Learning to rule over our sins is to “crush Satan underfoot” (Romans 16:20)—a nice comeuppance. This is what we were given the Spirit for (among other things). [6/29/07]
By some arcane alchemy, penal substitution theorists transmuted the arch-injustice of the Cross into a diorama of “penal justice,” and pinned the whole scheme on God, for Heaven’s sake! Thus a voluminous transfusion of confusion was mainlined into the arteries of the Body of Messiah and jolted it into ethical and proclamatory near-paralysis. [6/29/07]
The single word, “blood,” is associated in the New Testament with virtually every soteriological term…EXCEPT “SUBSTITUTION.” And for good reason. The use of substitutes for Jesus, in the Old Covenant Scriptures, was necessary to communicate the coming reality. These substitutes—animals, garments, rituals, architecture—were all symbols, figures, similes, metaphors, stand-ins. But THAT NEED HAS BEEN SUPERSEDED NOW THAT “THE TRUTH” HAS APPEARED. THE LIGHT HAS VANQUISHED ALL SHADOWS. TO BE SURE, EVEN THE BLOOD OF THE OLD COVENANT WAS BUT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE BLOOD OF THE NEW COVENANT—THE “TRUE DRINK” OF MESSIAH’S BLOOD—OF “GOD’S OWN [SON]” (John 6:55, Acts 20:28). All those shadowy substitutes have been whisked away in a clean sweep of imagery culminating in the Cross, Resurrection, and Pentecost events. These phenomenal occurrences thrillingly vibrate with the supernal transcendence of God becoming near…with us—Immanuel—for our long-awaited, repeatedly prophesied SALVATION!
The nexus of these culminating events is to be located in the meaning of the blood of Jesus. For the outpouring of the innocent blood of this one Just Man on earth triggered the outpouring of the Wholesome Spirit by the one Just God from Heaven, by way of RESTORATIVE JUSTICE.
Simply said, the blood of the Savior saves us by justifying the gratuitous giving of the Spirit of the Savior to fill us in re! That Spirit of wholesomeness is the tangible, experiential substance of agelong life, our present pledge-in-kind of all that is to come if we endure faithful to the end.
Therefore, in sum, we access this Spirit of Graciousness in which we stand, by faith in the righteousness of Jesus’ blood, symbolized (the symbol authorized by the Savior, unlike the now-ubiquitous cross) by our drinking of his cup—taking of the fruit of…the “tree [xulon] of life.” [6/29/07]
Thirty-something years of hard work UP IN SMOKE! That’s what the life of Jesus looked like at the baffling conclusion of his execution. It was all wrong! Tragically cut short in his prime! Victim of swaggering, self-serving authorities! A total waste! Never to enjoy domestic pleasures! Deprived of a family and heirs! Never to feel the weight of a crown on his brow after all! TOTAL LOSS!
Or was it? Quite the contrary! He gave up and surrendered his lifelong “earnings” into the covenantally faithful hands of his God and Father, Who not only transmuted every undeserved blow of evil into good, but TOOK THE EXCHANGE RATE TO A HIGHER POWER. PLUS, GOD PUT THIS OVER-COMPENSATING REQUITAL ON DISPLAY FOR THE WHOLE WORLD TO SEE…SO THAT THE WHOLE WORLD WOULD BE DRAWN BACK TO ITS LOVING CREATOR AND GET CONCILIATED AND SO THAT GOD COULD ONE DAY HAVE A UNIVERSE WHERE HE COULD NOT ONLY BE ALL, BUT ALSO BE IN ALL. God longs for a home, too. We’re it! All who trust Him by believing His Proclamation of His Kingdom and concerning His Anointed Son get to be homes for God! HIS HOMES! Ponder that. [6/29/07]