Receive and Rest: Season 8 Episode 37
Week Five Reflections with Hunter
Receive and Rest
Leviticus 1-3 and Acts 13. We are reading through the NLT.
Wherever the Gospel is preached it will be either received and welcomed or rejected and resisted. For some it will seem familiar and old and for others it will seem brand new. Paul and Barnabas are being sent out and the message about Christ is multiplying in the hearts of many.
They were preaching to Jews, primarily, and they were taking them back all the way to Abraham and Moses. They took them back through the Exile and their deliverance from Egypt,
They took them back to the wilderness and the institution of the Levitical and sacrificial system,
back through the Prophets and the Kings. They took them back to something old and familiar.
Out of this, the story of God’s people, emerged God’s man - God’s plan for the redemption of our lives. God’s man, and his plan, is Jesus, the one who would take them to God and make them right with God.
God sent his Son. He came to us and lived a perfect life. He fulfilled all those Levitical laws that demonstrate his absolute purity, holiness, righteousness and justice. The Levitical sacrifices are fulfilled in him.
Then he died on the Cross, as a substitute sacrifice for us, so that we might live. But he didn’t just die. He was raised to new life to free humanity from the penalty of sin, death and the grave and to raise us to new life.
This is the message they are preaching with all their heart, soul. Some of them came to life when they saw and understood the message of Christ. But many Jewish listeners who should have been familiar with the message, resisted and rejected it. They resisted because they had put their hope in their own piety and obedience to the law - their own self-salvation project.
But it’s not only pious Jews who have a hard time with this. Humanity in general has a hard time with this, even Christians. We want to trust in own piety, obedience and efforts, as a way to make ourselves right with God. We can become frustrated, bitter, exhausted and discouraged.
The message Paul was on fire to tell the world was that humanity has been made right with God, not by our own effort or piety, but by what Christ has done for us. The same Life that raised Jesus from the dead lives in every man, woman, boy or girl. Ours is to believe, receive and walk in this truth. Jesus has made us right with God. And it is a gift.
Live in the light, strength and joy of Christ in you. Be one who receives and rests in His life, not one who resists and rejects it.
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