Tag Archives: Resurrection

John 21 – Fishers of….fish?

This is an odd chapter to me for several reasons.  First, let’s review what we know about what all is going on around this story.  We know that Jesus was with the Apostles for several years during his ministry.  Jesus, as he predicted, went to Jerusalem and was arrested by the chief priests and religious leaders and handed over to the Romans, who crucified him.  Three days later he was resurrected and shortly after appeared to the women in the Garden and the disciples in the upper room where they were gathered.  Jesus spent some part of 40 days with the disciples and Apostles explaining things to them.  He then ascended to prepare a place for his followers to go.  About 40 days later the Spirit is going to come upon the Apostles with power and they will preach the Gospel in every language and 3,000 will be baptized and begin the church.

So John 21 falls somewhere in the 40 days between the resurrection and the ascension.  He has already appeared to the disciples twice before (v. 13).  And here is what I find interesting…the Apostles seem to lack any sense of purpose or direction.  It appears that they are sitting around one day and Peter says to a couple of the others, “Well, I don’t know about you guys, but I am going fishing tonight.”  And not just casual vacation fishing; this is occupational catching fish in nets for money fishing.  They aren’t out preaching or teaching.  They aren’t in prayer or even meeting in an upper room any more.  There are only a few of them there.  It seems like they don’t really know what’s next.

There is an interesting thing here that we see in almost every text where Jesus appears to people after his resurrection: they sort of recognize him.  There is always this suggestion that they recognize him and can tell that he is who they know he is, but also an implication that he looks a little different.  Jesus, as the firstborn of among the dead is in his resurrection body and we, as Christians can look forward to our own resurrection body someday.  And what seems to be the case is that we will be different yet recognizable.

It’s also weird to me that Peter puts his outer garment on and then jumps in the water.  Apparently a strong swimmer to swim fully clothed.  I also like that we are told exactly how many fish they caught, which is apparently far beyond what nets can usually hold without breaking.  Perhaps this should be known more as the miracle of the super strong nets.

The story then moves to the three part questioning of Peter’s love for Jesus.  Of course, by the third questioning Peter is hurt.  His best friend and the one who he proclaimed to be the Messiah is questioning his loyalty and love for him.  It’s hard to know if Jesus is showing some undoing of the three denials in way that is getting back at Peter or has some redemptive force.  It’s also possible that Jesus is just really trying to drive home the importance of taking care of the “sheep” or followers of Jesus.

And then, just as we come to the end of that somehow redemptive, somehow commissioning conversation Jesus tells Peter in some cryptic way how he is going to die.  Church tradition holds that Peter was crucified upside down on a cross.  What’s really somewhat humorous is that Peter looks over at the disciple whom Jesus loved (presumably the Apostle John and author of this Gospel), and he asks Jesus, “What about him?”  This is a grown up version of a conversation I have with my toddler children on a fairly consistent basis…”How come I have to _______ while she gets to __________?  That’s not fair.”  Jesus simply responds, “What business is that of yours?”  Good answer Jesus.

Finally, the entire Gospel ends with John stating that this is simply a snapshot of the endless volumes that could be written about all of the things Jesus did and said during his lifetime, which is a pretty powerful conclusion to the book.  On the other hand, it’s almost that John just said, “Well, I guess that’s enough.  I couldn’t ever tell you everything, but that’s enough.”

And on that note…the end.


Posted by on April 23, 2013 in John, Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , , ,

John 12 – What Are You Lifting Up?

Jesus is presented as always being in control. This is one of the things I have grown to love about the Gospel of John each time I read it. His life isn’t taken from him. He gives it. They go to stone him. He walks away. Jesus announces that it is time for the son of man to be glorified. This is at the central point of this passage, which begins with Jesus being prepared for burial, and ends with Jesus talking about his death.

Jesus says, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He says this right after his is told that the Greeks would like to see him. The mystery of the cross is that the whole world would become the Children of God. Every person is able to come to God through Christ. Jesus explains clearly that his death is not a tragedy but a victory. His death produces life and then he calls his followers to follow his example. If you love your life, you will lose it. If you have your life in this world, you will keep it for eternity. If you lift up your life, you have already received your glory. When you lift Christ up, you will receive honor from the Father. When Christ is lifted up, the whole world will be drawn to him. Judas lifted up himself and money. Mary lifted up Christ. What are you lifting up?!

