She, through her body of dirt, unfolds the expression of His light in measured brightness that those delicate creatures standing on the earth might behold His Glory with the naked eye. Hidden inside her body is the overwhelming full glory of the Son. Inside of her (both individually and corporately) dwells the fullness of the Godhead. Christ is in the Father and the Father is in Him. And Christ is in us’all, the hope of glory. As she stands in the heavenlies, fully arrayed in His glory (the corona), creation is astonished at the beauty of the Him-and-Her joined together as One. She is in Him and He is in Her. What a magnificent sight!!!!!
In totality, we are singularly focused on Him. He is the true singularity. He is that one thing. The only thing we are focused on. When we look at Him we see that He and she are one.
In totality, the birds and animals begin to behave in nocturnal rhythms, getting ready for sleep: a type and shadow of His deep sleep. While in His deep sleep from the cross, she was taken from his side and is now glorified in the heavens. When the soldier plunged a spear into His side, blood and water poured forth: a metaphor in the natural realm for the birth of Ekklesia in the spiritual realm.
In totality, the full disk of the spherical moon blocks the sunlight so that the sun’s corona is made visible in expression. Two important mechanisms are critical here. The moon has to be at the right distance from the earth (she’s tied to the earth but not of it) and the right size. If the globe of the moon were even a bit smaller, the corona of the sun could not be made manifest. Even in the last moments before totality, the sun is extremely bright and one still cannot see the corona. It takes every grain of sand, collectively membered in unity, as one, to form the moon as perfectly dimensioned in order to block the brightness of the sun and reveal the corona. Attracted to each other through invisible forces (of gravity: a picture of the Spirit of Christ), each member of the whole functions, in the eating and drinking of Christ together, in a shared life in Christ to collectively reveal the King’s glorious crown. Through the collective functioning of her whole body He is made known as the King that is truly crowned in glory. We all are all called as kings and priests in the house (body) of Christ. Without each member fully functioning, His glory will not be revealed to those in the “narrow path” of totality (only those within the “narrow” corridor of a 70 mile wide zone of totality will see this corona of the sun). When we make Him, our narrow way, our totality, His Kingship (corona) will be seen. Jesus is Lord. But not only does she exhibit the functioning of her whole and complete body, she is tied to the earth. She is in the world but not of it. Seated in heavenly places, she can participate in the divine nature. She knows her place in the dance. She has to be in perfect standing with the sun. In order for the glorious crown to be made visible, she not only has to match the outer contours of the sun (in spherical form), but she stands at exactly the right distance away from the earth in relation to the sun and hides His nature (intense light) inside her. How magnificent is the Maker of that reality!
In totality, the moon and sun are aligned creating maximum tidal forces. When she is aligned in Him, the whole earth feels the force of their unity. It’s when individual members of the body, the ekklesia of Christ, and Christ are aligned as one, all heaven and earth can noticeably feel His pull.
In totality, the corona enshrouding her is huge to more than several diameters of the moon and is pearlescent in color. He is the pearl of great price. He is the gold, precious stone, and pearl formed in the rivers of the garden. Gold is purified in the forging fires of travail, precious stone is formed through intense heat and pressures of life, and pearl is layered nacreous material formed over the sharp edged particles of relentless irritations. Christ is the healing beauty to her jagged edged history. Close up pictures of the moon shows her roughness caused from ages of volcanic eruptions flooding from deep within (the maria or “seas”: the dark spots we see and say there’s a face of a man in the moon) and meteoric hammering from without. The moon is an apt metaphor for a smashed together people composed of both formerly Jew (religion/babylon) and formerly gentile (egypt/world) into one New Humanity where there are no differences of slave or free, male or female, rich or poor. Just one big dirt ball of a New spherical Humanity that if squished into a cube would be 1500 nautical miles on a side: a picture of the new Jerusalem, the new City where Jesus is totally and completely, Lord. And in totality, this new humanity shows forth the light and life of the Lord who rules in the heavenlies as His light is hidden inside His dirt ball people. The moon herself can be seen even in the darkness of totality: the portions of the earth not under eclipse reflects lower intensity light back toward her in which case her dark body subtly reveals her cratered and darker seas of past travail. But on the other hand…
In totality, the moon, on her side facing the sun, as always (except during lunar eclipses), reflects the sun’s light in full expression back to the sun. In the case of the ekklesia, she reflects the fullness of His Glory back to Him. From His perspective, looking at her, in the terrific splendor of His exceeding brightness, she is absolutely spotless and without blemish. She is beautifully clothed in white raiment: a people from many walks of life, pressed together into community where the boundless joy of His indwelling light and life fills her who he has clothed in white garments and they are skipping and leaping across the hills as if in 1/6 gravity.
