Jesus, the new creation, where it all starts…

We live in a world of Christianity that has somehow lost its will to be what God intended it to be, and compromised its mission of being recreated and building “new creations” to that of just slightly modified versions of the old creation.  That is just plain wrong…

Take a look back at where it all starts: Crossing the Bridge to Life

Jesus the Son of God

Jesus is not just another person, a good man, or a prophet.  Jesus is God’s only Son. He has a unique position in the Universe.  His words have a weight far beyond the truth of proven logic or the authority of a breadth of experience.  Jesus connects directly with the Father and acts on His authority.  Jesus’ involvement in the Universe is seen in greater.

John 1:17-18 17 For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.18 No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.

  • How is Jesus described?
  • How does the Bible describe the difference between what came through Moses, a person, and Jesus?
  • What has Jesus done for us?

Jesus the ManJesus Christ

Jesus was not only God, but also fully man; for this reason when people saw His life they were seeing the best possible way to live.  The example he gave had a profound impact on those who were closest to Him.

Acts 4:13 13 The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.

  • The Jewish council were used to intimidating uneducated people.  What did they notice about Jesus’ disciples?

Being with Jesus, the disciples saw how Jesus responded to situations, and Jesus was able to see how the disciples responded. This enabled them to interact in a far more helpful way than if all was limited to writings.

Matthew 8:23 Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. 24 suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”  26 Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.  27 The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!”

  • How did the disciples respond to Jesus in a crisis?
  • How did Jesus respond to discovering He was in the middle of a crisis?
  • In what interaction is love seen, and in which does love fail?

The Cross

In our failure, we deserve judgement and hell.  Holding this view of life, and expecting God to treat everyone like this, we often can look at the failings of others with an expectation of judgement. This judgement is certain. God is holy; for Him to ignore sin is to become a partner with us in sin. The surprise is that Jesus stood in front of us and took the judgement on Himself.

Isaiah 53: 4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;   it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,   a punishment for his own sins! 5 But he was pierced for our rebellion,   crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole.   He was whipped so we could be healed. 6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.   We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.

  • How does this passage, prophesying Jesus death, explain why He had to die?
  • What does the passage mention as the wrongs we do that contribute to His death?
  • If the death He died was required for your wrongs, how seriously does God look on your failures?

Jesus’ Death and Resurrection

After Jesus died and was buried, God the Father raised Him from the dead. By His being raised we have hope, both for our own salvation from death, and that the power of God is able to transform our way of life, from being controlled through law and the fear of punishment. Jesus’ cross and His resurrection disconnect the absolute link between crime and punishment introducing both mercy and grace.

Romans 7: 4 So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. And now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God.5 When we were controlled by our old nature,* sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death.6 But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.

  • How do we participate with Jesus in His death and resurrection?
  • What has this participation in Jesus’ death done to the power of our sinful nature?
  • For what purpose have we been set free from the power of death?

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