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 5, 2013 in Bible Blog, John


Tags: , , ,

John 11 – Dead Men Walking

By the beginning of John 11, the disciples are keenly aware that their lives are in serious danger because of their relationship with Jesus.  They have just escaped Judea where the Jews tried repeatedly to capture and/or kill him.  Now, Jesus learns of Lazarus’ illness (and after a two day delay) he tells his disciples they are going back.  This section has several important things that need to be highlighted.

First, it is uncomfortable that Jesus waits two days before going to his friends.  However, the Gospel of John

“Can somebody get me out of these rags?”

does not have a problem with people suffering for a time so that Jesus can relieve their suffering and bring glory to God.  We’ve seen this with the blind man in chapter 9 and again here.  It’s important to remember that by the time of this writing, John has seen many of his own friends tortured and killed because of their faith so that God may be glorified.  While I don’t want to spend too much time on this, John might suggest that there is something about being the people of God that seems to require God’s glorification through his people’s suffering.  This is not to say that God desires our suffering, but it does recognize that suffering is part of any life of faith and that when its overcome God is glorified.

Secondly, there is no hint of a doubting Thomas in this story.  In fact, if we spent more time reading this chapter we might refer to him as Faithful Thomas.  The Apostles are convinced that if they turn around and go back into Judea that the best possible outcome is that they can die alongside Jesus.  For several days they have just been relieved to not be scared of being killed (a fear I have never really known) and now Jesus wants to march right back into it.  Thomas is not dissuaded by this fear in the least.  In fact, he boldly and faithfully states that they must go with Jesus into the danger they just escaped.

Third, John continues his theme that nobody understands Jesus.  Jesus says that they must return because Lazarus has fallen asleep (meaning died) and the Apostles respond in shock, “Jesus, there are several non-miraculous cures for sleeping: alarm clocks, roosters, the sun…”  For John, Jesus was the light and the entire world struggled to understand it.  This chapter includes just one more example.

The story then moves to the home of Mary and Martha and the grave of Lazarus.  It’s important to know that Lazarus had been dead for four days at this point.  There was some belief at that time that it took several days for the spirit to leave the body (for a person to be “all dead”).  Four days was well outside of that period.  So when Jesus commanded that Lazarus “Come out” it is clear that Jesus has authority over the living and the dead.  This is a man who can make good on his promise to bring Resurrection to all who believe.  

Then, the Jewish leaders and the Sanhedrin see what Jesus has done and come together.  They don’t know what to do about Jesus, but they aren’t even talking about who Jesus is or where he is from any more.  They don’t care if he is the Messiah or not.  They concede that the signs and miracles he is performing make it impossible for anybody to deny that he is who he says he is.  Their only concern is what little power they still have.  If Jesus unites Israel then Rome will come destroy them and take away their Temple.  It’s important to know that the Sanhedrin is essentially a puppet regime that is given backing by Rome as long as they keep the people from unrest.  The Sanhedrin’s power is also rooted in their role as the keepers of the Temple.  If Rome comes and removes them from power and destroys the Temple then they have lost everything.

So when Caiaphas prophecies that Jesus will die for the Jewish nation and the scattered people of God among the nations, he thinks that it means Jesus’ death will preserve the status quo and in doing so spare Israel from Rome’s wrath.  John understands that this prophecy means exactly the opposite, and that Jesus’ death will redeem all of Israel and God’s people from all nations and that it will shatter the status quo as it exists in Israel, Rome, and throughout the world.

They issue instructions for Jesus to be arrested so they can kill him.  Because Jesus had authority to tell a dead man to walk, the Sanhedrin has declared that Jesus and his followers are as good as dead men walking.  They have no idea what they are in for.

1 Comment

Posted by on April 4, 2013 in John


Tags: , , , , , ,

Hebrews 6 – Beyond the Basics

When it comes to learning, foundations matter.  I remember as a kid in school that every fall we had to relearn everything we had covered the previous year (and then went and forgot during the summer).  My teachers knew that if my foundations from the previous year were not strong they could not continue teaching me new things.  On a side note, it’s this principle that actually makes me an advocate for smaller summer vacations since there is a more continuous teaching process and less “foundation repair” required.

