Life for all
The effect of Jesus's death on the cross, though, is at the heart of the Christian message.
That is because, three days after his battered, bleeding body had been laid to rest in the tomb, he returned to life.
The resurrection, as we said before, is the heart of the Christian message and hope. The hope is clear to see. It showed the world that, by returning to life, Jesus proved that death can be conquered. He is called the firstborn from the dead. The New Testament tells us umpteen times that believers are raised with Christ in that they share his victory over sin and death. The key word here is 'believers' and the definition and relevance of this word is described in the final section.
Tying it all together ... #2
Phew, we've got to the end of the Section. It's been long and complicated and I think that it would be best to summarise the material we have covered:
it all started with the disobedience of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman. They lost their relationship with God and were banished from the Garden of Eden.
from then on, from Abel to Noah to Abraham and onwards, only by the shedding of blood through an animal sacrifice could man get right with God, albeit temporarily. This concept is called atonement.
the sacrificial system had been well developed at the time of Moses into different types of sacrifices. But God grew weary of the disobedience and ungodliness of his people and declared that it was the contriteness of heart that was important, not an empty ritual. He hinted at a New Covenant to come that would put this right.
we looked at the Last Supper, or 'Last Seder' of Jesus. We saw how the elements of this ceremony spoke of him and his mission. In particular we saw how he identified with the unleavened bread, to show his sinlessness and to look to his death.
we then examined the context of Jesus' birth and the role of the Holy Spirit. This led us to look at the Trinity, God the Father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit. We then looked further at Jesus, at his twin nature of human and divine.
we also saw how Jesus identified with the Passover wine, how it signified the New Covenant and spoke of his coming death. He also identified with the Passover lamb, in his role as the lamb of God. These considerations resulted in some sort of an understanding the concept of being 'saved by the blood of the lamb'.
Finally we saw how the resurrection of Jesus supplies up with hope, by showing us how death was conquered.
Yes, at first sight, it does seem like the plot of a novel, perhaps even a bit farfetched for some. But, believe me, it is true.
In this most important of situations, facts are stranger than fiction. But then, you would expect a plot from the mind of God to be something special. And if you choose to suspend belief because you can't quite take it in, then you could be in real shtuck! The next and final section explains why.