5th April 2017

All in a Day’s Work

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
Ephesians 4:20-21 (NKJV)

God’s never been fazed with our rejections of him; he’s allowed them and even used them to further his plan to restore his erring children to his side. At the beginning, Adam and Eve decided on independence and rejected the rule of God. No doubt the serpent chortled, ‘Gotcha God!’ Did God really say ‘Oh whoops, it’s all gone wrong?’ Of course he didn’t—he had a rescue plan in place long before the pair jumped. It’s a plan which, of all things, uses the very human race that rejected him to bring it about.

On their way to the Promised Land, the Israelites had a mind-blowing national short-term memory loss—they rejected God, who had just performed some spectacular deeds to rescue them from slavery and death, and decided they wanted what all the peoples around them preferred, and got a nice shiny animal statue for their god. God simply made them all tour the wilderness till they died and the next generation entered the Promised Land.

Now after being installed in the land for a while, they decided they wanted to have a human king like all the other nations. But look at how God dealt with this one: You can have your king, and from one of these kings one day will come the righteous King of the whole world. God uses their rejection for his own ends to further his rescue.

Skipping down the centuries, when the chief priest brought Jesus before Pilate, he asked them, Shall I crucify your king? So they are forced to choose which king they will serve: ‘We have no king but Caesar’ they shout back. For four hundred years after returning from exile the nation had suffered oppression by foreign powers, violence and death, the enforcement of Hellenistic values, and attempts to pollute and eradicate their religion. The Jews longed for their liberty and hated their gentile rulers, yet there and then they were willing to bow to Tiberius Caesar.

It’s the biggest about-turn in history, the greatest capitulation and the ultimate rejection of their God and King in the world since Adam and Eve. Yet Jesus does not defend himself. God does nothing and Jesus dies. For in that ultimate rejection and betrayal was the very way that God would reconcile his rebellious and hostile children. Three days later Jesus is resurrected. As Peter said to the rulers of Israel a few weeks later ‘the stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone’ (Acts 4:11).

Prayer
Glory to you, our Father, who with infinite power and all-encompassing love accomplishes our reconciliation and salvation, in spite of what we do.
Amen

Study by Hilary Buck

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About the Author:
Hilary Buck pastors Grace Communion in Lewes. Like us on www.facebook.com/GCLewes

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Lewes
The Priory School
Mountfield Road
LEWES BN7 2XN

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11:00am

Local Congregational Contact:
Hilary Buck
Email: hilaryjbuck@gmail.com

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