Jesus Ends the Exile
|Jesus Ends the Exile|
|Topic:||Covenant, Kingdom of God|
Jesus came as the savior of his people, and we are part of the kingdom Jesus built.
How to Get There
- The Israelites had great promises from God to Abraham about being a great people, free and holy. They had a covenant that promised greatness.
- But almost from then on, the people were enslaved by one conqueror or another.
- People longed for their punishment and exile to be over.
- The people are expecting a messiah to come so they can reclaim their land and their kingdom. They thought John was the messiah, and by pointing out that he wasn't it only raises the bar for Jesus.
- Jesus' baptism was a symbol of the New Jerusalem, the Exodus from evil and into God's presence.
- What God said to Jesus at his baptism is language the people would have understood as being language God spoke to Abraham when the covenant was first formed. It anticipates the sacrifice Jesus made by pulling up images of Abraham ready to sacrifice Isaac.
- These verses are all pointing that Jesus is bringing a new covenant, Jesus is fulfilling the promises given earlier to the Israelites. He is savior, with a new kingdom we can join.
- John didn't go to this length to promote a good teacher, or a moral set of ideas. John was introducing people to their rescuer from exile.
- Jesus rescues us from our exiles as well. We're part of that covenant too.
- Do we get that? Do we see our lives reflecting this new covenant, this new kingdom of God? Do we see what Jesus is rescuing us from?
Things to Watch For
A study of the history of Israel would be very helpful here, including the chronology of conguerors over Israel. The list is long and can really help people to get to understand the Israelite mind at this time.
This is more of an overview sermon, introductory, than in deep in any one passage. The idea is to try and see how people would have seen Jesus as messiah, not just as a good teacher, how this wasn't a late introduction by Paul.
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