For Christians, we cannot simply stay in kindergarten our entire lives singing the ABC’s.  We must master our letters and then move on.  This is the natural order of things.  Can you imagine walking into a high school classroom and hearing the teacher say, “Students, please stand up and all together let’s sing our ABC’s”?  And yet there are basic foundational teachings of Christianity that people struggle with all of the time.  But it’s often not because we mastered them and then forgot them, but more often is because we never knew them in the first place.

So what are these fundamental teachings the Hebrew writers hopes we have all mastered so we can move to more difficult teachings needed for mature Christians?

  • Repentance from acts of death (sin)
  • Faith in God
  • Instruction about cleansing rites (baptism)
  • The laying on of hands
  • Resurrection of the dead
  • Eternal judgment

I am going to completely ignore the fact that not many churches today to much of anything that looks like the New Testament practice of laying on of hands.  But how much do most Christians know about the reasons we get baptized (or in some cases don’t get baptized)?  How much do we know about the resurrection of the dead, which in the New Testament is shown to be a bodily resurrection?  If we understood this, we would likely have fewer pictures of people floating in the clouds with wings and harps.  Certainly modern Christians have room for improvement in the basics before we even more on to maturity.

The text then talks about how those who move beyond these things and then walk away from their faith cannot come back.  I don’t personally think that Hebrews is attempting to deal with the larger theological question about whether or not fallen Christians can return to their faith.  I understand it to be a continuation of this idea
that dropping out of Calculus to go practice your simple addition is counter to the way things are supposed to work.  Once you are “in” and “beyond the basics” keep moving forward towards maturity.  I think personal experience has brought most of us in contact with Christians who fell away for a time before being restored to their faith.  This passage doesn’t tell us that isn’t possible.

Instead of falling away though, what we should do is stay firmly attached to God’s Kingdom.  Verse 19 goes on to talk about how our Christian hope is an anchor.  Although the metaphor is a little odd because the anchor isn’t on a boat or in the water.  Rather, the anchor goes behind the curtain.  The Jewish audience would have immediately recognized that the curtain was the boundary to the inner sanctuary of the Temple, where God lived among his people.  But Jesus doesn’t anchor us to the Temple.  Rather, Jesus goes behind the real curtain to the real throne room of God, that is heaven.  Our hope in Jesus is the chain that holds us firmly and safely attached to God’s throne room in heaven.

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 7, 2013 in Hebrews


Tags: , , , , ,

Matthew 28 – Appearances and Disappearances

You have to admire the courage of the women who went to look at the tomb.  Mark’s Gospel includes the detail that they went to anoint Jesus’ body, but Matthew simply says they went to look at the tomb.  You have to remember that when Jesus was arrested by a contingent of Temple guards, the Apostles scattered into the night.  When Jesus was testifying before the Sanhedrin, Peter is denying him left and right for fear of being associated with Jesus.  After the crucifixion, they are all huddle together in a room trying to decide what to do and hoping they don’t end up on crosses too.  Meanwhile, the women head right down to the guards who were guarding Jesus’ tomb.  They don’t shy away.  They won’t run from these Roman guards.  They aren’t worried about a stone in the way of the seal placed upon the tomb.  They simply know that what they intend to do is right and that it must be done. It’s no surprise that this kind of courageous faith is rewarded with the first appearance of Jesus after his Resurrection.  Truly this is a great example of faith that we see in these women in this story.

The text then tells us about the guards reporting what had happened to the chief priests.  This is pretty remarkable.  Keep in mind that in about 80 days, Peter and John are going to be standing before this same group of men, testifying that they killed the Messiah and that Jesus then rose from the grave three days later.  This testimony matches that of the Roman guards who saw the angel and the empty tomb.  Not only do the Jewish leaders know that an angel brought Jesus out of the tomb and initiate a cover-up of this fact, but when the Apostles start telling the story they begin to persecute the Apostles.  They even go so far as to pay off the Roman guards and assure them that they can take care of the governor if he hears of their failure.  These are some pretty serious allegations.  This kind of conspiracy makes Watergate look like child’s play.

Finally, Matthew ends his Gospel with the Great Commission, “All authority on heaven and earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  Surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.”  This passage is especially important to me as a minister and also as Northwest gets ready to gear up for our March for Missions effort to raise money to do exactly what Jesus challenges us with right before his Ascension.

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Matthew


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Matthew 22 – Impossible Questions

The task of blogging about everything contained in this chapter is a little daunting, so if I seem brief it is in an attempt to cover some of all of it.

