It is early in the morning on Easter Sunday 2018. Several scriptures from my studies have been bouncing around in my head over the past weeks. They have come together in a powerful way in preparation and reflection on the great gift we have been given. I put these thoughts to writing for you and hope that you will be inspired and challenged to take courage, act boldly, and live life fully in the knowledge of this truth.
First, the author of Hebrews has again reminded me of who Jesus really is and the perfect fulfillment of the scripture and plan of God.
Hebrews 1:1-4 “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the work of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.”
Note the very first word from whom the message originates, “God”. This introduction of Jesus begins with the authority of God almighty. God has appointed Jesus as heir of all things. It references Jesus as the co-creator of the world. (reference John 1:1 -2). He is the “radiance” of God’s glory and the “exact representation of His nature”. He holds all things together through His power. He has purified our sins and sits at the right hand of God. Jesus is above the angels. Hebrews continues to establish that Jesus is fully God, but can also uniquely relate to us. Because of this he is our perfect high priest. Hebrews 4:14-16 “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.”
Second, I see Jesus in the context of God’s plan to permanently redeem man from his sin. In the last chapter of Romans the apostle Paul is completing his letter to the Roman church and recognizing all those who had helped him and concludes with Romans 16:25 “Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.”
It might be easy to cruise through this last chapter of recognitions and miss the powerful “punchline” delivered in the concluding verse of the last chapter to the Romans. Paul states that their faith has been established on the good news he has taught and according to the preaching of Jesus Christ. Paul refers to the great mystery that has been kept secret for long ages past. Since the creation of man God has had a plan for man. Through the writings of the prophets and according to Gods command He has NOW made this eternal mystery known to all nations. What is this eternal mystery? Through the sacrifice of God’s own Son and His defeat of death, God has delivered His redemption plan for man. Paul has unpacked through his writings to the Romans and recorded for all men in such a powerful way. Romans 8:1 “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” If you want to taste the power of Paul’s gospel listen to John Piper recite this one great chapter. I promise you will not be disappointed. John Piper Romans 8
We know the answer to life’s mystery. The revelation of God’s redemption plan for all mankind is such good news that it cannot be overstated! The thought is so awesome. I am overwhelmed to really comprehend and consume this truth. So what do we do? How does it change the decisions I make, the things I say, the plans I make? I like one of the statements from Focus on the Family’s Truth Project, “If we really believe that what we believe is really real it should have a profound impact on everything we think, say and do. My friend, Brett Moody, shared a thought of being in heaven and telling ghost stories with those who lived before Jesus. “Holy ghost stories” of what it was like to live with the Holy spirit in our life. We know the secret to this mystery of ages and have the spirit of the living of God residing in us. This truth provides liberty to many of life’s fears that capture us. So I leave you with the question that has been confronting me all week.
So how do we then live our life?