4 April 2015

Promises, promises

David Cameron kicked off the General Election campaign with the slogan 'Me or Miliband'. What a choice! Already most of the population are fed up. All the parties say what the voters want to hear, but we know they are making promises they mostly cannot keep. They simply don't have the power to deliver. Is there anyone in power we can trust?

Jesus Christ

The first thing I love about Jesus Christ is that he never campaigned for votes. He did a lot of public speaking, but what he said was always and only the truth, whether that was popular or not. Often, crowds that flocked to him to see a miracle, quickly melted away when he started telling them the truth about themselves and what it would take to follow him.

It didn't bother him. He didn't come from heaven to win our vote. It was never going to be a choice between 'Me or Mohammed'. He is the Christ, the Son of God, whether we like it or not.

The second thing is that all the promises he made he kept. Three times he spoke plainly about being put to death, buried, and rising from the dead three days later. His followers thought he was talking nonsense (Mark 9:31). No one has the power to rise from the dead!

But that is precisely what he did.

As Peter said after the event ‘God raised this Jesus to life and we are all witnesses of it.' He, along with the other apostles, spent the rest of their lives proclaiming 'that which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched' (1 John 1v1).

Over a period of 40 days, the risen Jesus showed himself physically alive to many different people in different places at different times. It put beyond doubt that Jesus had kept what had seemed to be an impossible promise to keep. It demonstrated his complete trustworthiness and the necessary power to deliver his manifesto.

His manifesto was not to sort out the world's political or economic problems now. He's promised to do that when he returns to bring his kingdom (government) to replace all the failed kingdoms (governments) of this world. He came first to sort out a much deeper and more serious problem - the human heart.

The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart

The truth is we are in rebellion against God. We live as rebels in the world he made, which is why it seems out of control and in such a mess. We thought we could run this world without him, but we can't. And for our rebellion, and the damage we have caused, we are all facing God's judgment and punishment when Christ Jesus returns.

It's this problem Jesus came to deal with, by making peace with God for us through his sacrificial death on the cross, dying in our place for our sins.

His promise is that when we put our trust in him and his death, God forgives our rebellion and we start a new life with him as our Lord (government). This starts now and continues forever, because he's promised to raise his followers from the dead when the kingdom of Christ comes. Since he kept his promise to rise from the dead, there's no reason to doubt that he will keep this one too.

Simon Smallwood
Pastor at St George’s