Jesus did not do things the way everyone thought he would or should. Yes, the Messiah would set up a Kingdom. But he would set it up in a way that did not make sense to the human mind or human way of being. He set up a Kingdom, not by shedding others blood in a revolt against Rome, but by allowing his own blood to be shed- the ultimate act of love. Could he have incited an uprising against Rome, arming the locals and wielding Moses-against-Egypt type miracles and even calling upon the legions of angels to set up an earthly kingdom at that time? I have no doubt. But he told Peter to put away his sword at his arrest. Noting that he could have called on the angels at that moment, Jesus did not do so. The Kingdom of God is set up in a way that is entirely opposite from the ways of a fallen world. This Kingdom is built upon love, an unmatched love, that affords grace. Grace for those who deserve the wrath of judgement. The human race became something opposed to God by their free will, a free will given to them out of God’s goodness. We have become a law unto ourselves, living life, life given to us by God, apart from him. So the wages of sin is death. There must be a penalty, a wrath, for sin because God is holy and just. But something miraculous happened. A Kingdom comes that is set up in a way that boggles the mind. A Kingdom set up through love, love given in the form of a sacrifice. A substitutionary sacrifice. This love gives grace, and grace governs wrath. Our means to this grace is faith. We have been given a plan for our pardoning. We have been given a way to be reconciled to God. Romans 5:8
Our response to this is to receive by faith what grace gives us. But afterward, we are to live “in” this Kingdom for we are then members of it. It’s not a geographical “in”, but a way of being “in”. Living in a Kingdom that was set up in a way that is contrary to the ways of the fallen world mean that we begin to live in a way that in many ways will be contrary to this fallen world. We do this by becoming like the one who set up the Kingdom. The life of Christ is the new way of living. In his new way of living came the Kingdom. Our life of picking up our cross daily, being of the process of becoming like Him and thus living a new way, is what we are to be about until his coming. In this way, we are a light to the world. In this way we are ushering in the Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven right now. In this way we are dealing with the sin and evil in this fallen world. When we become we will do. And what we do will be the witness of his Kingdom (Matthew 5:16).
I hope your mind has been on the Easter weekend for some time now. Each Sunday as we gather in our churches, it is a celebration of the resurrection of Christ. As we pick up our crosses daily, it is also a celebration of the resurrection of Christ, a celebration of our own resurrection found in our salvation, and looking forward in hope to the literal physical resurrection to come.
*Next time I’ll have a youth leadership tip on here. Check back in. (I’m on twitter now, you can follow me on www.twitter.com/kylanbooser)