Monday, April 23, 2007

Five Things I Believe: Christ


Last year I wrote a piece called "Five Things I Believe and Trust" that generated much discussion at the time. I thought I'd revisit and re-write the first point.

Jesus has saved and is saving the world. The new creation started in AD 33 when Jesus of Nazareth took upon himself God’s chastisement of Israel so that those who aligned themselves with his kingdom agenda could avoid it themselves. Jesus was crushed between the unstoppable force of God's wrath in the form of the Roman Empire and the immovable object of the Nation’s rebellion against the responsibilities of their election - their “chosenness.” Where Israel's call and her rebellion came together in first century Palestine, the resulting mess was a lot of Roman crosses. But more than this, he also stood in the way of the powers of sin and death that afflict all of humanity, absorbing these forces as well as our own alienation from God into his own person. But God raised him up, vindicating him, and initiated the same new life in everyone who’s been baptized into him.

This story about Jesus and Israel is part of a broader story about the Creator God and his redemption of the fallen Creation. The "end times" began during the Passion Week in Jerusalem two thousand years ago. God's new world is being birthed.

We have in the crucifixion the action whereby God takes into himself all of the world's evil and suffering and all of the consequences of alienation from God and begins to put it right.

The point as originally written led to a longer discussion on Christology.

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