Jesus is the Father’s servant-son who has come in the power of the Spirit to reclaim us for the kingdom of God. In him the power of God’s reign assaults the whole realm of evil in order to set us free for God. And yet he comes among us as the Lord who serves in meekness and lowliness. As the lowly servant, he invades the realm of darkness and overcomes by humbly submitting to the violence of the violent. He storms his way in meekness into the very centre of evil in order to liberate us from the powers of darkness.
The climax of Jesus’ triumph over the dark powers that rule over us is the cross. There the holy servant-son becomes sin to do away with sin. He surrenders to the powers and authorities in order to disarm them, making a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. By his death, he broke the power of him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil. And so death itself could not stand against him, for the servant-son dies to bring about the death of death.
That is the great triumph of the one who is now risen as Lord over all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And in his name, we now give joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.
The dying and rising of Christ brings the present evil age to an end replacing it with a new one. We did not do anything at all to make this happen. Nevertheless, when Jesus was crucified, we were crucified with him. Christ died for us and we died with him. When God raised Jesus to newness of life, as the new man, we were raised with him. Furthermore, when God exalted Jesus to his right hand we were exalted with him. Now our lives are hidden with Christ in God.
Our knowledge of the new man, and of who we are as the new humanity in him, is unveiled to us in living encounter with Jesus. Only as the Spirit of Christ opens to us the mystery of Christ do we know anything of this newness. For the new humanity is hidden in Jesus, the new man, who is hidden in God.
As those who now know the new man, we share in his mission of making known the truth that is hidden in Jesus. We do so, as the one who is hidden unveils himself in and through us as his living body. We live in him and he lives in us as his own body in which he is all and in all. And as he lives in and through us we share in his ongoing mission of unveiling the hidden mystery of Christ to the world. That is his gift to us until the day when he is revealed to the whole world, then we also will be revealed with Him in glory.
The risen Christ is the new man. In him the new humanity comes into existence according to God’s eternal purpose. God’s intention was always to create this unique human in whom all other humans would share in his communion with the Father in the Spirit. Adam was a mere type of this true man, a shadow. Before Adam was made, God chose his own Son to be the true man in whom his purpose for humanity would be accomplished.
In the outworking of this purpose Jesus is the turning of the ages. His dying brought an end to the old Adamic age under the power of sin and death. His rising brought into existence a new age of freedom and life in God. That means a radical shift in the human situation. The old has gone; the new has come.
By the Spirit, we now share in the joy and freedom of the new humanity together. And in doing so we openly and confidently bear witness to the reality of the new humanity that came into existence when Jesus was raised to newness of life.
We cannot pride ourselves in this newness because we found it exclusively in him. And only when he found us in pure grace. So we never forget for a single moment that we are new humanity only in union with that true man who is different from us. We are also aware that our knowledge and experience of new humanity will continually grow only as we are focussed entirely on this one. We, therefore, do not look aside to any other.