As the manna sustained Israel in the wilderness, so God provisions the world with sunshine, rain and the good of the earth. Just and unjust alike thrive on this bounty. But God gives much more. Through his Son grants life in such vigorous, luxuriant supply, death cannot suppress or confine it. It flows on into eternity. Bread indeed!
Behold the anthropocentricity of God. Humans occupy center state in his focus and purpose. He is steadfast in his intention to gather the human race to himself, and death is no barrier to the realization of this aim. Jesus the Son is his medium for accomplishing his design. The 'last day' is the accomplishment of this dream. God and his own together.
At Calvary (blood), Christ achieved freedom for mankind; a liberation made true at a point in time; efficient, effective and abiding. It need never be repeated. It issued out of God's good will to men and women. The cross was the enactment in history of love that always existed, and always will.
The 'firstborn' is a position of privilege and preeminence in Scripture. To be 'firstborn' among the deceased would seem a dubious honor. But Jesus is firstborn from the dead. That is to say; he is pioneer and leader of a humanity that has experienced death--and overcome it. Such is the note of defiance and victory that shapes the Christian life. The worst threat has been de-fanged. Hope reigns supreme!
Moses was the great prophet who stood revered and tall in the religion of Israel. Devout Jews thought Moses, along with the tradition that bore his name, was the true benchmark for religious thought and practice. Jesus was disturbing when he said that nothing that came through Moses was truly enlivening. God has more to give than what Moses could supply. He gives the true bread from heaven--his Son. Christ, not our religious tradition, is the bread of life.
None of us live for very long. Nevertheless, we want God to complete his plan for the world in our lifetime. God keeps his word to Moses, but it's not Moses who sees it but Joshua. We rid ourselves of much restlessness when we are content to let God make good his promise at his own pace.
It is supposed that if we only knew our precise duty we would certainly do it, and all would be well between ourselves and God. It surprises us that God's interest has little do with us as suppliers of obedience. He prefers us as receivers and trustful beneficiaries of his largesse--the supplier and provider to our every need.
Many activities and undertakings of a material and practical nature are necessary for the nurture of society. None of them are more vital, however, than the 'the work of the tabernacle.' No individual or group can long survive without a life-giving set of values. We are ever in need of men (and women), spiritual leaders whose full-time task it is to set before us, and inspire us with the values of God. Those who do this work do something important for us all. They 'assist
Did Jesus go with the synagogue elders because the reason proffered for doing so was compelling? If so, he would have endorsed the subtext of many of our prayer requests. We suppose that God values people who prom our interests. No. Jesus had his own reasons. The centurion and his servant were members of the human race. No one needs the good opinion of anybody in order to deserve God's attention.
The kingdom of God is a state of affairs in which the character and will of God is carried forth and celebrated by all self-conscious beings. Those who pursue this ideal as a priority, even in a world of rebellion against God's rule, will not be disappointed. The blessings of the future condition have already been given to them by God who takes great delight in so doing.