Chapters 13 and 14
One Key Quote
“A beautiful exchange takes place at Calvary. Christ takes what is rightfully ours (judgement and death) so that we might take what is rightfully his (righteousness and life).”p.182
Chapter 13: The Death of the King and the Life of the Kingdom. Starting with an interesting and amusing illustration, PH begins by making the point that the cross is not only about us having our sins forgiven but about enabling the restoring of all things. There has to be a reversal of disorder as well as a restoration to right order – sin and its consequences have to be dealt with. The cross is the place where judgement comes against sin and it is also the act of perfect obedience that reverses the idolatry that has brought the disorder. The cross is the place of ultimate judgement by which we are restored to covenant relationship with God as sin is dealt with. It is the place of final victory as Jesus dies as the new Passover Lamb so that we can be brought into the freedom of a new Exodus, liberated from all evil and oppression. The cross is also the scene of the most perfect worship as Jesus fully keeps the covenant of obedience to the Father in contrast to our idolatry even when it meant laying down his life. Finally, the cross is the place of new birth as the old humanity is put to death and enables the birth of a new humanity. The cross is the place of agonising labour pains as a new creation is being born.
Chapter 14: The Resurrection and the Birth of the New Humanity. Like those first explorers centuries ago rounded the Cape of Good Hope to discover a route to the new world, Jesus has rounded the cape of death in order to open up a route to the new creation, bringing hope to all humanity. Resurrection and recreation are inseparable. The meal of the forbidden fruit in Genesis 3 is contrasted with the meal of bread and wine in Luke 24 when the disciples’ eyes were opened to see the risen Christ. The resurrection means that we can have a relationship with a Jesus who is alive forevermore. But the resurrection is also the starting point of God’s new world. We are guaranteed life after death but that life begins now. Resurrection life is now coursing through our veins and we get a foretaste of the future now.
Reflect and Discuss
- What have you usually through of the cross as accomplishing for us?
- Which of the four main things that PH says the cross accomplishes do you find most meaningful for you?
- What does the resurrection mean for you?
- In what way can we begin to experience something of the new creation now?
- Spend some time thanking Jesus for the cross and all that it means to you. Have a go at writing it in your own prayer or ‘psalm’.
- How can you run to tell the good news about the risen Christ this week?
Read Chapters 15 and 16 this coming week. This is about the pouring out of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and then the difference this can make in real, challenging circumstances of life.
There is a PDF version of this Guide here.