The chapter begins with a parable that is unique in many ways.  Most often with parables, you need to focus on the main point.  If you get into multiple lessons from minor details you are probably inventing those yourself and reading them into the parable.  This one is different because it feels like it ends three times and each time has a different main point.  Personally, I think this is a valuable tool in helping us deal with the inclusive or exclusive nature of the Kingdom of God.

The parable begins with a crowd who has been invited to a feast but ultimately decline.  It doesn’t take much imagination to imagine the people of Israel, especially the religious leaders, as this crowd.  They have been invited to the coronation of the Messiah and reject him.  The rejected him first in Galilee, now in Jerusalem, and this rejection will ultimately lead to the Messiah’s death.  Those who rejected the invitation will now be destroyed (ending number one).  So now the Master will send his messengers into all of the “bad parts of town” inviting in the people who weren’t invited before.  Those people will flock to the feast and be welcomed.  Again, we understand the inclusive nature of the Kingdom of God that welcomes even the most unlovable of people (ending number two).  But if you come to the feast and choose to not dress correctly you will be thrown out.  Even though the invitation is for all, it doesn’t mean there are no standards.  Those who wish to be part of God’s Kingdom must clothe themselves in a way that is fitting of God’s presence or they will be cast out (ending number three).  Most churches/Christians tend to function on one end of the pendulum, being either too exclusive or too inclusive.  This parable explores that pendulum and encourages a more balanced approach that invites and welcomes all while holding people who accept the invitation to God’s standards.

As if cued, those who reject the invitation enter and begin trying to question and trap Jesus.  It’s tough to capture the ambiguity and cleverness of Jesus’ responses in our language and context, but I want to play with these a little bit.  So here is my best understanding of these riddles:

Q1: So Rome came in and conquered us, took our land, made us subservient to them, and now charges us taxes.  Some years back many faithful Jews led a rebellion against this and were crucified across the land.  How about you?  Do you think we should pay this tax to Caesar?

A1: I assume you have some of Caesar’s vile coinage with you…might I see one?  See here is Caesar’s face and the inscription, “Son of God.”  Why don’t you pay Caesar back in his own coin?  And pay God back in his own coin…

Jesus speaks only what is lawful under Roman rule, but the phrase feels revolutionary, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s.”  Additionally, it’s implied that they aren’t giving to God what rightly belongs to God.  Powerful stuff.

Q2: What about a woman who lawfully marries seven men, one after the other, and then goes to the afterlife?  Is she married to all seven?  Clearly there can be no resurrection.

A2:  First of all, there is no need for a family name to be passed on any more since all will be one family.  Secondly, you don’t understand the resurrection.  The reason for marriage was always to be fruitful and multiply.  Without death, that need ends so people will no longer have sexual desires, or a need to be united to a single person in that way.  But clearly there IS a resurrection since God IS the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob….not WAS the God…clearly they are still alive.

Check and mate.

Q3: Whats the greatest command?

A3:  Love the Lord your God.  Also, love your neighbor as yourself.  The rest of the law can easily fall under these two commands.

Then Jesus takes a turn and becomes the riddler:

Q4:  Whose son is the Messiah?  The son of David?  How then can the Psalm say that the Messiah is both the son of David and the Lord of David?

A4:  No response….total befuddlement.

The reason they can’t answer this riddle is because the answer is standing in front of them in the flesh.  Their entire goal was the bring questions to discredit Jesus as the Messiah and they failed.  With a single question of his own Jesus validates himself as the Messiah and leaves their jaws flapping in the wind.


1 Comment

Posted by on January 17, 2013 in Matthew


Tags: , , , , , , ,

1 Thessalonians – An Early Letter From Paul

Paul’s letter to the Church in Thessalonica is one of his earliest and gives us great insight to a number of the doctrines found in Paul, most importantly the teaching of the second coming of Christ. The church in Thessalonica is made up of Jews who have converted, some “God-fearing Greeks, and quite a few prominent women” (Acts 17:4). Some of them turned from idols to serve the “living and true God” (1 Thess 1:9). The church was fairly diverse, comprised of a nucleus of former Jews and newly converted pagans in the middle of a thriving and vibrant city situated in the middle of the Roman Empire.

