How the multiplicity of Jesus changes our Today

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Previously, we walked through how the Old Covenant points to the New Covenant; rather than being separate or conflicting attitudes of God, they are unified and one informs the other. The center is Jesus’ advent, life, death, resurrection, ascension, and second advent. The whole of the Old Covenant (and companion history of the Israelite people) worked in part to reveal the spanning power and purpose of Jesus’ role on Earth.

Jesus is our perfected Law through which we receive righteousness, our Temple where we meet the Holy God, our High Priest who intercedes on our behalf, and our Lamb who was sacrificed to carry the wrath of God our sin rightly deserves and by which we can approach God at all.

The elements laid out in the Old Covenant that help us understand all that Christ accomplishes are, by natural extension, elements that reveal the image of God to us.

Every lamb sacrificed was a little imago Dei – an indicator of the character of God himself and a waypost revealing how God intends to interact with his Creation. Every time the tabernacle was erected, every stone laid in the Temple was a little imago Dei. Each time the priest adorned the ephod and interceded on behalf of the people, a little imago Dei was revealed.

Just as the Old Covenant was designed with a multitude of little imago Dei’s so that we could see and understand God more clearly, so are our lives today filled with a plethora of little imago Dei’s so that those around us who are far from God might see him more clearly.

Of course, we ourselves – as living, breathing, people in community – are imago Dei, made in the image of God and designed to reflect him. When we are rescued by God and restored into right relationship with him, we are freed to begin living out our imago Dei as we were designed. People living in their imago Dei who act – who create, cultivate, contribute – make little imago Dei’s like ripples in a pond. When the High Priest (who himself was made in the imago Dei) sacrificed a lamb, that act became a little image Dei because it was carried out by one restored into the Kingdom with the intent of bringing glory to the King.

The Law, Tabernacle, Priests, and Sacrifice all exist as cultural goods of the Old Covenant (and more broadly, Israeli culture) and each individual cultural good was itself a small reflection of the character of God when carried out by the people of God – imago Dei – for the glory of God.

In the same way, the things we contribute to our culture and economy can be little reflections of the heart and character of God to those around us who are far from God. Parenthood, marriage, work-place conflict management, design, advertising, manufacturing, birthday parties, engineering, public safety, public health & policy – the list is endless. Everything we set our hand to with our mind on the glory of God is transformed into little imago Dei’s of cultural goods.

When we go out into the everyday stuff of life, we bring the greatness of God’s glory with us as stewards of his Kingdom – a Kingdom that is not far off, nor made for a different world, but a Kingdom that is near. It is a Kingdom in which each of our little cultural goods reveal a little angle of God’s character and intent in his Creation. And those little shards of light – those little imago Dei’s – will be presented as pleasing offerings for his glory both now (to those around us) and for eternity (in the restored Creation).

Our creativity, industriousness, marketplace, and community are not separate from the in-breaking Kingdom of God. Instead, they were purposefully designed to help us understand who God is and how he intends to interact with his Creation. The reason spiritual analogies can be found in every day encounters is because they were designed to be there. It is not chance, nor a stretch, to connect the mundane with the magnificent. Just as each burnt offering revealed an angle of God’s intent among his people, so also how we treat our least favorite client can reveal and angle of God’s intent as he restores us into his present Kingdom.

We could not understand what Jesus accomplished if the tabernacle was only a tent. We needed the priests. We needed the sacrifices. We needed to law. Each revealed something new and unique about the hugeness of Jesus that the other elements could not reveal. In the same way, we need the diversity of cultural goods and economy so that there are many little reflections that will one day cease to be fragments and will come together under the fully revealed glory of God so that we can understand him much more deeply and more profoundly.

Set your hand to work today. Do it with the glory of God in mind. Know that your seemingly rote contribution to culture and economy will be presented as treasures before the King of kings. With our minds set on the glory of God, the small things of today participate in the coming of the Kingdom here and now.

 

 

K Livingston
K Livingston
I believe in dreaming big, working hard, cheering loud, standing tall, bowing deep. All of it because I believe Jesus = life.
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