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CHRIST - GOD’S COVENANT RESPONSE

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Christ – God’s Covenant Response The Gospel of Jesus Christ – meaning the GOOD NEWS of the Father’s act in sending to earth His only begotten Son, is more sublime, subtle, profound, fantastic, and glorious than we can possibly imagine. Its breadth spans as far as the east is from the west, its height as high as the heavens are above the earth, and its depth as deep as the deepest abyss of Hell. And this is why...… Jesus – the One sent from God Jesus took pains to point out to all who would listen that He had been “sent” from God. Obviously, He believed that this fact of being “sent” had great import: Jhn. 17:20 "I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 "O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; And “just as He was sent by the Father”, Jesus sent us, meaning that we are a continuation of the Father’s mission begun with Jesus: “As the Father has sent me, I also send you.” (Jhn. 20:26) Nevertheless, when we read the verb “sent”, we sort of glide right over it, not understanding the incredibly portentous ramifications of what His being “sent” really meant. Fundamentally, it is significant because of who sent Him. Jesus was sent by “the Most High God” who “is to be feared, a Great King over all the earth.” (Ps. 47:1) That fact alone is dispositive of Christ’s credibility, and therefore it is that fact alone which mandates that we pay extremely close attention to His words and mission. Christ knew that if we ever really understood that He had been sent by “the Most High God”, that we would listen to Him and obey Him. This is one reason why He performed the miracles, so that “we might know that He is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and that believing, we might have life in His Name.” (Jhn. 20:31) In other words, that we might know that God had sent Him and therefore believe what He said. In the parable of the absentee landlord and the vine growers, the landlord is certain that the rebellious vine growers will take heed when he sends his son: "’But afterward he sent his son to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' “ Unfortunately they didn’t, and another parable makes clear the fate of those with a similar attitude: “But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence." (Mat. 19:27) (…Gulp…) We can perhaps get a glimpse of the significance of being sent by God Himself when we reflect on what it means to be sent by an earthly potentate. Ambassadors are accorded great deference and privilege because of what they represent and their charge – bringing the official word from their home ruler to the foreign power. The rules of diplomacy mandate that the communications from the ambassador are considered to be as if spoken by his head of state to the leaders and people of the host country. Now that we have established the import of being “sent”, the next question is why or on what basis was it determined by the Father that Christ should be “sent.” (I pray that this will open your eyes.)… Why Jesus was “sent” Four hundred thirty years to the day before the first Passover, the Abrahamic blood covenant was entered into by God, on the one hand, and His Son, the pre-incarnate Christ, on the other, the latter representing Abraham (and his spiritual lineage – i.e., all believers) who watched from a cleft in the rock a few yards away. The nature of a blood covenant is that it extends to the families of the covenant participants. The incarnate Christ was physically the “seed of Abraham” while at the same time being the spiritual progenitor of Abraham, as head of the lineage known as “the seed of the woman.” If that is confusing to you, just understand that the magnificence of Christ is that He does wear several hats in the course of the scheme of salvation. [Gal. 3:29) Essentially, the purpose of a blood covenant is to expand the “families” of the covenant participants so that when one is assaulted by enemies greater than himself, he may call upon his covenant partner to respond with aid from his family as if it was the same as the family of the one calling for help – or, legally speaking, the one making a claim under the covenant. A covenant is intended to be inviolable. The penalty for violating a blood covenant is blood, or rather, death of the violator. God obviously took the Everlasting Covenant seriously. For our own health, we should too. In Exodus 3:7, God told Moses that He had “heard the cry of His people.” He was referring, of course, to the descendants of Abraham in bondage to Pharaoh, a type of Satan, in Egypt. He called them His people because He was in covenant with them through Abraham. In that case, Moses was “sent” to deliver Abraham’s physical descendants. Moses being sent by God was a covenant response to the cry of God’s covenant partners. But Moses was not the ultimate deliverer; he was only a type of Christ, as were all of the Old Testament deliverers – Samuel, Gideon, Jeptha, Ehud, David, etc. All of these deliverers pointed to an ultimate deliverer, Jesus, after which no other deliverer, or response under the Everlasting Covenant, would be necessary. Do you see where I am going with this now? Jesus Christ was God’s ultimate covenant response to the aggregate cries of His people – whether for rescue from eternal damnation due to their guilt from sin, or relief from depression or cancer as inflicted by the Enemies of God and Man. And it was a thoroughly “lavish” response, above and far beyond all that we could have asked or imagined, because it did more than rescue us – it made us His family for all purposes. Again, here is the point to understand: to the “cry” of His people, whether it is yours or mine, God accords the significance of a legal demand or claim under the Covenant, to which He in turn is legally obligated to respond. What He was sent to do In Luke 1 we have the first New Testament prophecy of Christ’s coming to earth. It was given by Zacharias, father of John the Baptist, on the occasion of the circumcision of the latter. Listen carefully to what he said: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, because He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the House of His servant, David, as He spoke through the mouths of His holy prophets from of old – “Salvation from our enemies and from the hands of those who hate us, To show mercy toward our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant, the oath which He swore to Abraham our father, to grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear…”. That prophecy is virtually dripping with express covenant language: God’s people have been at the mercy of powerful enemies (i.e., the devil and his horde) since the time of the fathers. God had mercy on them in hearing their cry, and remembered His covenant with them Accordingly, He discharged His covenant obligation to help by sending Jesus “to destroy the works of the devil” (1 Jhn 3:8) and “heal all who were oppressed by the devil.” (Acts 10:38) What this all means The purpose of this essay is to bring home one basic fact – that Jesus was God’s covenant response to our legal claim under the covenant for relief from both the Curse and its effects - the Enemy’s oppression, and the wrath of God. If we contemplate that fact and are successful in internalizing it, we are quickly filled with confidence, hope, and joy at what God has done and what it means for our life. For if God has truly discharged a legal obligation under the covenant to respond to our covenant claim, a claim He must adequately respond to under the law of blood covenant which He established, then we KNOW that the response is reliable and more than sufficient and, as a result, through perseverance, victory against our enemies is ours! (C) Copyright. All Rights Reserved. All or parts hereof may be disseminated or copied without cost provided that this website is identified as the source.
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