ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Flipbook - Page 346
now recognize him as the Son of David, the Messiah, but they still don’t
understand his mission. They assume Jesus is going to fight his enemies and
claim the throne. But Jesus talks about fighting a different kind of battle.
He says his struggle is against the powers of darkness and the spiritual ruler
of this world.
Then during Israel’s annual celebration of the Exodus, Jesus shares a
final Passover meal with his disciples. He tells them that his death will inaugurate the new covenant promised by the prophets. He is arrested by
the religious leaders and handed over to the Romans for execution. He is
nailed to a cross, with a mocking sign posted above his head that reads
“The King of the Jews.” It certainly looks as though Jesus has lost, that he
is no king after all. But three days later, Jesus is raised from the dead and
appears to his disciples.
It turns out that Jesus willingly went to his death as a sacrifice for the
sins of his people. Through his sacrifice, he wins a surprising victory over the
spiritual powers of darkness. He takes on sin and death directly—ironically,
through death—emptying them of their power over humanity, and he rises
from the dead to confirm his triumph. This unexpected story of Israel’s Messiah reveals God’s long-term plan. All the earlier covenants were leading to
this one. The life and ministry of Jesus brings all the narrative threads in the
Scriptures together into a single, coherent Story.
5. All the Stories in One
So we see that the story of Jesus does not simply stand alone. The Bible
presents his narrative as intimately tied to all the plots and subplots that
came before him. Jesus, crucified and raised, is God’s answer to Israel’s
previous failure, humanity’s wrongdoing and death, and the curse on all
Jesus fulfills Israel’s story and successfully plays the role of rescuer
given to Abraham’s family. He is Abraham’s faithful descendant and David’s
powerful son, the Messiah. He is the light the nations have been longing for.
People from every tribe, nation, and community can now join Abraham’s
family through belief in Jesus the Messiah. As the true Israelite, Jesus is
also a new Adam, a fresh start for the human race. He has defeated our
archenemies sin and death, restoring our relationship with God and ushering us into the life that is truly life. The new covenant in Jesus introduces
a new world.
Jesus opens the doorway to the true worship of God, and we recover
our God-given vocation to be his image-bearers through our stewardship
of the world. As the new Adam, Jesus brings flourishing life back into the
world. He embodies the new creation in his resurrection, blazing a path of
future renewal for everything in heaven and on earth.