Steadfast Love #5

THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS
Theme Blog: Blog-Post #5 Theme (Version 5.24.19)
 
Those first 4 posts were my introduction to this whole series. In those posts I am displaying “the steadfast love” of God in its beautiful impact on real people – Jim Ward, Kurt Lutjens, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. That “steadfast love” of God, described in a variety of ways throughout scripture, is an absolutely wonderful reality that fills the universe with God’s glory, Isaiah 6:3.  It was this wonder of  God’s love that was at work in the hearts of those 3 men that I am signalizing as key to this blog.
 
This was my introduction to this whole blog series.  Now I want to give you what this “steadfast love” was pointing out to us.  This “steadfast love” of God so frequently mentioned in the Old Testament is ALWAYS pointing to THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS!  That amazing Redemptive event is the key to our salvation. It is what God was promising to believers in Genesis 3:15 and it is the event that fulflls that great promise of God.
 
My dear friends, this is the point of the whole Bible.  THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS is like a Mt. Everest of human history and of human literature.  Nothing in history compares in sheer excellence and wonder to this towering reality.  Nothing in human literature comes close in grandeur and glory to this awesome wonder.
 
I must confess at this point to a kind if hopeless sense of inadequacy in my effort to communicate anything like the fullness of this mighty act of God, THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS! It seems to me that Good Friday and Easter come and go – and we keep trying to give something like an adequate description to our Savior’s work of Redemption described here, BUT!!!!…
 
 But our most eloquent efforts sound like so much mumbling and stumbling around for words.  We are in effect working on the definition of the word, “ineffable.”  We use that word in hymns like, “O Worship the King.” In the 6th verse we sing, “O measureless might! Ineffable love!” Using that word, we are simply saying, “This is beyond our ability to express!” And how true it is that the love of God is a reality that surpasses all human language.
 
This is what we are saying when we refer to THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS! We are describing the supreme act of God’s love for us!  It is this wonderful reality that was working in the hearts of Jim Ward, Kurt Lutjens and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  My hope is that we can keep this powerful reality before us as we continue this whole blog-series.   
 
Now, though I still feel sadly staggery and stumbly, I want to move on to what I consider to be the major application of this wonderful truth to our lives and to the life of the whole world.  I am not quoting scripture here, but simply stating this in my own words that I have based on scripture. I am trying to state this in a simple, straightforward way in order to engage you.  I want to get you thinking about this, talking with your friends, even writing me back.  There are practical and absolutely wonderful applications here that deserve such attention from you.  Here is my simple statement:
 
GOD HAS PLACED THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
AT THE CENTER OF OUR LIVES AND AT THE CENTER OF HUMAN HISTORY
TO ASSURE HIS CHILDREN OF HIS STEADFAST LOVE FOR US.
 
Though I did not quote scripture to introduce this theme-idea, I must confess that John 3:16 was influencing me.  How can anybody write anything about the Bible without being influenced by John 3:16?  Before Jesus gave Nicodemus that beautiful and powerful text, He had been explaining to him in John 3:7 that he “must be born again!” Jesus had been explaining that it all starts there, at the new birth. Like every other sinner, Nicodemus had to have a brand new beginning.  The Holy Spirit had to intrude into the life of Nicodemus and give Him a new nature.  It is crucial to see that Jesus was planning to die and rise again so that the Holy Spirit could give Nicodemus a new nature.  And it is wonderful beyond words (ineffable) that Jesus actually did this- He died and rose again so that His own DEATH AND RESURRECTION could be used by the Holy Spirit to transform Nicodemus.  
 
This is the Gospel! This is what Jesus is doing for each of us to transform each of us.  It is what He is doing for this world to transform it.  That is wonderful good news for us and for the world.
 
CLOSING POINT: GOD HAS AN AGENDA
In my theme-statement above I am especially hopeful that you will recognize what I am calling: GOD’S AGENDA.  I am saying that God has sovereignly placed something at the center of your heart and at the center of human history. What God has placed at the center of your heart and at the center of history is
THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS!  That awesome reality of his great love is going to transform us and our world.   
 
I will further develop these ideas in later posts, but I want you to see right away that God has an agenda and that God’s agenda is the agenda that is going to win the day.  God’s agenda is going to overpower the agenda of fallen mankind and His agenda is going to establish His way in the world with over-powering love, amazing Grace, absolute sovereignty, final triumph!
 
I am attaching the II Cor. 4:6 diagram which pictures what I am saying in my last paragraph above.  Notice the number “5” in the right hand corner of that diagram.  That #5 is indicating the 2nd Coming of Jesus. The 2nd Coming of Jesus is the last point on the diagram and is pointing to the last redemptive event on our Savior’s AGENDA.  Hopefully this diagram will help you understand and receive this remarkable picture of our Savior’s ultimate triumph!  In joyful anticipation of the 2nd Coming, right now we can begin our forever celebration of THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB!

–Pastor Paul Alexander
 

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