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Showing posts from December, 2021

Firstborn of the Dead

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To the Colossians, Paul emphasized the exalted position of Jesus that resulted from his death and resurrection  –  Colossians 1:18-19 .  In  Colossians , Paul stresses the exalted position of Jesus. Some members of the congregation were confused about Christ’s authority, especially regarding the spiritual powers that remain hostile to him and his people. Therefore, Paul reminds them of just how highly God has exalted the one who became the “ firstborn of the dead ” - [ Photo by  Lukas G├Ąchter  on  Unsplash ].

Death of Death

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The “arrival” of Jesus at the end of the age means the termination of the “Last Enemy” - Death . When some church members denied the future resurrection, Paul responded by stressing the necessity for bodily resurrection, appealing to the past resurrection of Jesus as the precedent for the resurrection of believers. The saints will be raised from the dead when he “ arrives ” in glory, signaling the end of death itself – The “death of Death” - [ Photo by Einar Storsul on Unsplash ].

Forgotten Christian Hope

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Central to the hope of the early church was the bodily resurrection of the dead at the return of Jesus .  Biblical Christianity is a forward-looking faith, and integral to its doctrine of salvation is the future resurrection of the dead, which also will mean the commencement of the New Creation. And in the New Testament, this hope is linked to two events: the past resurrection of Jesus and his future return at the end of the age. And salvation remains incomplete without it - [ Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash ].

Recognizing Jesus

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In the Gospel of Mark, the Son of Man is revealed and understood in his sufferings and death on a Roman Cross .  A theme threaded throughout Mark is the complete inability of men to recognize Jesus as the Son of God until AFTER his crucifixion, and even then, paradoxically, he is declared the “ Son of God ” by the unlikeliest person, the Roman centurion in charge of his execution. His self-identification as the suffering “ Son of Man ” made him unrecognizable to men - [ Photo by Soul devOcean on Unsplash ].

To Samaria

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Despite persecution, or perhaps because of it, the disciple began to preach the gospel outside Judea, beginning in Samaria  -   Acts 8:1-25 .  Prior to his ascension, Jesus commanded the disciples to “ tarry in Jerusalem ” until they received the Holy Spirit. Thereafter, they would become his “ witnesses ” and proclaim the gospel in Jerusalem and Judea, and then “ in Samaria…and to the uttermost parts of the earth .” The eighth chapter of Acts records the story of how the gospel came to Samaria - [ Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash ].

THIS is My Son!

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The Spirit of God and the divine voice from heaven confirmed the calling and identity of Jesus - Son of God and Messiah of Israel  –  Mark 1:9-11 .  In the gospel of  Mark , Jesus appears first at his baptism in the Jordan. The passage identifies him with his hometown,  Nazareth , a small village of no importance. But its very insignificance plays a part in the larger narrative -  Jesus is the Messiah who does not fit popular expectations  - even as he is anointed Messiah in fulfillment of Scripture - [ Photo by Eugene Kuznetsov on Unsplash ].

Incomparable New Covenant

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In his death, Jesus inaugurated the promised and vastly superior new covenant, rendering the old one obsolete .  According to  Hebrews , the “ word of the Son ” surpasses all past revelations “ spoken in the prophets .” He went beyond his predecessors, having “ achieved the purification of sins ,” and therefore, he “ sat down ” at the right hand of God and inherited “ all things .” And among other things, his exaltation signaled the commencement of the “ new covenant ” - [ Photo by Jessica Ruscello on Unsplash ].