by Peter White
Fast forward about 30 years. Here comes a prophet. After 400 years, a prophet claims to speak for God. His name is John. Some people think he’s crazy. Some think he just might be the only one speaking truth. And one day John is standing with two of his disciples. Then Jesus walks by, John looks at him and shouts “Look! There he is! The Lamb of God!”
When John’s two disciples hear this, they follow after Jesus. Jesus looks and sees them. “What do you want?” he asks. They say, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” “Come and see,” he says. Come and see. How do you refuse an invitation like that?
He walked throughout the rural towns and villages on this margin of the Roman Empire with a message not unlike the prophets of generations past, “Remember the beginning! Return to God! The God’s kingdom is so close!” He was everything that is deep goodness. He healed the sick. He taught in synagogues. He associated with tax collectors and sinners. He said the most outrageous things, like “I’ve come to seek and save the lost,” and “I am the good shepherd,” and “I am the light of the world.”
And blind people could see. And he forgave people’s sins. And the go-through-the-motions religious people got so mad at him. He acted like part good king, part good prophet, and part good priest. He raised dead people to life. Finally… could this be the good king that the prophets had hoped for? Could this be the king on a throne, full of power with a sword in his fist?
At the Passover celebration with his disciples in Jerusalem, the annual holiday remembering what God did in Egypt through Moses, he gave them a new covenant and spoke of his body as given for them and his blood as poured out for them. The religious leaders who were so threatened by him trumped up charges against Jesus, had him arrested by the Roman authorities and cruelly and publicly executed him on a cross. It could have been the happy ending. But broken Image-Bearers break things. Yet this was all part of God’s great rescue plan.
Let. There. Be. Light.
Three long days passed. But Death could not hold the God-man Jesus. Jesus conquered Death, and Death itself started to work backward. Once and for all the power of death and sin were crippled. The ancient work of creation began again. Where there was darkness, light sparked. Where there was death, life sprouted. Where there was chaos, order came to be. All of creation is being remade. The perfect Image-Bearer puts the world back together again. Whole. Perfect. Beautiful. Very, very good. Just like the beginning.
In Jesus, the promise to Abraham that through his family the whole world would be put right is fulfilled. In Jesus, the perfect Image-Bearer, the only human worthy of a kingly crown, God put the best human king over his creation. Hope is here. Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ is coming again. And we are the people of Resurrection.
Peter White is both a Tulsa native and transplant, having moved away for 9 years and returning 6 years ago. He probably spends too much money supporting the downtown food economy. When not eating within the IDL with his wife, he can be found watching Netflix, whining about the Seattle Mariners’ pitiful offense, reading a theology book, keeping his toddlers from stealing each others’ goldfish crackers, or being a minister of First Methodist. He can be followed on Twitter @thatpeterwhite.