Archive for October 2019

New Order

The Jesus story unfolds as the breaking in of the kingdom of God liberating those bound by disease, demons and even death. But eventually death seemed to have the last word as Jesus was brutally executed. Nevertheless, death was not the end of the Jesus story. For by the Spirit the Father raised Jesus from death declaring him to be Son of God in power.

As the followers of Jesus looked back at the cross through the resurrection and by the Spirit they saw that the cross marks the end of one era and the start of another. They were now sure that in Jesus dying and rising the God of Israel has acted to accomplish a new exodus for the whole world.

By the Spirit, we now participate in this new exodus. For us, the old has gone and the new has come as we live in the freedom of the children of God. We are free from all the powers of the old order. We are free in the Spirit to draw near with Jesus crying Abba Father. For by the Spirit we share in Jesus’ relationship with his Father enjoying life with him in God now and forever!

Yes, we are new exodus people living in the freedom of what the Triune God has done, is doing and will do to make all things new.

Free Indeed!

Jesus spoke very little about his suffering and death for us. However, the nearer his ‘hour’ (as he called it) approached the more he was ready to speak little by little about his death and the resurrection to follow. One way he spoke about his dying and rising was as his exodus.

The early believers experienced this new exodus. They actually lived in the freedom of the new exodus even as they looked forward to the future liberation of all things. Within this experience of new exodus a new narrative of God’s saving acts identifies who God is. Israel pointed to their God as the One who brought Israel out of bondage in Egypt. The early Jesus community singled out their God as the One who raised the crucified Jesus by the Spirit. They identified God in this new way by telling the story of Jesus’ dying and rising as the new exodus that sets us all free from the bondage of sin and death.

Just like the early believers, we now share in the freedom of the children of God in union with Jesus by his Spirit. We are free from sin and death and free for God. We live freely in him and he lives freely in us as our life is hidden with Christ in God. And now we await the liberation in fullness. Then the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. This is the new exodus already accomplished, already experienced and already anticipated with sure expectation. “So if the Son sets you free you will be free indeed”.

New Exodus

The Lord liberated his people from oppressive bondage in Egypt. They were now free to enter into a covenant of love with their God. Israel constantly looked backwards to this great liberating event reminding them that their God is the One who set them free from oppressive bondage. Later in their history, through Isaiah, the Lord pointed them forward to a new exodus event. He would act again to liberate them from oppressive exile in Babylon and also from even more oppressive powers. And in this new exodus Israel’s covenant God will prove to be the God of all peoples.

At his transfiguration Jesus spoke to Moses and Elijah about his “departure” which he would accomplish at Jerusalem. The word translated departure in Luke is exodon so they were talking about his “exodus”. The death of Jesus is the new exodus that God promised through Isaiah.

In this new Exodus the lowly servant of the Lord liberates us from all the powers that oppressed us. Through him we are free from sin, death and all the dominion of darkness. And that means we are free for a new covenant of love with God sealed with Jesus’ blood. Within this new covenant we are free to enjoy life in the promised land of participation in the very life of the triune God. Furthermore, within this communion of love we anticipate the day when the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.