Friday, March 13, 2015

Vulnerable Times

Mortality crisis
The death of Jesus gives us salvation from Hell. But it also helps with something more subjective. Through His death, Jesus destroyed the Devil's dominance. The Devil trades on the mortality crisis we all face. Human death makes us much more vulnerable than the spirit beings. And the more vulnerable we feel the more we try to live protected, pleasurable and empowered lives. The Devil tempts us to protect ourselves or take risks for pleasure or maximize power to cope with our looming mortality crisis. Jesus flips the tables with suffering and weakness. At the cross vulnerability and weakness became the Lord's path to inheritance, and our's to hope.

True adoption

However real hope demands something tangible: relational safety. The adoption of Jesus is what makes adoption more than an affectionate metaphor for God's love. We have truly been adopted. In love, He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭1‬:‭5‬ HCSB) The reality of adoption through Jesus means we are reminded by his nail prints that our elder brother suffered. Because of His suffering, we have a legal right to the Father's compassion.

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:14-18 ESV)

Strength in weakness
Because of His death, Jesus is the faithful High Priest who has fully satisfied our Heavenly Father with His one sacrifice. But how does the Father being fully satisfied with the priestly work of Jesus even matter? The fact that the Father is fully satisfied means we may get off the conveyor belt of self-protection. The death of Christ takes the breadth out of the Devil's accusations. Jesus entered into our mortality crisis. He destroyed the Devil and his weaponry, of temptation and death. We can now be weak and watch God be strong in our weakness. Because Jesus is our propitiation, even our terrible spiritual and moral failings do not make the Father dissatisfied with us. He is fully satisfied with the death of Christ and this means Jesus is fully effective in His intercession for us, his adopted brothers and sisters.

Adoption is not just a metaphor of divine affection. It is securely promised love that gives courage in a world of death and weakness. The death of Christ gives us forgiveness and courage for calmness in vulnerable times. 

For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. 
(Hebrews 2:14-15 ESV)
Jodie Sawyer

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