Our words can cut in one of two ways. They can cut and bring death – like a sword thrust through our heart, or they can pierce deep within a person and bring healing like a surgeon’s knife.
This is why I am sending my Spirit, and this is why I am empowering you, and this is why I rose from the dead. I am going to bring my Father’s glory to the ends of this earth as the prophets said: “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
What could John have felt as he went from the heights of worship, to the depth of disappointment, back to the mountaintops of praise all in a matter of moments? Whatever it was, we will feel it and experience it, too!
Jesus is not some mystical teacher with timeless truths about a faraway place some call Heaven and others Nirvana. Jesus is the one who came within history to fulfill a story that had been taking place on this earth for thousands of years.
That is why we can have such confidence, and why Easter should be something that lasts year-round for Jesus did not rise and then die again, but He rose to an immortal life, and He lives today to bring grace and blessing to the world.
Let us shout this truth in the halls of every church and from our rooftops for the world to hear, what Jesus did on the cross was sufficient to destroy the barrier that kept mankind separated from God’s love and eternal purpose, and His resurrection proves it.
God raised Jesus from the dead and vindicated Him. Resurrection vision sees that the path He took and the way He lived was the correct path. Thus, while the word of the cross is weakness to many, it is, in reality, power.
In Jesus Christ, God in the flesh. In other words, we see what a human really is. We see someone who perfectly reflects the image of God. We see love in all its purity. We see compassion in all its mercy. We see justice and righteousness for the hurting and poor, and we see commitment to God’s glory.
It is not just that a great prophet died. Jesus was the one many believed to be the promised Messiah. Yet they murdered him! Was there no end to the injustices and the suffering of the world? But He died, and God remained silent. Until the third day!
People were alienated from God and the people of God. They were cut off from the Messiah, from the covenants of promise, and from hope. But friends … that is not the end of the story for the very next words begin with that great word of divine intervention – But – this is the way the world was, but God intervened.
“You cannot sin as much as God can forgive. If it comes to a pitched battle between sin and grace, you shall not be as bad as God is good. We can only sin as a man, but God can forgive as a God.”
Yes, we live on a fallen planet, but God’s promise is to renew the earth. John saw a new heaven and a new earth. The paradise that was lost through Adam’s sin will be regained as we look forward to the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven.
Is there someone you need to be reconciled with? A family member? A friend? Have you offended this person and you need to humble yourself and ask forgiveness? Or, perhaps the other person has offended you and you are harboring bitterness in your heart? God wants to work in this situation right now.
Isn’t this an amazing chapter? Isn’t this an amazing truth? God made you and me into his dwelling! What kind of God is this? What kind of love would do this for us? The love of God in Jesus Christ!