One Word Mission
What’s your life’s mission? Can you summarize it with an object or picture or a singular word?
When we look at the life of Jesus, that is an easy thing to do. Cross. The cross. Don’t be deceived by those who wish to reduce Jesus and his mission to simply being a great moral teacher. If you read the Gospels and Jesus’ own declarations, his purpose was very clear. He was here to usher in the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:15). In Luke 9:51 we read: “As the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” Why? What was going to happen in Jerusalem? Earlier in the chapter Jesus reveals twice what awaits him (v.22,44). The Cross.
What was so important about the Cross? Why would someone knowingly embrace that sort of future? Because it would be the required means of ushering in the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is about the rule of God. The King of this Kingdom is also our Creator and Heavenly Father. We see that since Creation sin has broken the relationship that we were created for. And through sin we had forfeited our position as co-regents with God. Our position to rule came out of our relationship with God. Throughout the Old Testament we saw God strike up and reconfirm Covenants to restore that relationship. Those all failed through our unfaithfulness and stubbornness to embrace what was freely offered by our Heavenly Father. What is required in a Covenant is the giving up of a life and sealing the agreement in blood. And so on the Cross Jesus gave His life up to establish a new Covenant relationship on our behalf.
Colossians 2:13-15 says, “13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. 15 In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.” That tells us that the themes of Covenant and Kingdom are both woven together on the cross. Covenant gives us value. Kingdom gives us vision. The Cross is about substitutionary death. The cross is also about the victory of God over our enemies. The throne of the world that was taken by the enemy in the Garden of Eden, has been reclaimed by a rightful heir. And now we, as the children of God, all play a role in kingdom representation! That is far better than the few chosen individuals we saw sit on the throne of Israel in the Old Testament. How much greater impact we will have.
Next time you sing songs of the Cross, may you be reminded that the cross has both Covenant and Kingdom implications for your life today.