Interestingly, this is one of Paul’s only encouraging letters. The main problem he is addressing in this letter is not one where the church has been messing up. The main problem he is addressing is that people in the church have died (fallen asleep) before Christ returned. It appears that Paul did not emphasize the resurrection of the dead in his early preaching, if he mentioned it at all, because he seemed to believe that Christ would return in his lifetime. In 4:13, Paul says, “We do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep.” The word ignorant really means “uninformed” and conveys the idea that he is about to give them new information that he has not conveyed to them before. He then gives them a glimpse into the second coming of Christ. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 5:1-11 are arguably two of the most significant eschatological passages in the New Testament.

In chapter 1, our reading for today, we see that the Thessalonians were hard workers because of their faith, people who labored in love, and endured trials because of their hope in Christ. They modeled to all believers how to handle the persecution that came to them. They became models to others because they imitated the Lord. We learn from their example, how to be models to our fellow believers. We need to look at how Christ lived his life and live accordingly. While this seems painfully obvious, early Christians struggled with it as much as we do today. Sometimes we have to be reminded of the simple truths that have not changed: those who follow Christ look like Christ.


Tags: , ,

Nothing is Certain but Death and Taxes…

“Nothing is certain but death and taxes” – Sometime after the fall of mankind Adam proclaimed this factual utterance. The consequence of sin is death and therefore the consequence of life is taxes. This quote has been around for a long time and it is difficult to track down its actual origins so I’ll just assume Adam said it.

We’re in the middle of the political season and the internet is being flooded with bloggers who are spilling out their factual opinions about the proper ways in which our country should be ran. Being the person with strong political interests that I am, I’d rather talk about something more important. Death.

I am currently in Wichita Falls, Tx where I gave the first 18 years of my life. Pretty much all of my family is here, living within a few miles of one another. We have had a lot of meals together and not just on holidays. We have come to another transition point in our family history. My Grandma Marjorie is coming to the end of her life.

While I’ll be sad that my precious Grandmother has passed from this life, I know that she will take hold of the promise that was given in the resurrection of Christ. As we looked at a few weeks ago in 1 Corinthians 15, if there is no resurrection of the dead then Christ didn’t raise either. The Gospel…the Good News…the Hope that we, as followers of Jesus, have…is that death, the consequence of sin, has been conquered on our behalf.

I was looking at my sweet Grandma and had 15:42-44 in mind. She is perishing. There is nothing honorable about the way she looks or what is going on in her body. She is incredibly weak and can’t really even open her eyes. This is the body she was born with. But! She will be raised imperishable, glorified, in power, with a spiritual body. She will be made new again, not with a body that any of us can conceive of, but with a body that has been glorified with Christ.

My Grandmother, who is weak and feeble, was clothed with Christ years ago. She has fought the good fight. She has finished the race. Being clothed with the imperishable, with immortality, “Death has been swallowed up in victory!” because of Christ. “Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” “Thanks be to God! He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”

My beautiful Grandma is ready to be done with this life. She is a beautiful woman of God, warrior in prayer, and the embodiment of the servant Christ. Though she will be missed and this will be a difficult transition for our family, she has victory in Christ and in that we find peace.

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 31, 2012 in Bible Blog, Hot Topics


Tags: , , , ,

1 Corinthians 15 – What Will Be Resurrected?

Paul’s intro to the last section of his letter is quite the attention grabber. “Let me remind you of the gospel I preached to you” would kind of perk up the ears a bit since there is an assumption that you have forgotten the gospel. This gospel saves. You take your stand on it. If you do not hold on to it firmly, you have believed in vain. So…what is this gospel?

Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and was raised on the third day. Up to this point in the letter Paul has been focusing on the cross. He does mention the resurrection back in chapter 6 but it is far from being his focal point. It seems as though one of the major problems in Corinth is that they have stopped believing in the resurrection (v12). If you do not believe we will be resurrected, you have let go of the gospel. So…what is the problem they are having with the resurrection?

Everything in the Christian message hinges on Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. If he didn’t resurrect then there is no gospel. If he didn’t resurrect then death has not been conquered and there is no hope. If he did not resurrect, then we will not be resurrected. If we do not resurrect from the dead then neither did Christ and we are left in our sins.

Jesus is the first fruit of the resurrection. Death came through Adam. Life comes through Christ. Christ conquered death in the resurrection, it will be fully destroyed at the end of time, and therefore there is no need to fear death because you are in Christ. If there is no hope in the resurrection then you should live each day as though it is your last because there is nothing to look forward to.

