1Co 2:2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (ESV)
Gal 6:14 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (ESV)
I have this recurring dream. It is more of a recurring theme in a dream. Have you ever had that happen to you? I hope it doesn’t seem too strange but I feel like God wants me to share this one with you.
In these dreams I have been called back into the Navy to help out. They want me to fly again. I was an F/A-18 pilot when I was on active duty. So now five years later, there is some conflict or training or something unusual that they want me to come in and be a mentor or fly a special mission. When I show up it is obvious I am not wanted there. I’m just an old-timer that the higher-ups a have forced on them. In many of these dreams I don’t even have a place to stay on the ship and have to find whatever I can. Even the commanding officer of the squadron I have joined hates me. He is trying to build a case against me so I will have to leave. But all the while I know I have to be there whether they want me or not. I am sure most of you can see a pattern of dysfunction, right? “I just need to get some closure or something so I can move on with my life.” That is what I thought too until I had two dreams back to back that changed my perspective.
In the first dream I was flying some test flights for maintenance on the airplane. I was finding stuff that need to be fixed and it was welcome by the troops working on the airplanes. In previous dreams I had very little interaction with the enlisted guys. (For those that don’t know there is a clear line between officer and enlisted in the military. We are not allowed to be too familiar.) All my previous interaction was with the officers with a few exceptions. In the cases when I had a chance to hang out with the troops is was always amazing. They liked me and really liked having me around. Then the commanding officer got wind of my relationship with “his troops” and really went after me. He had actually falsified evidence against me that would get me put in Leavenworth (military prison). As he brought up the charges I could clearly defend myself of each one but chose not too. In the dream I realized that he really needed the love of God so instead of fighting the charges I actually asked if I could pray for him. Then I woke up. Crazy, right?
In the next dream the commanding officer had had enough. He was ready to take control and bring his own form of justice. He took me down some remote passageway on the ship and hit me with a taser or something like that. I was out cold. I woke up with one wrist handcuffed to a pipe on the wall (lots of pipes on ships) and the other hand free. I was still groggy and just lying there. He was shaving patches of hair off on my scalp. When he made a bare spot he would write a number on the skin. He did this several times. Then he picked up a hammer, a ball-peen hammer. He proceeded to hit me in the head with the rounded side of the hammer on the place he had shaven my hair. I knew somehow that he intended to hit me in each spot the number of times he had written there. I understood then that he intended to kill me. I was angry and thought about defending myself with my free hand but a thought came into my mind; “what would Jesus do?” I saw Jesus in my place and I knew He wouldn’t be angry. So I asked “how could I love this man and not be angry?” I felt Jesus said “because I have already done it.” Then I woke up.
You probably think I am pretty strange and need some therapy. Maybe. But instead I feel that these dreams are an answer to prayer. I have prayed often that I would receive a greater revelation of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Like Paul, I want to know. More than that I want to understand.
I think God was showing me what it was like to be rejected by your own. I believe He was showing me what it is like to be “doing the right thing” and have them come against you. When I came under false accusation it was like what Jesus experienced. My friendship and familiar relationship with the enlisted was like Jesus with the sinners. I was “supposed” to be apart but I was drawn into a relationship with them. I think the commanding officer is like the Jewish leadership. When they saw the influence that Jesus had they became jealous and had to stop Him. He became a threat to them. The Pharisees did whatever they could to bring a case against Jesus but always came up short. They finally took matters into their own hands by turning Him over to the Romans. Jesus willingly surrendered to them. He didn’t fight back. In the end Jesus didn’t defend Himself against their false claims.
Lying there in my dream with certain impending death, subject to unjust corporal punishment, living out a death penalty I wasn’t afraid. When I surrendered to the idea of living in the moment as Jesus would, I felt a surge of His love for this man who intended to kill me. I knew in that moment that the love of God for this man could flow through me even in such a horrible situation. I then knew this is what happened to Jesus on the cross. How about this verse:
Romans 5:8 But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us. (AMP)
Imagine Jesus as fully man. I don’t believe He remembered how He formed Caiaphas or Pilot or “the hammer man” in the womb, but I do believe the Holy Spirit in Him absolutely remembered and loved them all as His greatest creation. I don’t believe the Holy Spirit gave Jesus the memory download about these men but I am convinced that He felt the entirety of the love of God for all of them. I can see Jesus in pain, sure of His immediate future looking at the man driving the nails into His body and loving him more than anyone else on the planet. I believe all that was possible because He was surrendered as a man, yielded to the Holy Spirit and in the will of His Father. This is what a sinless (selfless) man looks like. This is what the love of God looks like. This is what it looks like when God becomes man. Can you picture that?
Now know this: It is His life we live. He is in us and we are in Him. It is His eternal life that flows through our bodies. His experiences, His triumph, His sinless life, His resurrected life, His Heavenly life…is right here, no farther than a breath away. This is how we can be yielded. This is how we can be triumphant. This is how we can BE LOVE. That is amazing.
Seek a greater revelation, please. We all need more. Sometimes God uses our dreams to show us stuff that we can’t see and hear while we are awake and distracted. Keep on dreaming!