Monday, December 27, 2010

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. Hussbaum.

Dec. 26 - The glorious word, “Done!”

He also said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.” (Rev. 21:6, NET)

If you have ever reached the finish line of a multi-year project like earning a degree or paying off a mortgage, you know the joy of the word, “Done!” This is the joy we come to at the end of the Messianic Year, anticipating the day when the Messiah himself will proclaim, “It is done!” (Rev. 21:6)

He said that once before, of course—“It is finished!” (Jn. 19:30). It marked the completion of the work he came to do on his first visit to this world. He had spread the Declaration of Peace throughout the nation of Israel, as we saw last week. He had laid down his life as the perfect sacrifice for all time. That phase of his work was done, never to be repeated.

“Done” is a God-word. God created the world in six days and it was “done,” so well done, in fact, that he sat down and enjoyed it on the seventh day. God’s arch-enemy has no right to that word, “Done.” He never gets to carry any of his plans through to completion. Even if he gets tantalizingly close, as he did when he had the Messiah on the cross, the whole thing is suddenly un-done. He is the king of “almost,” which is to say, the king of nothing.

He bluffs, of course. “You are done for. It’s over.” And there is a lot of evidence implying he is still in power. Two thousand years after Jesus said, “Done,” earth still looks like a basket case, riddled with disease, war, drugs, oppression, loneliness, poverty, greed, AIDS, genocide, divorce, corruption, etc. That is a lot of unfinished business. The gracious approach to sin does not look very effective.

Can anybody seriously believe the Messiah did not think of that? Could he have gone to the cross and not realized that a lot of sinners would stay sinners anyway? Didn’t he foresee that billions of people, including hundreds of millions who think they are “Christians,” would regard him only as a religious teacher but not a king? He must have known.

Then why did he do it? Only to create the time and space for people like us to welcome him when we are not forced to. In that one free act of welcoming, we find our identity and fulfillment as human beings. We get to know what it means to live in him and have him living in us.

The window of opportunity will close, however. On the appointed day the Messiah’s Declaration of Peace will be replaced by his Declaration of Victory, “The whole world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever." (Rev. 11:15, NLT) He will return in glory and power, he will use force, he will eradicate evil, and he will do it all with only one weapon, “the sword of his mouth.” (Rev. 19:15, see the reading for July 25). He has the last word, and when he says it is over, it’s over.

Since he is the Alpha and Omega, who are we? His welcomers and his representatives. We welcome him by praying as he taught us, “May your reign begin. May your will be DONE on earth as it is in heaven!” We represent him by telling the world that the Declaration of Peace is still in effect, though we do not know for how long. 2011 could be the year he declares victory and permanently floods the world with all the blessings we have been celebrating. The Messianic Year will give way to the Messianic Age. “Yes, come Lord Jesus.” (Rev. 22:20)

Welcome: Jesus the Messiah, we can’t wait to welcome you back. May your reign begin. May your will be done in us today, and may it be done everywhere soon. Please come and say, “Done!”

Affirmation: This year we celebrate the Messianic Year here. Next year in the New Jerusalem, God willing.



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