Chapters 9 and 10
One Key Quote
“The flourishing associated with Eden will no longer be a story from the past but also a vision of their future “ (p.123)
Chapter 9: The Second Beginning. The gospels are about the fact that in Jesus a new creation is beginning. Jesus means ‘Yahweh saves’ and salvation carries the meaning of being led out of slavery into a wide open space. This wide open space now refers to the new heaven and the new earth. PH shows, in various ways, how, in Jesus, the threads of Israel’s story are being woven together. The Spirit hovering over Jesus at his baptism ‘like a dove’ is a symbol of the new creation. The temptations of Jesus are attempts to rob his identity as a son of God – and the one whose mission was to ‘seek and save the lost’ is going to restore humanity’s lost identity as sons and daughters of God. The passage that Jesus quotes from Isaiah 61 indicates a new Jubilee, a new reset button for God’s creation, and a new return from exile in sin and slavery. But Jesus is also a second Moses and the new creation would happen through a new exodus, as Jesus leads us into the new promised land of new creation. Even his miracles are to be understood as signs of re-creation – of his kingdom come, but also of a new exodus and liberation from exile caused by idolatry. In all these ways and more, ‘Jesus is fulfilling their story.’
Chapter 10: Recognising Jesus. Not everyone recognises Jesus for who he is but it is so important that we do if we are going to be part of his new creation purpose. It is the beginning of everything.This chapter shows howJesus fulfils all the promises seeded in the Old Testament, which we read about in chapter 7. Jesus is the promised husband or bridegroom and so re-creation is represented as a great wedding feast. Jesus reveals and reconciles us to God as the promised Father and so re-creation is seen in the terms of us being adopted into his family. He is also the promised good Shepherd who seeks the lost sheep and so re-creation is the abundant life that the Shepherd leads us into. Jesus is also the promised King, or Messiah, but he challenges all their and our assumptions about a conquering king. New creation come from the good reign of King Jesus.
Reflect and Discuss
- How does understanding how Jesus weaves together the threads of their history and fulfils Israel’s story, as recorded in our Old Testament, help us to understand God’s purpose?
- Why do you think the restoring of identity is so central to the message of saving that which was lost?
- Why is it really important to recognise Jesus for who he really is?
- Look again at which of the four promises about God meant the most to you when we read about them in chapter 7. How does Jesus fulfil this promise for you?
- Read one of the gospels, or portions of the gospels this week, and ask the Holy Spirit to give you a fuller, richer and deeper recognition of who Jesus is in the light of what you have read in these chapters.
- Tell someone about this Jesus that you have seen and known.
Read Chapters 11 and 12 this week. Chapter 11 looks at what we actually mean by the gospel. Chapter 12 reflects on an important prophetic word that PH’s church received and which shaped what their future.
There is a PDF version of this study guide here.