Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What does it mean that Christ has returned to us our humanity?

This blog is primarily about editing a book. From time to time, however, I know I'm going to be compelled to post excerpts from the manuscript that I find illuminating or helpful. I will try to remember to label them so they can be readily distinguished from the posts that are purely editorial in nature. Here is the first such inspirational entry, a partially edited and excerpted section from chapter two. Brian Hedges comes up with some great material. The purpose of this excerpt is not to encourage humanity to be self-congratulatory, self-exalting, or triumphalist, but to marvel at the graciousness and comprehensiveness of Christ's gift to us.

All Things Under His Feet
In 1 Co 15 Paul borrows the phrase “put all things under his feet” from Psalm 8, and the phrase is loaded with meaning….this psalm is about God’s original purpose and intention for human beings and their relationship to the created world. As we saw in chapter one, human beings were designed to reign over the created world as God’s representatives on earth. Because of sin, they do not….

In taking this language from Psalm 8, however, Paul is saying that God has put all things under the feet of the risen and exalted Christ (cf. Heb. 2:5-9). In the person of Jesus, who is fully God and fully man, man has resumed his lordship over creation. Everything that Christ has done, is doing, and will do serves to recapture and complete God's original plan for the perfection of creation!

Human Nature Exalted in Christ
God’s work in making Christ supreme has extraordinary implications—and not just theoretical or theological implications, but extremely personal implications for every Christian. For in Jesus Christ, human nature itself has been resurrected, enthroned, and exalted….

In Jesus, we see something of the pattern of what we will be. He is the firstborn of the new creation, the firstfruits of the resurrection in the age to come. His exaltation to a place of rulership is something we will share. We are beneficiaries of the restoration of humanity that Christ accomplished through his resurrection. When Scripture tells us that we can anticipate being made like Him, this is something of what it means.


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