So what now??? What happens after the Messiah has been raised from the dead?!? Is this when God comes to establish the fullness of his Kingdom of earth? Is Easter – the day of Jesus’s resurrection – also the day of judgment? No. No? Really…? Because from what we know so far, it kinda seems like it should be… And if Jesus is going to ascend back to heaven, what are his follower to do thereafter? Simply wait around, kill time until the parousia (second coming)?
The answer to all this is the establishment of “the church.” From within Israel, a new group will be formed so as to include “all the families of the earth” – just as God promised to Abraham. However, this new people – saved by the covenant with Abraham – will no longer be defined by Abraham (DNA relationship to) or by Moses (obedience to Law). Rather, this new community (Gk. ekklesia) is being called by Jesus to carry on his ministry to the very ends of the earth.
In this first episode of Act IV of the biblical story, our friend, Rev. Ian Farrell, examines Jesus’s final spoken instructions to his disciples, namely that they now embody – collectively – all that Jesus individually embodied on earth. Thus the church is not to become an inwardly oriented religious protection society, nor are we to be the annoying voice from the sidelines – critiquing what we see, but not getting into the mix to actually fix things. No! The church is to take the mission of restoration out to the world with the same passion and gentleness of Jesus. We are to be “Exhibit A” when the prosecution wants to claim that Jesus is not dead at all, but rather is at work in the world all the time!
THAT claim is entirely true! Jesus is very much not dead. And when the church acts in accordance with our Lord’s call, the risen-ness of Jesus is undeniable! Come listen and learn more about being a sister or brother to Jesus – and in so doing, become an adopted heir of God the Father and the fullness of his Kingdom…one that extends unto eternity!
This is a sermon that was originally presented at Canvas (a Presbyterian church in Irvine, CA), April 27, 2014. To learn more about Canvas, click here!
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