Sunday, December 24, 2017

A Tale of Two Davids

The history of God's salvation plan boils down to a tale of two Davids. First a lowly shepherd who ascended to the throne of Israel, led the army of God to victory against the Israelites, establishing his lineage for generations to come.
From his blood line came a second David, a greater King whose coming was foreshadowed by the kings of Israel who remained true to God's covenant. Unlike David, He came not with the power of the sword to defeat his enemies but was born in weakness, "born that man may no longer die". Born lowly in a manger, our heavenly King came not to condemn but to usher in a new reign of peace not just to Israel but through all the nations who heard his call to repent and believe. He brought this peace not by restoring the kingdom of Israel as the kings of old had done, but by his death on a cross which destroyed the age old enemies of sin, death and Satan, and ushered in a new creation order that will find its fulfillment when our Saviour returns to restore all things to himself. The festival of Christmas marks the birth of our David, the Second Person of the Trinity, who condescended to us in the likeness of sinful flesh to share in our sorrows and to make atonement for our sins. This is the true light that shines in the darkness which no evil can overcome and has established his Messianic kingdom through the gospel of which there can be no end.

In the name of Christ.  Amen.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Meditations on Easter I

Image result for separation images

Psalm 22: 1-2

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.

Luke 22: 39-44

Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

Hebrews 2:9

But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

Life is full of separations.  In our fallen world we are confronted with the loss and grief produced by the separation of husband and wife, estrangement of parents from their children, and the alienation of ethnic minorities from their host society. In their humanity, these separations reflect on the brokenness of the imago dei, our mirror-likeness of God's eternal attributions which has been damaged ever since the Fall and marred the horizontal relationships we have with each other, causing us to act in self-love to serve our own ends, rather than the agape love Christ showed us in his sacrificial act of atonement for our sins. These separations also hint at a divorce far more deeper and profound in its implications for our eternal status, one which caused our Lord to cry and sweat bloody tears in the garden of Gethsemane and to pray that the cup of suffering be removed far from him.  Temporal separations come with a period of grief and mourning from which the human heart can eventually recover, but the separation of man from God carries with it an eternal price tag: spiritual death and eternal judgment under the wrath of God.
Christ tasted God's judgment and wrath on the cross for us, marking the separation from His heavenly Father with cries that matched the Psalmist's: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Surrounded and mocked by his enemies, Christ faced the punishment for our sins alone, without consolation and with only silence from the eternal throne room, so that we wouldn't know God's silence but rather his fatherly approval.  Christ's propitiation satisfying the demands of the law and granting to us an alien righteousness that gives us access to God's kingdom, once barred by flaming swords.  Christ's separation on the cross is our relief, his mourning bringing us joy at Easter time that he tasted God's righteous anger so that we may go free forever.  In the name of Christ.  Amen.