Accomplishment and Implementation

Here’s a great quote: “[Paul] is thinking his way through a theology of creation of humankind, and the biblical allusions indicate the narrative of which the resurrection of Jesus now forms the climax, helping the story to its intended goal. Just as, when Israel failed to be the light-bearing people for the world, the covenant God did not rewrite the vocation but rather sent the Messiah to act in Israel’s place (that is the argument of Romans 2:17-4:25, and indeed lies behind much of Romans 5-8 and 9-11), so now the failure of humankind (‘Adam’) to be the creator’s wise, image-bearing steward over creation has not led the creator to rewrite the vocation, but rather to send the Messiah as the truly human being.

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I’ve been making my way through N.T. Wright’s, The Resurrection of the Son of God. I’m about halfway, but I’ve already lost count of the number of highlighters I’ve gone through with this book. It’s probably my most expensive coloring book yet. 😉

Here’s a great quote:

“[Paul] is thinking his way through a theology of creation of humankind, and the biblical allusions indicate the narrative of which the resurrection of Jesus now forms the climax, helping the story to its intended goal. Just as, when Israel failed to be the light-bearing people for the world, the covenant God did not rewrite the vocation but rather sent the Messiah to act in Israel’s place (that is the argument of Romans 2:17-4:25, and indeed lies behind much of Romans 5-8 and 9-11), so now the failure of humankind (‘Adam’) to be the creator’s wise, image-bearing steward over creation has not led the creator to rewrite the vocation, but rather to send the Messiah as the truly human being. The purpose is that in his renewed, resurrected human life he can be and do, for humankind and all creation, what neither humankind nor creation could for themselves.”

This is amazing. Through the resurrection, Jesus accomplishes the fulfillment of God’s purposes for both creation and covenant. Now as we follow Jesus into his resurrected life, being transformed by the Spirit into his likeness as the true image-bearing human being, we in turn implement his accomplishment in our world.

Elsewhere, Wright likens this accomplishment/implementation relationship to a composer and a conductor. Jesus is the composer, writing the beautiful music that creation has longed to hear. We are the conductor, not rewriting the music, but conducting the orchestra to faithfully follow the intentions of the composer. We are bringing the composer’s accomplishment to life.

This is why the entire backdrop to the New Testament writings is Jesus’ resurrection. The life of Jesus’ students is daily life in the resurrection. Colossians 3:1-3 captures this brilliantly:

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

Definitely something to chew on…

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