CHRIST - THE NEEDLE’S EYE
By Geoffrey T.Bull
(From “God Holds The Key” Chapter Four)
“He must needs go through...” John
“There must also of necessity be the death.” Hebrews
‘The legs of the lame are not equal...’ This is the reason of the
circular motion of all our human activity. We are creatures of curvature and
gravitation. In deviating from the straight line of His causeway across the
marshes of our lives we find ourselves time and again back at the old point.
Until Saul, blinded by God's light and smitten in conscience, was found praying
in the street called ‘Straight’ he failed to break the lifelong
circles of his pride found in his race, his religion and his scholarship. In
their concentric strength he verily thought with himself that he ought to do
many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
There is a way that seems right to a man but the legs of his thinking are unequal
and in the circling eddy of his life he is swept to delusion and on death.
In refreshing contrast it is written of the Christ* ‘His legs are as pillars
of marble set upon sockets of fine gold.’ He stands in the perfect balance
of grace and truth; erect in all the fairness of unsullied manhood; rooted in
all the essential nature of His deity. As man in all His walk, He pointed heavenward,
pillard in light, marbled in beauty, adorning all doctrine of the Father. His
flawless righteousness upheld entire superstructure of God's purpose of grace.
With Him there was no variableness or shadow caused by turning. His heart was
large with the largeness of God, running in the way of His commandments He is
the constant Christ.
As God His legs are set upon sockets of fine gold. All His steps are established
in the absolute virtue of Hid Godhead. He does not bring to us merely a further
glimpse of God, but rather is He God Himself in view. When we see Him, we see
the Father in all the excellence of His character and in all the greatness of
Luke, the beloved physician, intimate in skill with the sons of men, take the
thread of Christ’s manhood and weaves it with the Spirit’s touch
into the fabric of the sacred record. John the beloved disciple, intimate in
counsel with the Son of God, handles with tender majesty the pure gilt strand
of deity, Thus as we turn the pages of these complementary Gospels and trace
the walk of Jesus Christ our Lord on earth, we find the poetic words of Solomon
exquisitely fulfilled. In Luke ‘His legs are as pillars of marble. In
John ‘they are set in sockets of fine gold’.
Let Luke’s vision of our Lord come first before our minds. The co-ordinating
factor of all our movement is the necessity imposed of will. This was supremely
so with Christ. He had power to do all things yet chose to do one thing. The
will and love of God were His all-excluding passion.
‘Even Christ pleased not Himself.’ He was utterly consumed in the
zeal of His Father’s house.
As man He ever moved for God.
As God He ever moved for man.
The will of His Father was His only portion and, wherever He might stand or
walk, His Father’s whole delight found fullest expression in His life
and work. He had accepted the stern necessity at the core of true redemption
and made it His only joy for the sake of God and man.
Thus when He treads His way across the scroll of Luke, He is a man bound with
the cords of sacrifice to the moment of His receiving.
Galilee, Samaria, Jericho cannot hold Him. His face is steadfast. He is set
in the way that leads to Jerusalem.
Beneath the altar the fires are already kindling.
The dominance of the great necessity is complete. In His own arresting epitome
He enshrines it all.
‘I must walk today and tomorrow and the day following.’
‘The third day’,
He affirms, ‘I shall be perfected.’
So He walks to a finish.
‘His legs are as pillars marble’, immovable in their direction,
incomparable in beauty, set on the earth, yet lifting men to God.
Here is the obedience of the one man by whom many would be made righteous.
‘All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own
way’; but Christ Jesus is the man in whom God can rest again upon the
earth, a man, He says, who shall fulfil all My will.
Who can fathom the immeasurable cost to Christ of meeting all the necessity
of the planned atonement?
He, who would purge our sins, must himself be made sin, ere we could stand accepted
in His righteousness. He who would be our peace, must first become accursed,
ere we could be at one with God in Him. He, who would be our joy, must first
be Man of Sorrows, ere He could bring us singing to the courts above. As the
Mediator, He must needs dies to bring us into His inheritance. As Minister of
the sanctuary, He must needs be touched with the feelings of our infirmities
and maintain us in the house of God with His own blood.
All his life on earth from the first day to the last, in all its moments, and
all its places, was utterly controlled by the need to die in the perfect appointment
All his steps were mastered by the concept of ‘the tree’.
The fulfilment of the will of God in a man entails a life lived vertically.
Such a man has links with God above, whilst living on the earth beneath, and
thus becomes a pillar of testimony. To put it in a word, he is ‘upright’.
His life is a straight line Godward, and as such he becomes the constant butt
of all the lateral earthbound assertions of mankind. It is this that forms the
Cross. Through the needle’s eye of that drastic intersection is the way
into the Kingdom. It is the place where Jesus died. The finishing point, where
the total will of God and all His grace and truth was cut across by the total
will of man in all his rebellion and defiance. As Jesus walked, His every step
was encountered by the crosswire of man’s selfwill. Every moment for Him
was in this sense a foretaste of Calvary; God’s will in Him, cut across
by human sin, human judgements and human disdain. There was a sense in which
man’s will in its ultimate anti-God expression would inevitably seek to
annul the will of God, expressed so perfectly in Christ. This culminating point
of intersection where sin would abound its very limit, God chose of His own
volition, to make His necessity. Where sin abounded, His grace would much more
abound. Where man sealed his doom, there God would open His fountain of forgiveness.
Where man fully expressed his enmity, there God would fully express His love.
Where human alienation from the most high appeared to be irrevocable, there
God would be in Christ reconciling the whole world unto Himself. Thee God of
holiness is the God who cares. What righteousness demanded, His love would not
fail to give. Thus does He contemplate the Cross, and count it needful for the
Son to die that men might live. The crisis of His walk becomes now more apparent.
No step must lag or swerve. He must walk to the third day. He must live out
each moment in the principle of what He would achieve in death. Luke sums up
His life later when he says, **’He went straight through doing good.’
Hesitation was totally foreign to the resolution of our Lord.
As the second man He not only walked with God,
but He accomplished all things for God.
He emerged triumphant through death and resurrection to head a new creation
of human beings subject to the Father’s will.
* Song of Soloman 5:15
** Literal translation of Acts 10:38
By Geoffrey T.Bull
From “God Holds The Key” Chapter Four
Hodder and Stoughton Limited