Archive for the 'cross' Category
Webster’s dictionary definition of the word Sacrifice
“a: destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else b: something given up or lost the sacrifices made by parents”
The interesting part of this definition is the the word surrender. We know that Jesus sacrificed his very soul for everyone whether they wanted it or knew it, yet he give and sacrificed his own soul anyway. Yes, he really did it without anybody really knowing what he was doing for them. So are we to sacrifice our souls for Jesus? Well, yes in a sense, on a cross like him? No, we are to surrender our souls in the sense that we surrender our wills, as did the apostles.
All is lost. All is lost. We thought he was the one. We thought he would save us. We thought at long last our redemption had drawn near–that after a century of occupation we would be free, that the songs of Zion could once again be sung in a free Judah with a son of David on the throne. We had dared to dream along with him that there would be a beautiful tomorrow, a bright future when justice and peace would kiss and God’s reign would stretch forth from his holy city. When he rode into Jerusalem, we rejoiced and shouted “Hosanna,” but he did not save. Darkness fills the land and a deep darkness in our troubled hearts, for this Messiah is no more.
Here’s part THREE of the four part booklet – The Two Adams, by Homer D. Baxter. This is the first half of Part II – with the last half of it (or the final quarter) to come next week. A fitting topic (The SECOND Adam) to present here this weekend where we celebrate the Resurrection of our Messiah!
The book by Paula Fredrickson, of the same title, is an astounding short read. It is an attempt to understand the crucifixion of Jesus historically. Why did the Jewish rabbi named Jesus die the death of a violent revolutionary? Of course the simple answer would be that he was a violent revolutionary – yet absolutely no direct evidence remotely hints that he was. All indications are that Jesus led a peaceful, arguably pacifist, movement. Fredrickson notes that if Jesus did lead a violent revolutionary movement, his followers along with him would have been crucified. James, the new leader of this movement lived in Jerusalem after the crucifixion. He moved freely there with no worry for his life. This is the fundamental paradox Fredrickson seeks to answer.
“The kingdom of God of which Jesus spoke had a decidedly political character, and all the apocalyptic writers so regard it. The Messiah with the twelve judges of the twelve tribes was expected to rule over the land (Matt. xvi. 27, xix. 28); the Judgment Day was to have its tortures of Gehenna for the wicked, and its banquet in Paradise for the righteous, to precede the Messianic time (Matt. viii. 11-12, xviii. 8-9; Luke xiii. 28-29, xiv. 15-24); the earth itself was to produce plenty of grapes and other fruit of marvelous size for the benefit of the righteous, according to Jesus‘ own statement to John (Papias, in Irenæus, “Adversus Hæreses,” v. 33-34).”
Before Pilate the sole charge could be attempted rebellion against the emperor. In some way, it would appear, the claim to be king of the Jews (or possibly of a kingdom of heaven) was made before him by Jesus himself, as is shown by the inscription nailed up in derision on the cross. To Pilate the problem presented was somewhat similar to that which would present itself to an Indian official of to-day before whom a Mohammedan should be accused of claiming to be the Mahdi. If overt acts in a disturbed district had accompanied the claim, the official could scarcely avoid passing sentence of condemnation; and Pilate took the same course.
Many people suggest that Jesus’ cry of “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me” was the point where the Father could not be with his son because he had become the offering for sin for the world and God can’t be near that. Though the reasoning sounds nice, it is not the case. As this video shows beautifully, Jesus was quoting the first line of Psalm 22, a Psalm which speaks a great deal about the events of Jesus’ last hours. When one follows the text however, we shift from a man who is distraught and weary to one whose hope and faith are in the LORD. Click here to read Psalm 22. That is exactly what was on the mind of the Messiah on the cross – not the current situation he was in – but the end of the story.
Last weekend we held an evangelism conference at Living Hope Community Church in upstate NY. During the conference we focused on what the biblical gospel is and how to speak the gospel of the kingdom and the cross to a world in desperate need. The weekend included teachings, an interactive video workshop, role playing, and an evening out at the park. We wanted to provide an opportunity for those who wanted to try out what they had learned while at the same time not forcing anyone who wasn’t ready to do evangelism. Fortunately a good number of people did speak to people at the park and we had a wonderful time discussing these encounters as well as some related questions regarding evangelism in general Saturday night. The teachings from the conference are now available for free download.
Presented by John Obelenus at the One God Conference, Seattle WA June 1st 2008, commentary by Sean Finnegan. Click here to listen.
John seeks to deal with two major issues related to Jesus’ death for our sins: (1) the notion that God identifies with us through the incarnation and atonement (2) a flawed understanding of penal substitution.
Click here to listen to Jesus and Atonement delivered by John Obelenus, Apr 28th 2008, Atlanta Georgia. Commentary by Sean Finnegan.
John’s big idea is summarized in this statement, “We must make sense of Jesus’ crucifixion in light of his ministry, and his ministry in light of his crucifixion.”
- His outline followed these points
- Jesus’ ministry defined by Isaiah
- Substitution from Isaiah
- Jesus’ actions as substitution
- Jesus’ claims about power in light of atonement
- Jesus’ authority challenge leads to trial
- Crucifixion as substitution
Jesus’ self understanding of his ministry is founded upon Isaiah 61 (as reflected both in his first sermon (Lk 4) and in his response to John the Baptist’s inquiry (Mt 11).