Daily Devotional 15 Sept 2020
Today's devotional is more of a meditation...
We serve a Heavenly Father who 'runs' when He catches sight of His returning children. He patiently waits for us 'to come to our senses' and realize that trying to live life by our terms only leaves us up in the proverbial pig-pen. God will continue His watching and waiting--He never puts barriers in the way of our return. He also never gives up hope, all the while holding back from making the demand that we return--He honours our free choice. He does not force us to choose Him, and yet is ready and willing to run to us to close the distance between us at the first sign of our change of heart!
HOPE CHAPEL Sunday Service Notes
Teaching Series: “In the Beginning: Genesis 1-3"
Today’s Topic: “Week 5: Jesus’ Work of Redemption: The Eradication of Sin, The Very Good of God’s Creation Once Again Realized ”
Scriptures: Revelation 20:10; 2 Peter 3:1-14; Romans 5; Romans 8:1-30; 1 Corinthians 15:42-44; Revelation 21; Revelation 22:1-5 (and others contained with the text)
For those desiring to do further study concerning Jesus’ redemptive work and the time frame between his death and resurrection:
Jesus as Redeemer.
Where was Jesus during the three days between His death and resurrection?
We talk of the ‘power of Christ’s blood’ and Christ’s ‘redemptive work on the cross’ but do we fully appreciate the extent of the work accomplished when Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected three days later? What does it all mean? Have we fully grasped what it means when we say that Jesus eradicated sin and its affect on God’s Creation?
“The doctrine of redemption extends even beyond the matter of individual salvation. During his lifetime, Jesus provided abundant proof of his ability to completely restore a fallen world. He demonstrated his lordship over heaven when he calmed the storms on the sea (Mark 4:35-41); he demonstrated his lordship over hell when he exorcised demons from a troubled man (Mark 5:1-20); he demonstrated his lordship over life when he healed a woman of her incurable disease (Mark 5:24-34); and he demonstrated his lordship over death when he raised a young girl from the dead (Mark 5:35-43). With these and countless other miracles (John 20:30-31; 21:25), Jesus...[began the work of making] all things new (Revelation 21:5).”
The work of redemption has been described as, “accomplished, but not yet complete.” Jesus is in the process of making all things new, and the full completion of His redemptive work will be realized when He takes His throne and the last vestiges of sin are finally and unalterably dealt with. Yet all that is needed to accomplish His great work is already done–He died, removing the curse of sin from Creation. Galatians 3:13-14 says, “But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.’ Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith.”
So what did Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the dead accomplish? LOTS!
GENESIS 3:14-20 ~ CURSES & CONSEQUENCES - Jesus’ work fulfilled the requirements!
Curse on the Serpent / Satan - When God cursed the serpent, He promised that despite its continued ability to strike at the heel of Eve’s offspring, He (singular) would crush the serpent’s head. All through Jesus’ life, we see Satan attempting to bring about Jesus’ demise–as a baby (King Herod killed all the baby boys two years of age and under to eliminate Jesus - Matthew 2:16); in the wilderness (if he could entice Jesus to sin, he could ensure His spiritual and physical death - Matthew 4:1-11); the crowd’s attempt to kill Jesus (the people of Nazareth were intent on pushing Jesus over a cliff for ‘blasphemy’–Jesus had claimed He was the long awaited Messiah–but He was able to simply walk away - Luke 4:28-30). Satan finally succeeded through the religious leaders who had Jesus nailed to a cross–what he didn’t understand was that Jesus’ death was just a ‘heel’ strike. Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead and Satan’s destiny was sealed. He is still allowed to roam the earth as a roaring lion, seeking to wreak havoc on humanity (1 Peter 5:8), but John tells us clearly what awaits Satan, “And the devil, who deceived them, [will be] thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).
Curse on the ground - All creation has been ‘groaning as in childbirth’ (Romans 8:22) waiting for the day of Christ’s return and for His revelation of His true children (8:19). It was cursed because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience to produce thorns and work against humanity’s efforts to feed themselves. Since then, the earth has been truly defiled–every living thing returns to dust; we have not cared for it as we should; we have used its resources for our gain, and to our own detriment. 2 Peter 3:7 tells us the future of our current abode, “the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.” We are told that Jesus is planning to start fresh. The removal of the curse from humanity was accomplished through His death, and His work of redemption will be further accomplished when the present ‘heavens and earth’ are destroyed to make room for a new heaven and earth–having never been defiled by sin–where God will live with His people (Revelation 20:3).
