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Hebraic Definition of Kingdom (2 of 4)

Shane Willard

Page 7 of 10
I want you to think about this. When Jesus died God would have mourned the death of His Son, which means He would have ripped His garments. In the heavens what is God clothed with? Light, so when God mourns the death of Jesus what happens? The whole world became dark. The darkness that came over the earth was simply a result of God keeping His own commands and mourning the death of His Son by ripping His clothes. On earth what were God's clothes? The temple veil. It's what held God back from being exposed to the world, so when Jesus died what did He do? He mourned the death of His Son by ripping His clothes, and the temple veil tore from bottom to top and it exposed the glory of God to the whole world so that now we, we are free to experience the glory of God as a result of God mourning the loss of His Son. Blessed are those who mourn for they'll be comforted, that when God mourned it actually brought comfort to the whole world.

See we talk about the cross as if it was free. We use language like the cross, the glory of God is a free gift. Okay, is that true? In part. Free to who? You, me. It's free to us - but it cost God everything and if we ever lose sight of what it cost God we'll take the glory of God for free and make it cheap. There's a difference between free and cheap. It is free but it is also priceless because it cost God everything, see? Now what's the drash here? What's the life application? My question to you is this: if we're to be the hands and feet of Jesus, if we are to be what God would look like to the whole world, where are you willing to identify with the suffering of others? Is there any place this week that you saw the legitimate suffering of other people and you were able to turn your back on it without another thought? That's not the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is when you see suffering - I'm not talking about laziness. I'm talking about suffering - that when you see suffering that you do something about it. The birth of the church - see, I'll talk about this later in detail, but the birth of the church, people when they look at disasters what do they always ask? The Haitian crisis, the tsunami, what do they ask? Where's God? Where's God?

Where's God is the wrong question. The question is where are you? You're the body of Christ. You're the kingdom of God. You are the picture of God to the whole world. When people say where's God it's like God's going no, no, no, no, where are you? Where are you? It's not like God is given any doubt as to what He's called us to do. He has called us to take care of the poor and the afflicted and the down and outer and the marginalised and the people going through disasters. He's called us to do something about it. He didn't call us to go to heaven one day. He didn't call us to be right. God did not call you to be right; He called you to be kind. He called you to look around and say hold on, there is an issue here of hell on earth and the kingdom of God is the answer to that. What am I going to do about it? Where am I going to identify with the suffering of others? One more and then we'll close for tonight, one more euphemism.

The cutting off of the ear, the cutting off of the ear. There's a story - you guys would know it well - it says they come to arrest Jesus and it says that - it's interesting. In Matthew, Mark and Luke it says a certain companion of Jesus cut off the high priest's servant's ear, so in Matthew, Mark and Luke it says there's a certain companion of Jesus and he cut off the high priest's servant's ear. In John it says Peter cut off the high priest's servant's ear.

[Mike Connell] [unclear 00.35.37]

[Shane Willard] Yeah, so Matthew, Mark and Luke are like we're going to protect Peter here. We're going to leave some area of doubt. John's like no, we're throwing Peter under the bus. I can't have the whole world thinking it's me right? [Laughter] John's just throwing Peter right under the bus. So it says he cut off his ear and what does Jesus do with that ear? Puts it back on. What's going on here that is of deeper significance? There's a plain meaning there; Peter gets mad, cuts off the guy's ear, Jesus heals the ear - but there's a bunch of ramezes here. There's a bunch of hints and illusions. To understand the New Testament you have to have a working understanding especially of Leviticus. It moulded their culture okay, and you can understand this scripture by looking at Leviticus. If you have your Bible turn to Leviticus 21. If you don't just listen. Leviticus 21, this is going to open this scripture up to you big time. I've got five minutes and this is hugely applicable to establishing the kingdom in our life okay, listen to this.