Friday, January 05, 2007

Point 3: Jesus takes us from the Passover to the Passion.

Comments and corrections welcome.
Read the text HERE
Read the introduction: New Year's Revolution.
Jesus takes us to three places:
Point 1: Jesus takes us from the Pious to the Personal.
Point 2: Jesus takes us from mere Information to true Insight.

Point 3. Jesus takes us from Passover to the Passion.

Here is something interesting: The Gospel of Luke is Jesus’ travel log to Jerusalem. Jesus only gets to Jerusalem in his adult ministry in Ch 19 (The so-called Triumphant entry).

In Luke’s account, there are only three recorded times that Jesus goes to Jerusalem before he begins his adult ministry.

As a baby, his parents offer a sacrifice, as was the pious duty of a Jewish parent.
As a boy, our text here, at Passover time.
As a man, just before he begins his ministry, the devil takes him to Jerusalem to tempt him NOT to take the path of the cross. The devil basically tempts Jesus saying that God wants Jesus to have his Best Life Now, and to avoid the cross, and conflict, and suffering, and rejection.

Each time, there is this foreshowing of the sacrifice and the passion of the Christ.

Here in our text, they are there in the Temple at Passover.

Passover was the time when Israel remembered that a lamb must be sacrificed; an offering must be given for sins to be covered. For judgment to be avoided. A lamb must be sacrificed before the people can be set free. That’s what Joseph would have been instructing Jesus in.

And Jesus is there, in the temple, in Jerusalem, at Passover. And he says: V49

“Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”

The original language is not ambiguous about the “must” there in that sentence. It carries with it a strong – ‘have to’ – ‘it is a necessity that’. The very kind of ‘must’ he uses later to say he must die...

What is slightly more ambiguous is how to translate “in my father’s house”.

Literally, it is: “Did you not know that I must be ‘in the things of my Father’” Or maybe: “Did you not know that I must ‘concern myself with my Father’s matters’?” The older translations said: “my Father’s work”. It seems deliberately ambiguous.

And “My Father’s matters” is that God seeks and saves the lost. (Luke 19:10). “My Father’s business” is that Jesus must die in Jerusalem for sin.

Jesus takes us from Passover to the Passion.

I find it interesting that Joseph, the father, lost his son for three days. And he astonished over this.

I find it faith compelling that God the Father lost his Son for three days. And the Father was in agony over this.

Jesus cried on the Cross: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” or maybe: “Why have you lost me?”

Jesus takes us from Passover to the Passion.

So -- to sum up. To be a father is, in part, to give your child your eyes. Your outlook. Your view of how things are: the nature of things. Your view of the future: The shape of things to come.

Joseph probably wanted for Jesus to be a pious Jew, honorable and capable. He wanted him to grow strong and maybe join the carpentry business. He wanted to put his hands to work on wood.

But Jesus knew -- at least by 12 -- knew that he was going to give Joseph his eyes.

To be The Father God is, in part, to give his Son his eyes. His outlook. His view of how things are: the nature of things. His view of the future: The shape of things to come. And that involved Jesus having a personal relationship with God. Where his hands went to work on wood, yes. But only together with the metal of a Roman executer’s nails.

And this mean giving Joseph and Mary -- and you the one who joins Jesus in his travel -- He gives you the eyes of a personal God, whom you can seek, and you will find in Jesus.



J. Buzzard said...


michael jensen said...

These three points correspond to Truth, Beauty and Good (kinda). That is, we go from knowledge to really knowing, from surface regard to deep affection for God, and... (I dunno how to do the third one).

Jonathan Edwards again?

Craig Tubman said...

great question on my blog.

I'm snowed under for 48 more hours, then I'll reply.

loved the Luke thoughts - unfortunately I had to go with something else for tomorrows sermon, cause we are starting a series in Luke in a few weeks!

talk soon

John P. said...

I loved the jab at "Best Life Now." I couldnt agree more with you. It seems that one of the most difficult things for us American christians to do is repent of our own unquestioning involvement in the "american dream."

great series!

Justin said...

Thank you Gentlemen.

Craig -- how did you go?

John -- Can you explain to me how America's largest church has Osteen as its teacher?

John P. said...

haha...i am sure i could venture a guess (Something to do with the pragmatism of america's philosophical soul, the rugged individualism that is embedded in all of the great "american stories"), but i am not sure these even scratch the surface.

Even this morning i went to church with some friends who live in Alpharetta. They are members of Northpoint Community (Andy Stanley's congregation) which seats just under 10,000 people in its main 11 am service (in two auditoriums, mind you). The sermon was a difficult interpretation of how Jesus wants us to pray. unfortunately, Stanley's message was plagued by the same prosperity problems as Osteen.

"Pray for big things and big things will come to you."

The baffling thing is that 'big things' are happening in this church: Financial growth, congregational growth, satellite church plants, global mission field...Andy Stanley even commented in his sermon that the reason why the majority of denominations are not growing is because they do not pray correctly.

Northpoint (And churches like it) have found themselves in a position of immense growth and it just so happens that this further promotes their dangerous theology. A recipe for disaster.

I only wonder how long this can last...It seems to me that every body will one day be confronted by the harsh reality that we don't actually get what we want every time we ask God for it. And a season of suffering will most likely visit all people for some time. The prosperity gospel is not equipped to console people in the community of God appropriately.

I have so many thoughts on this issue and so few answers. how about you?