Posts Tagged "Kingdom"

Easter’s Mortal Wound – Pastor Matt

Posted by on Apr 15, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Easter’s Mortal Wound – Pastor Matt

The Easter celebration is filled with powerful images.  The crown of thorns shows us the sheer brutality and ironic sensibilities of Jesus’ executioners.  The Via Delorosa is marked by the stations of Jesus’ ascent to Golgotha.  And the cross is a vivid reminder of the pain caused by God turning away from Jesus.

What I love about the Bible is how everything is interrelated.  One of the most obvious interrelations is the unity between the Garden of Eden and the place Jesus died.  I have heard it said that Genesis 3 gives the very first prophecy concerning Jesus.  After Satan successfully leads Adam and Eve into sin, God says this, “he will crush your head, and you will strike his heal.”  That he is a man born of a woman.  That he will not succumb to temptation, live a perfect life and crush the head of Satan.

The he is Jesus.  Satan strikes Jesus with the pounding of a pike through his feet on the cross.  And Jesus deals a mortal wound to Satan’s head by overcoming Satan’s most powerful weapon…death.  Therefore, the death of Jesus sets off a chain of events that cannot be reversed and the doom of Satan is secured.

It is certainly true that the work of Christ on the cross (the Atonement) is marked by a number of important effects.  One effect is imputing our sin upon Jesus and simultaneously imputing his righteousness upon us.  But another effect is the ultimate destruction of that vile snake that has hounded the righteous since the first rays of the sun.

Since the children have flesh and blood (us), he (Jesus) too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil…  Hebrews 2:14

This Easter season, let’s remember not only our undeserved salvation, but also the deathblow dealt to him that would take away our salvation.

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Living in Two Worlds – Pastor Mark

Posted by on Jan 16, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Living in Two Worlds – Pastor Mark

I’ve never used a snowboard but I can imagine that trying to transition to one after having only used skis would be a disaster.  It would take me a lot of time – and probably a trip or two to the ER!  But that’s how learning happens.  As a follower of Jesus Christ you have to learn how to live in two worlds.  On one hand, you’re comfortable living in this natural world of sky and trees and butterflies and bananas.  But when you encounter Christ and you start to learn about living in the supernatural world of faith and prayer and Bible readings that speak of angels and talking eagles, it can get tricky.  It takes some getting used to.  But as you practice you gradually come to realize that both worlds are equally real and exist simultaneously.

Philip Yancey writes, “Jesus does not say, ‘My kingdom is not of this world, so therefore just sit around and wait for the next one.’  Rather, he says, in effect, “My kingdom is not of this world, so therefore go and fulfill the two greatest commandments, to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself, and in so doing, you will point the way to my kingdom.”’  That’s good advice.

God may challenge you this year to feel the tension of living more in both worlds. And if he does, just remember, It doesn’t happen overnight.  You will have days where you lay your head on the pillow and realize that you hardly thought of God at all that day.  But then you will have those days, too, when eternity seems so close you could reach out and touch it.  You will begin to realize, like you do when you live in an apartment with thin walls, that this world is not all there is.  There’s more and that ‘more’ is what you’re made for.

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Christus Victor – Pastor Matt

Posted by on Apr 2, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Christus Victor  – Pastor Matt

I’m the type of person that needs meaning.  If there isn’t meaning, I don’t care.  That’s why I struggled in school when teachers assigned busy work.  I couldn’t do it; there was no meaning except to keep me busy.  That’s one of the reasons why I’m a pastor.  The church is full of meaning.  The Bible is full of meaning.  Working with Christians is full of meaning.

I love the Easter season because we are confronted with the ultimate meaning: Christ’s work.  His death and resurrection have implications not just for our present circumstances but also for our eternal.  What is even more intriguing is the multiple meanings of Christ’s work on the cross, also known as the atonement.

One such atoning work is the defeat of Satan.  In John 12.31, Jesus says, “Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.”  We don’t highlight the defeat of Satan on the cross as much at other elements of the atonement, but it isn’t any less significant.  And here is why.  Satan rules our world.  He became ruler after the fall of Adam and Eve.  God allowed Satan to take the reigns of power and he has done some serious damage.

See, when we talk about all the evil that is done in the world, we often forget who is the main perpetrator of that evil: Satan.  Satan needs to be defeated.  Satan needs to be judged.  Satan needs to be taken off he evil throne.  And that’s what Christ does on the cross.  He destroys the kingdom of the Devil and establishes his own rule.  How does he do this you might ask?  He defeats Satan at every turn; he heals, casts out demons, feeds, gives life, gives his life culminating in his resurrection.  The power of Satan, which seems so absolute (because he brings death), is broken by the man who was raised from the dead.

Now just as Christ’s rule hasn’t yet been fully established, neither has Satan’s ultimate defeat.  But it’s only a matter of time when Satan will be no more.  And we have the freedom to live in the promise of Satan’s ultimate demise.

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