Jesus’ life has spawned many books! It is in John’s Gospel that the writer concludes: ‘Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written’ (John 21v25).
We live at a time when people are interested in the bottom line, a summary or bullet point statement, rather than wading through lots of information and having to sift out what is important. But we must be wary of such an approach as we might get the summary but fail to understand the substance! So, if you wanted briefly to sum up what Jesus came to do, how would you complete this sentence: He came to……? Was it to show love? To turn the world upside down? To lead a human rights revolution? To bring peace? To call out injustice? To be a great liberator of the oppressed?
For this time of Lent (the preparation for Easter), many of us are reading a daily devotional called ‘The Radical Reconciler’. Each day it reflects on major themes of the Bible which all ultimately converge on the cross of Christ. For at the cross Jesus completed the plan of redemption for the whole of creation. His key work was as a reconciler: to reconcile us to God, so that we can be restored to fellowship with Him; but also, to reconcile us to one another, bringing together estranged individuals, irrespective of the group or nation they belong to.
This will be a spiritually nourishing read, to inform our minds and move our hearts.
In describing the huge impact of Jesus’ reconciling work the apostle Paul wrote: ‘But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ….His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility’ (Ephesians 2v13, 15-16).
Do join us in reading this book. Do join our Easter celebrations which will be all richer for having taken time to meditate on what Jesus has done for us.