Deeper Hope:

An Abiding Virtue

This book explores the meaning -- and application -- of Christian Hope. It takes the fuzzy concept of Hope and reveals it in everyday settings



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Meditation: His Busy Weekend

Important people lead busy, important lives. They sky in to NYC from LAX and put together banking mega-deals in a few days. They get it done and then take a charter to MIA to celebrate. The deal is their signature. They leave their mark. They do more in a weekend than I do all year. That’s the way of the world.

Jesus was one of the important people, too. He skied into Jerusalem: got himself killed and resurrected all in the next seven days. It’s his signature deal. He left his mark and headed off to Paradise to celebrate. But wait: there’s a problem with looking at Jesus the same way we look at other important people. If his atoning death was his signature deal, why should we bother with the other 33 years of his life? Or the other 2,000 years of his resurrected life?

I think we’ve been tempted to reduce the ministry and message of our Lord to that one busy weekend in Jerusalem. And I get it: it’s understandable. The death and resurrection of Jesus changed history forever. His death was the biggest bailout in history. His blood paid the debt of all humanity and there’s still money in the bank. No one else could do what he did, and the cross is the sign of his love.

But didn’t the birth of Jesus change history as well? Wasn’t the game changed forever when an unknown man from Nazareth began with the announcement: “The time is right. God’s Kingdom is within your reach. Think new thoughts and re-imagine your life.”

Jesus did more than sky into Jerusalem and put together the mega-deal of eternity. We cannot fully lay hold of his work if we minimize the importance of the 33 years that led to the cross. The cross was unique in all of human history. But so was in Incarnation. And the good news of the Kingdom of God. And the example of his human life lived in complete concert with the Father’s heart. To ignore any of these other vital factors is to fall short of the glory of God revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Has our gratitude for one of his gracious gifts caused us to miss the other gifts he gave--and still offers? It’s a meditation worthy of this new week.

Reader Comments (2)

Ray, good seed, thank you. What about the beginning of the Gospel according to John? I did a quick search of "the word" throughout the Bible. Not all but many times I am now wondering if they were referencing Christ Jesus communicating for God. Jesus was part of the beginning of our creation, has taken an active role throughout our history, and only stopped His loving support for a three day respite when He knew nothing as one of the dead (and possibly for nine months while being woven in the womb).

Jesus without His sacrifice for us would have always been of one heart and one mind with and as God. Jesus would have known no beginning and no end if it were not for the fact that He died for our sins. He would not have even known mortality if He had chosen not to live to teach us in a form we could understand as His signature. The gift of His 33 years as the Son of man was greater than we can understand. The significance of before and after that gift will take the remainder of eternal time to even begin to conceive of.

What we can know is that we are individually just a fleeting speck of nothing without a relationship with what He continues to offer us. Why do so many waste this opportunity by acting out on the feeling and thought that they are significant without the love and truth of God? Most importantly to me, why do I have moments acting like I can feel and know on my own without Their nurture? Their image?

June 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHerm Halbach

Thanks, Herm: I especially like your meditation on the price he paid incarnationally. It worth thinking about. Peace to you.

June 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRay Hollenbach

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