God used Moses to deliver His people from slavery from God’s wrath upon Egypt and to lead them to the Promised Land. So also, God sent His only begotten Son to deliver us from slavery to sin and from death and to lead us to the eternal Promised Land. God is glorified in the satisfaction of His perfect justice.
Just as God drew the queen of Sheba to Israel to witness God’s favor upon Solomon, so God has bestowed His favor in the gospel of Jesus Christ” in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). While the queen of the South came to behold the favor of God in the son of David, the faithful Son of David, the eternal Son of God commands His Church: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:18-20).
As John Stott taught his study assistant, when we get our theology of grace right, then we see the necessity of grace in all things, which leads us to worship, whether it be the thin end of a cup of coffee or the wide end of the resurrection of Christ from the dead.
Indeed, salvation belongs to the Lord, for our Lord said, “just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:40). Yet, unlike Jonah, the Lord Jesus regarded the Scriptures as the very breath of God, down to the iota and dot.
The crowds are no different today. The worldly-minded either wants its best life here and now or a secret rapture to get out as fast as possible. Jesus delivers neither, but offers Himself the ransom for many, high and lifted for our redemption to His glory.
Our redemption is ultimately a restoration of our glorious humanity, in the image of God yet without sin. What God the Father ordained, and God the Spirit applies, was accomplished by God the Son, fully God and fully man, that we might be restored to the eternal humanity in which we were created.
As God promised, so he provided, giving “His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NASB). In Christ, he has given us his abiding peace through the provision of his Spirit. In Christ, he has given us his means of grace abiding in his peace. In Christ, he has prepared his kingdom that we may know eternal peace.
I wonder how many Christians lead joyless lives because they wallow in the weight of their past sins. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Repent, confess, ask for forgiveness (early and often), and pray for joy. Therefore, we are to consider the trials of this life pure joy, more than happiness, for God is at work in us for our good and his glory.
One of the evidences of Christian maturity is in fact love for one another. And in our friendship with Christ, as we love one another, true friendships begin to blossom. One of God’s blessings upon the local church is true and lasting friendships among brothers and sisters in Christ.
The point in this: There are some things fulfilled in Scripture to which we look, believe, and find hope. There are other things promised but not yet fulfilled to which we also look, believe, and find hope.