The New Creation

"In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed." (Ex 31:17)

And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them (Mark 9:1)

This is a small, but highly significant detail. Why do both Matthew and Mark record that the transfiguration happened after six days?

It is a deliberate statement. It declares the work of a new creation!

When Daniel disclosed the vision of the king, he revealed great truths about a Kingdom that would come. A Kingdom that would not co-exist with any worldly authority, that would not come as an appendage to an old way of life. But a radical Kingdom that comes from heaven like a rock, that smashes and obliterates all that was before and starts a completely new creation that is a work of God from first to last.

The Church, as God's kingdom people, is a manifestation of God's new creation within the old. It is the new leaven that is working its way through the dough.

The Church is first a new creation, because before anyone can become a part of it, they must become new creations themselves:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2Co 5:17)

But the new creation is not limited to those in the Church. We are not an enclave of this new reality taking cover and under siege, waiting for the day of judgement when the new heavens and earth are formed. God's plan is to export this new creation to the world through us!

For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. (Ro 8:19-21)

It is important for us to understand that seeing the new creation is not just our hope for tomorrow, but our mandate for today! We are already a part of the new creation, because we are in Christ, and as we go out in his authority to extend his kingdom and see his will done on earth as it is in heaven, to make disciples and teaching them to obey everything - the new creation is already breaking through into the old.

Just as creation shared in the consequences of Adam's fall, now too the creation is destined to share in Christ's work of redemption. God has made a covenant with the earth, and he has a destiny for it: not to destroy it, but to transform it.

The mission of the Church is not to disengage from the world and wait for its destruction, but to engage with the world and to be God's agent of transformation.


SLW said...

That was unique. I really enjoyed that perspective, particularly the take on six days. My mind is racing.

Matthew said...

Excellent Chris - and timely for our current month's teaching!