To deny the resurrection is to deny the gospel. Christ didn’t just die for our sins. He was also resurrected so that death would be conquered. So the question remains…what is the resurrection? Paul gives an analogy to seeds. The kind of seed that is sown is the kind of seed that will grow. The body, as we know it, is just the seed of what is to come. We cannot fully understand what the resurrected body will be but it will be a body nonetheless. All things became broken in the fall of mankind and all things will be resurrected again, each to its own seed. Humans will resurrect as humans, but perfectly as God intended. Animals will be resurrected perfectly as God intended them to be. Birds. Fish. Heavenly bodies. Earthly bodies. Etc. All we be resurrected into the glory of God, perfectly as He intends for them to be.

The seed of your body that was sown perishable will be raised imperishable, in glory, in power, and spiritual. This spiritual body is not to be understood as your soul being resurrected and your body staying in the grave. This is not what happened to Jesus when he was resurrected.

Paul ends by saying that flesh and blood, as we know it, cannot inherit the kingdom of God. We must be resurrected! We will be clothed with the spiritual body and death will be swallowed up in victory. Because death has been swallowed up and we will be raised imperishable, we are to stand firm, unmoved, giving ourselves fully to the work of the Lord because we know that all things will be made perfect, as our Lord is perfect. We do not labor in vein. We are victorious in Christ and death has no hold on us!


Tags: , , , , ,

The Vastness of Jesus’ Sacrifice

There once was a prince who grew up in the royal house. He had no idea what life was like outside the walls of the palace. As his father, the king, grew older he realized more and more that he would have to take on responsibility of ruling the kingdom. As this grew heavier and heavier on his mind he desired to know what life was like for the people he would rule.

In the early hours of the morning he snuck out of the palace without his royal guards. Disguised as a servant, he set out to be amongst the people to observe everyday life. How did the people speak of his father as king? What was it like to be at the bottom of society in this kingdom? His curiosity and questions got the best of him and he was off into the dark hours of the morning.

He found him a nice comfortable piece of ground to sit on near the market and sat back and watched at the city came to life. He was amazed as he watched the people. Their lives were simple. They had pride in their crafts and looked for ways to make their living throughout the day. Occasionally someone would take pity on the beggar that he presented himself to be and tossed a few coins at his feet.

Two men in the market began quarreling over a misunderstanding in their trade. The beggar-prince couldn’t help but step in to resolve the argument. Appalled that the beggar would interfere with a higher class of people they turned their focus to him, ridiculing him, and threw him to the ground. In the heat of the moment he threw off his beggars robe and revealed his true identity. Everyone in the market dropped to their knee and bowed before him. Having revealed his true identity he quickly made his way back to his palace where he had protection and power again. His life simply went back to how things used to be.

A year or so ago I was reflecting on the early Church hymn found in Philippians that is focused on who Jesus is and what He did. It is in this passage that I began to reflect on the sacrifice of Jesus.

“Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a human being,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”
– Philippians 2:6-11

I’ve always had the assumption that when Jesus left heaven, and his place within God (whatever that means exactly I do not know), he simply went back to going about his existence as he had always before. It was in this passage that I began to rethink these assumptions.

Jesus, being God, did not consider using this to his advantage but made himself nothing. He became like one of us, took on the nature of servitude, and even submitted himself to death. This self-emptying seems to be the beginning of his sacrifice. In his death it was God that raised him and then glorified him to the highest place. Jesus was resurrected (1 Corinthians 15) and it is in this resurrected body that he remains at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 8:1; 12:2).

Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is what conquers death and makes us right with God. He didn’t decide to just come down and “play man” for a bit and just go back to things as they used to be. When Jesus made the sacrifice to become a man he entered into this broken creation and submitted himself to God. It is God who then exalts him to the highest place and he forever sits next to the throne of God as the slaughtered lamb as described in Revelation. His sacrifice was eternal. He became like us so that we can become like him in his resurrection. This sacrifice caries a heavier weight for me that he gave up his privilege so that we could then be privileged. He became broken so that we can be made whole again. He is the first fruit of the resurrection and we should be thankful for his weighty sacrifice. Thanks be to God for loving us so much.

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 17, 2012 in Bible Blog, Hot Topics


Tags: , , , , ,