The generation of Jesus had not yet seen the cross, they had not experienced this new and living way, and they innocently were ignorant about the mission of their Lord. Their eyes had not yet been opened to the principles of the spiritual kingdom.
They did not simply understand the mystery of the church which was hidden in God until then. They were seeing only the shadow and that they were actually standing in the shadow of this new and living way- “the Kingdom of God”
When cross was raised on Calvary on that glorious day, the eyes of the people were raised from just looking down, to a higher vision. A new and a marvelous living way were opened that day. Apart from healing our diseases, apart from paying for our sins, God raised the cross, so that man would look up and catch hold of this new vision. The mystery that was hidden in the Old Testament was now revealed in the New Testament. A new and living way….
On that evening on Calvary as the sun was setting and shadows dispersed, there was emerging a reality, the fulfillment of the Old Testament shadow, the Kingdom of God proclaiming “GO and make disciples-baptize them-teach them-”. This is the essence and it was for this Jesus came.
As tongues of fire came down and as the Spirit gave them utterance, perspectives were changed. The commission was no more “go and fill the earth” but it was to “go and make disciples.” Church was not any more concerned with material blessings, but they brought it all together, so others could be blessed. The focus was not anymore on how God would bless, but how I can use God’s blessings.
People who were used to instant rewards, who were used to blessings and prosperity in return for the good living, could not understand the trials and persecutions of Christian living. It was new for them. Their sand castles were breaking down, they felt fooled, wronged and they found “the way” conflicting and contradictory to what they thought and believed and practiced. This new group based their life on grace and not on works that no one should boast. Old Testament people had always based it on works. It was handed down through the generations & they knew nothing but to put their faith in works.
That day ‘works’ proved to be the shadow to ‘faith’.Col 3:1-2
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above not on earthly things.
Today as a church we constantly struggle to look above. Church acts on the feel good principles of life. Our eyes are on things of the earth. Our questions are “how can I be blessed above my brothers”. Church exalts the values of the world on prosperity and blessings, thereby giving people wrong signals of what to work for, what to strive for…education, investments and houses become the definition of success.
Church is not fool proof here and does not strike the balance. I just fear that we would miss out on the kingdom purpose of God just like the Israelites missed out on Jesus. Lord revive us, revive our perspectives and revive our church.
Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.
Our problem is we seek first for the blessings here below and think that the kingdom of God shall be added unto us.
n the pages of the New Testament, the apostles only believed in the commission of our Lord Jesus in Mathew 28.They based their lives on grace; they were willing to die, underwent persecutions and trials, were not clothed or fed & gave up their life for the extension of God’s Kingdom.
In this new and living way our curses were broken, He took our sicknesses, and He took our sins. Those who believed in Jesus, everything that happened in their life, He turned it for their good. There is no rejection because Christ paid our price. God has used many terminal illnesses to glorify His name. God used physical barrenness when given in His hands to remove much spiritual barrenness away. God used poverty to extend His kingdom. God used physical death to give new life to many, in the case of the martyrs of the faith.
So Church, if you have a lack, an unmet need, a so called rejection, give it to the Lord, He uses it for His Kingdom beyond your imagination. Realize that the call in your life is not to work to meet that unmet need, to cover up your rejection, but trust His grace and know that you could be standing in the shadow of something marvelous.
Give it into the hands of God, lay it down and seek the things above.
And as believers may we be a people who constantly seek things on above. If we still stand on the old principles, Oh! we have not seen the cross. We need to have a fresh new look at the cross and know that perspectives are changed; we have a new value system and our old life needs to be hidden in Christ. May the cross help us not only in our weaknesses, sicknesses and burdens, but also in seeing the mission of our Lord and establishing the Kingdom of God on earth.