Our theme for this month: “Life on this side of the cross”
Our Bible verse for today: “Blessed are your eyes because they do see, and your ears because they do hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see the things you see but didn’t see them, to hear the things you hear but didn’t hear them.” Matthew 13:16-17 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Jesus changed everything!”
“Dispensationalism” is a fifty-cent theological word which refers to the understanding that God has interacted with the human race in different ways over the course of history, as His plan for redeeming humans after the fall in the Garden of Eden has unfolded. Dispensationalism is closely related to another theological concept known as “progressive revelation”. These two concepts, taken together, help us to understand that in each era of human history, as God’s plan for the human race has moved closer and closer to fulfillment, God has dealt with us in increasingly familiar ways, progressively revealing more and more about Himself.
In the pre-flood world there was little understanding of or interaction with God. During the time of Abraham God began to interact with humans more directly. Then in the time of Moses and the prophets God became much more interactive and directive, giving us the Ten Commandments, the written Mosaic Law, and eventually the writings of the prophets. Then, in the time of Jesus, God was present in the world in a human body in the person of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
Then finally, after the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus, followed by the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came to earth to reside in the hearts of the followers of Jesus, God ushered the world into the final stage of human history, which will end with the second coming of Christ. In this age we have the full disclosure of God about Himself, in the form of the completed Bible, and we have the Holy Spirit living in our hearts. This is an entirely new era and it is different from any other era that has ever existed. And, it is the age in which you and I live. This is the end-stage of the unfolding of God’s plan for the human race.
All this month, as we approach Easter, we will consider what life is supposed to be like for us on this side of the cross. When Jesus came into the world, lived among us, died on the cross, arose from the grave, ascended back into heaven, and then sent the Holy Spirit in His place, He changed everything! Our era is different in important ways from any other era there has ever been. What does that mean? How then should we live? We’ll spend this month before Easter considering those important questions.