God’s Discipline of pain & futility - Jesus has fully redeemed us, but pain is a reality that will remain on this earth as part of human experience until Christ comes back and presents us with new imperishable spiritual bodies. Does this mean that we just have to suffer through it or can we take steps to lessen this punishment of pain from God?
Jesus took our sins upon His own body, paying the price for our punishment. And though pain is still very much a part of our human existence, it is my belief that we are free to find means to alleviate the pain imposed on humanity in the garden, just as we are now free to seek forgiveness and spiritual renewal through a relationship with God.
Renewal of our relationship with God - When sin entered the world through humanity’s disobedience, people, who had once enjoyed fellowship with God, now experienced fear of Him. God who had been able to trust sin-free humanity, knew that sinful people could not be trusted. The relationship was broken. In addition, Eve would no longer seek to please God, but would turn her devotion to her husband. We have seen this pattern of people giving loyalty and the worship that should be reserved for God alone, directed at other people throughout our shared history. Jesus’ redemptive work placed God back in His rightful position, at the centre of individual hearts. In the Old Testament, worshipers could not approach God directly, but had to have a priest intercede for them. Through Jesus’ work as our sacrifice and priest, we can now enter into God’s presence with confidence (Hebrews 10:19). A relationship with God is made possible for all people, whether “Jew or Greek, slave or free, man or woman–we are one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
Renewal in the balance of power - When God first outlined the consequences for their disobedience, God told the woman that despite her desire to please her husband, he would rule over her. As observed in our previous lesson, power imbalances result in abuse–simply consider the plight of women even today. In India the birth of a son brings great celebration, whereas the birth of a daughter often brings disdain; or consider that of women in ‘custodial’ states where a woman is only permitted to speak and act according to the will of a man. "In Afghan society, the best women are those who are not seen and heard. As the saying goes: 'The sun and moon haven't seen her'" (Retrieved on 07/31/20 from
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-53436335). Women have been behind men in terms of ‘being recognized as persons,’ having the right to vote, hold a job, own property, in pay equity and other societal expectations...just for being born a woman.
Don’t worry, this is not going to turn into a man-hating feminist tirade; but it does beg the question. In light of Jesus’ incarnational life–how He lived as a human–and His work of redemption on the cross, are we stuck living according to the consequences for sin? Is there still a ‘heavenly duty’ of male-rule and female subjugation–otherwise known as patriarchy–owed by women because of sin? Christian leaders are fiercely divided on this subject. I would suggest that Christ’s redemption also worked to allow for the balancing of power–shared by man and woman as God intended when He pronounced His Creation as ‘very good.’ Jesus’ redemptive work makes all things new again.
Jesus showed us the better way, the way God had intended for things to be at Creation. He completely disregarded the societal norms around age, social class, gender and race.
Jesus showed us the way of love–loving God first and loving others as Himself. He did not change how He treated someone based on any of the criteria we often use. He did not teach a hierarchy based on patriarchy, but treated all with dignity–equally worthy, equally called, equally gifted.
Decay & Death the biproducts of sin, will be no more! - The Holy Spirit that raised Jesus back to life is our guarantee that we too will live again (Romans 8:11); our bodies may die, but our spirits will live forever (8:10). When Christ returns, those who have died will be resurrected (1 Thessalonians 4:16) and those who are yet living on the earth will ‘meet him in the air” (4:17). We will receive new imperishable spiritual bodies (1 Corinthians 15:42-44). And we will live forever in God’s renewed kingdom that sin has had no part of and will never be permitted to enter (Revelation 21:27). Revelation 21:1-5 paints a wonderful picture of what is to come, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, ‘Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever’. And the one sitting on the throne said, ‘Look, I am making everything new!’”
Just as sin changed everything about God’s very good Creation, Christ’s work on the cross eradicated sin and its influence on all that we know. His is a work that is done, yet is still in progress; the full completion of Jesus’ redemptive work will be finally realized at His second coming when He takes His rightful place as King over His fully restored kingdom.
Next week: N E W Study Series, The Bible, Jesus' Story
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!