The Grand Restoration

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Don’t you love to finish a project? There is a feeling of accomplishment that comes when it’s complete. Perhaps there is even some relief that the job is finally done, especially if the work was long and difficult. I admire people who buy an old house and renovate it, particularly if they are doing it themselves and living in the middle of the mess!  But, how joyful to see the finished product, a new beautiful kitchen or bathroom – and knowing that it was the work of their own hands makes it all the more appreciated.

God made a beautiful world, one full of beauty, and then evil found an entrance. Genesis tells us that through disobedience sin came. The result of sin was death, destruction of the perfect balance. Our relationship with our holy, loving God was wrecked.  He, of blinding perfection, awesome majesty, was abandoned for lesser things with tragic results. Hatred overturned love.  Want replaced plenty. Perfect harmony was lost to misunderstanding. Mere idols, gods of our own making, took the place of the One True God. Until … “when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” (Galatians 4:4-6, NIV)

God, who might have destroyed it all chose rather to enter this broken world – to come to redeem us all.  Redemption was a word understood in terms of those who were placed into slavery to pay off a debt. Those so enslaved could be ‘redeemed’ – bought back and freed.  Sin had enslaved the world but God freed us with the price of His Son.  What a wonder, what a mystery;  what love!

John recounts the story of the sacrifice for sin, the awful crucifixion of Christ Jesus in few words. Captured near the end of the story are Jesus’ words that should evoke a great joy in us.  As He senses the end of his life coming, He says, “It is finished!”  He is not saying, “I’m done.”  He is not declaring that He’s finished. The plan of salvation known to God before time began was complete. The grand restoration of creation was now possible, the time of slavery was done! “Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.” (John 19:28-30, NLT)

This is the Gospel, the good news of Christ. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2, NIV)   The words are rich revelations of His love towards us.  Justified! Made right, all debts settled.  At peace! Our uncertainties erased by Truth’s declaration, made at the Cross, that sin could no longer enslave those who receive the Gift by faith.  Rejoice!

And, how did He choose to make this happen?  “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. … God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” (Romans 5:8-11, NIV)

Will you live as a restored child of God? Will you let go of lesser things to receive the gift of Jesus?

It IS finished, on our behalf.  Life and more life for us provided by our Abba’s love.

_________

No Longer Slaves
(listen and worship)

You unravel me with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance from my enemies
Till all my fears are gone

I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

From my Mother’s womb
You have chosen me
Love has called my name
I’ve been born again into Your famil
Your blood flows through my veins

You split the sea so I could walk right through it
My fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me so I could stand and sing
I am a child of God

Brian Johnson | Joel Case | Jonathan David Helser © 2014 Bethel Music Publishing

CCLI License # 810055

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