Part 6 – Victory here on Earth
The idea that Christ died to win back our rightful position as kings and priests and administrators of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth – as God’s very own children too – is almost as foreign to many Christians as it is to the rest of the world.
We’ve been cleverly distracted from our Father’s amazing purpose for us – right here on the Earth – into treading water until “God calls us home” to our eternal reward in Heaven. And for some odd reason we prize that over what God made possible through his Son’s death. We’d rather strum harps and sing in choirs in some far off distant “heaven” than think about what being restored back to our job as kings and priests on this Earth means, and what possibilities that has opened up for all humanity right in the here and now.
One has to wonder why we as Christians became so focused on leaving this Earth and going to Heaven, when Jesus’ focus was on the Kingdom of Heaven coming here. Right at the start of his ministry in Mark 1:15 he announced, “At last the time has come; God’s Kingdom has arrived,” and from then on, Matthew 9:35, he “went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom.” And in Luke 4:43 he said, “I must preach the Kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent.” And did the Jews immediately interpret that as, “Great, we’re all going to Heaven”?
No, they didn’t. The mention of the word ‘Kingdom’ – in the minds of the people Jesus was talking to – was the great Victory here on Earth predicted in the book of Daniel two hundred years earlier. There it was in Daniel 7:13-14 that spoke of “one like a son of man,” a human being no less, who “was given authority, glory and sovereign power” – the power, that is, to create and rule an unending Kingdom involving “all peoples and nations” – here on the Earth.
When the Jews heard the word ‘Kingdom’, therefore, that’s what it meant to them, that God was setting up his Kingdom here under the rulership of humans again, just as he originally intended.
And through Jesus, the long awaited Messiah, that kingdom had begun. They didn’t have to wait any longer for that kingdom to begin, therefore, because in Jesus it had already started…(continues tomorrow)