Saturday, November 27, 2010

Nov 28 -The Hope of Glory

Guest blogger, Stan Nussbaum, takes us on a journey through the messianic year calendar.

Welcome to the journey of our Messiah through the year with Dr. Nussbaum.

"For this is the secret: Christ lives in you, and this is your assurance that you will share in his glory."
Colossians. 1:27 (NLT)

Have you ever looked in the mirror in the morning and thought, “It’s me again”? Same old me. Same name. Same place. Same look. Same limitations. Same baggage. The only thing that isn’t the same is that the wrinkles are getting deeper.

If so, check the calendar. We are in the Season of Glory, and that has wonderful implications for the mirror at 7AM. Contemplating the Messiah’s glory is better than a shot of “Five-Hour Energy.” It touches the parts that Five-Hour Energy just can’t reach.

We have the hope of sharing the Messiah’s glory, and people who have hope look different than hopeless people. They live differently. They act differently. They initiate things. They stick with things. They take a long-term view of life, and they are not wrapped up in themselves or preoccupied with their aches, pains, or wrinkles. They are the best advertisements of the Messiah’s arrival.

As the Messiah’s people we resemble optimists but we are much more than mere positive thinkers, always “hoping for the best.” That is why the NLT (New Living Translation) of Col. 1:27 speaks of “assurance” instead of “hope,” as the older translations put it. The meaning of “hope” has eroded over the years. “I hope so” is now much too weak a statement to apply to us as we anticipate the glorious return of the Messiah. We hope the Messiah will come back? We hope we will share in his glory? Way too lame a way of saying it. We know he is coming back. We are dead certain of it.

How does current English speak of future things that are sure bets instead of mere “hopes”? We would say they are “guaranteed to happen.” This, of course, raises questions about who is guaranteeing the thing, whether they are able to get it to happen, and whether we missed anything in the fine print of the guarantee.

And here we arrive at one of the most amazing aspects of this totally amazing season—there is no fine print in the Messiah’s guarantee! The long-kept secret “is now as clear as daylight to those who love God.” He gives them “a vision of the full wonder and splendor of his secret plan. . . And the secret is simply this: Christ in you! Yes, Christ in you bringing with him the hope of all the glorious things to come.” (Col. 1:26-27, Phillips Trans., his italics)

Three words, “Christ in you.” Three words change wishful thinking to bedrock assurance. The Messiah is already in us. We talk of people who have “one foot in the grave.” The Messiah already has “one foot in our lives.” He is present with us through the Holy Spirit, who makes us look like him. And the other foot is coming soon! When he arrives in person, jumps into our lives with both feet, “We will be like him for we will see him as he is.” (1 Jn. 3:2) We will be like him completely because we will see him in all his glory.

So let’s look in the mirror again. Lo and behold, the body is aging but the person is aging in reverse! Our gnarly, sin-damaged, decrepit souls have found the Fountain of Youth, and they are getting younger and healthier by the day. And so the aging body somehow radiates an inner glory, a sign of the times that defies the signs of the body. The Messiah lives here! The messianic age has dawned within. (Luke 17:21)

Welcome: Jesus, Messiah, thank you for coming to the door of my life and putting one foot in. Come on in, all the way in. It will be wonderful to have you here.

Affirmation: I will share in the Messiah’s glory. It’s a hope and it’s a lock.



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