This one gospel, this message of news that was simultaneously threatening and promising, concerned the coming of Jesus the Messiah, the long-awaited King, and included something about his origins, the ministry of his forerunner, his brief ministry of teaching and miraculous transformation, climaxing in his death and resurrection. These elements are not independent pearls on a string that constitutes the life and times of Jesus the Messiah. Rather, they are elements tightly tied together. Accounts of Jesus’ teaching cannot be rightly understood unless we discern how they flow toward and point toward Jesus’ death and resurrection. All of this together is the one gospel of Jesus Christ, to which the canonical Gospels bear witness. To study the teaching of Jesus without simultaneously reflecting on his passion and resurrection is far worse than assessing the life and times of George Washington without reflecting on the American Revolution, or than evaluating Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ without thinking about what he did and how he died. Second, we shall soon see that to focus on Jesus’ teaching while making the cross peripheral reduces the glorious good news to mere religion, the joy of forgiveness to mere ethical conformity, the highest motives for obedience to mere duty. The price is catastrophic.     

-D.A. Carson

  

Some years ago now I was out playing golf (as I am fond of doing) and after finishing my round I noticed something drastic was missing.  I couldn’t put my finger on it immediately, but as I drove home I slowly but surely began to see just what it was that had went wrong—I hadn’t enjoyed my round of golf one bit and I had missed all of the beauty there was for the taking over the course of my four hour excursion.  What I had just paid a pretty penny to savor—I had let slip through the palms of my hands. 

So it is with a flippant and unintentional handling of the truth of Jesus Christ.

We can miss Jesus even going to Mass or worship service every day of the week, and dare I say—even memorizing our Bibles upside down and inside out.  To somehow proceed in the Christian life without a revelation of some sort of idea about just how far-reaching and pertinent the effects of the cross of Christ are indeed—like my afternoon at the golf course in which I missed the whole reason I go to play in the first place—to somehow view Jesus without seeing his crowning event and subsequent glorification is to miss Jesus entirely.  Jesus wasn’t merely a piece of history—all of history rests on the revelation of just Who it is that he is and what it was that he accomplished here after leaving all of the riches of heaven and visiting this poverty stricken earth.

We must never forget that the Cross has implications in regards to the movies we see, the relationships we cherish, the thoughts we share (and the ones we hide)—and even the food we eat. 

The Cross leaves no stones unturned. 

 52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ 53 So Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.’   (John 6:52-54, ESV)

Anyone who wants to snack on Jesus doesn’t have life. 

When Jesus invites us to eat he invites us to a meal. 

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