In totality, the moon and the sun are no longer two but one. What God has joined together…
In totality, her weakness is made strong. The moon, compared to the sun is but a smidgeon of a speck of dust, yet she, in her orbital dance, is designed to capture the fullness of the sun’s intense light inside of her leaving only the crown of glory for the fragile beholder to see when only in the narrow path of totality on the earth. The bride in humility reveals the glory of Her Lord. The term “humility” comes from the Latin word humilitas, a noun related to the adjective humilis, which may be translated as “humble”‘ but also “grounded” or “from the earth”‘ since it derives from humus (earth). Humus is the broken down organic material in the soil. In her brokenness the bride reveals Christ.
In totality, we see her disappear and then instantly He crowns her in glory. Death comes first and then resurrection. Christ is the resurrection. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
In totality, dancing solar prominences produce ruby colored tongues of fire along the outer edge of the moon reminding the ekklesia: she is covered in His blood. Echoing the cosmic drama on the day of Pentecost, tongues of fire came on the bride: a one New Humanity formed from many tribes, people’s, and languages: reversing the curse of the Tower of Babel. The flaring solar prominences are images of her cruciform life in Him.
In totality, the moon is black, reminding us of the Song of Solomon where, the Bride declares she is “black but lovely,” and the bridegroom declares in loving response that she is “the most beautiful among women.” Her darkness is swallowed up in light.
And at the edge of totality, lasting only moments, the last remaining rays of sunlight permitted through the valleys on the edge of the moon form bright beads of glittering spots at the edge of the moon’s darkened disk. For an instant, it looks like a diamond wedding ring hanging in the sky. (These are called Baily’s Beads.) And the moon (the bride) is wearing it (Him). She is adorned with precious stone (diamonds) through the light of her Husband.
In totality, ones sees that Jesus is Lord. Only the Lord of creation could make it all so perfectly designed that in the seasons and rhythms of the celestials there could be such a perfect manifestation and summarization of the mystery; of the reason for everything ever created: all unfolding within a two minute depiction. I’m reminded that in the game of American football there is near the end of the first half and the last half of the game a 2 minute warning. It’s when the whistle blows and the game stops. Everyone looks up (at the scoreboard) and the teams swap end zones. The players get the opportunity to look at things from a new perspective as they finish the game. It seems that is what the Lord is doing today in the midst of His people.
In totality, the sun and the moon are hidden and through the mechanics of the eclipse, and only then, the normally invisible corona is displayed in intense beauty. Ekklesia is the corporate visible image of the invisible Lord.
In totality, we see only her glory in Him and she is absolutely, breathtakingly, beautiful, beyond compare. She is Christ in collective human expression. She is His increase: as she hides in Him, …as she decreases, He increases.
In totality, the beholder can see that it is already finished. The reason, purpose, and culmination of all of the created realms in both heaven and earth for all eternity is summed up in a two minute event: an expression of the Son enlarged and made visible through a corporate humanity filled with His life: A new humanity invisible to the world but to those walking in the narrow way, to those looking up, to those who are beholding the life of the Lord of all creation, they will see the beauty of the Son and His increase: His bride.
And so that’s what I saw in totality… in this magnificent 2 minute trailer: a foreshadow of the soon-to-be- released movie. To summarize, the eclipse and totality are all about the brilliant white light of his “life” on earth, occluded in the ball of dirt depicting his “death”, the explosive bursts of energy shooting through the moon’s valley of death into resurrection life, It’s all about the marriage between a Him and a Her. In her crucified life it is no longer she who lives, but it is Christ who lives in her. The life she now lives in the dirt ball above, she lives by faith in Him, who loved her, and gave Himself for her. And in watching the dance between them, all creation, both in heaven and in the earth, will be astonished at the beauty, the glory, and the magnificence of the marriage of the Son and His bride, the ekklesia of the Lamb.
Consider this your invitation.