Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Between the sinless birth and sin-bearing death...

With the "He Changed My Life" series currently in our evening services looking through the interactions Jesus had with people in the Gospel of Luke, I have been reminded again of the ministry that took place during Jesus' life. We constantly (and for good reason) reflect of his substitutionary sacrifice for the propitiation of our sins (His work on the cross), because belief in this is what saves... but for living day to day life as a Christian here and now, there is no better source for encouragement, example, correction and guiding than Jesus himself.
Most theologies seem to move from a sinless birth to a sin-bearing death, and most ignore all that lies in between. This is a terrible misstep since Jesus' ministry, beginning in Galilee with his baptism by John and ending in Jerusalem with his crucifixion, puts into motion crucial events in the divine drama of redemption. Let us remember that the books we call "Gospels" narrate Jesus' redemptive death as the climax to his messianic career, and that career should be part and parcel of our study.
~Michael Bird, Evangelical Theology, p375
Jesus spent a lot of time teaching, and this teaching was regarding either the coming of the kingdom of God, what the kingdom of God was, or proper living for those in the kingdom of God.   He especially poured his knowledge and example into twelve Apostles who became the fathers and spreaders of His church.  Within his teaching, and the proclaiming of the Apostles of what Jesus taught them, was the source to the restoration of Israel (which they had been waiting for for so long) and the inclusion of all nations into the family of God.

Israel had been waiting for a Messiah who would bring about the restoration of their nation which God had promised.  Jesus didn't bring a physical restoration by driving out the Roman occupying force and setting himself up as the king on a throne in this nation.  Instead Jesus taught that God's kingdom was more important than the earthly kingdom, and that this was what God had intended all along... that people would be able to come to Him - that the Holy Spirit would dwell within humankind and a spiritual kingdom would be established.  The only way this could happen was for Jesus to go to the cross.  But His life was spent teaching about what He was about to bring about.

So we can turn to Jesus for so much more than salvation - even though salvation is our primary need.  I hope as people have heard the "He Changed My Life" messages (available on to listen to if you aren't a regular attendee)  that they have seen some of these other areas where Jesus changes who and what you are!

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