Friday, December 12, 2008

God's Salvation

I'm preaching on the cross this Sunday - for Christmas. Jesus is the Hero who saves us from our sin. It was good to review Peterson's chapter as a reminder of the centrality of God's work in salvation. Peterson moves, in this section, from the life of creation (previous section) to death that permeates creation. It is a depressing beginning, but then we're reminded that Christ Plays in Salvation in the theater of death and despair. His main objective in this section (far greater than a chapter - 100 pages, give or take a few) is to remind us that God is the main player in salvation and we need to avoid moralism, thinking we add anything or contribute to the process.

He uses Exodus as a grounding text. Israel eats and responds. God tears down the mental, demonic stranglehold that Egypt had on God's people and leads them out. It was his work, not theirs. They eat, leave, and sing in response to salvation. Likewise, the gospels (he focuses on Mark) point to the death of Jesus that secures salvation in history. Again, we don't add anything to it. Rather, we give up. We die to ourselves and enter into the Jesus story as His followers. We don't contribute.

As we were to cultivate awe in creation via Sabbath in the last section. In this one we are reminded that salvation is Christ's work as we take communion. It is a regular reminder of what Jesus did to secure our salvation. I remember listening to a podcast by Jim Gilmore (The Experience Economy) a while ago. He was at a conference at Mars Hill Church in Seattle. He talked about how communion is an experience where we, in a small way, re-enact the cost of salvation. Powerful.

I'd encourage you to remember the next time you take communion, but that's kind of redundant. That's why we do it. But remember, I guess, that it is Jesus' work. You aren't adding anything. He is central in salvation so eat, respond, and sing with gratitude for God's great salvation.

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