Wednesday, June 16, 2010

From Glory to Glory

One must be struck by the maturation process throughout Scripture. Genesis shows us man - the first Adam - in a primordial, immature state. A keeper that hasn't kept, a conqueror who hasn't conquered. Revelation shows us man - the Last Adam - in a mature, eschatologically glorified state. An ever-faithful Son and Bridegroom, an Emperor Who goes out conquering and to conquer. In Genesis, the man is created naked. In Revelation, the Man is clothed in blinding glory.

God's second great act of creation was an expanse - a separation of heaven from earth. How often do we glaze over this, and miss the magnitude of God bringing His creation to maturity? Cosmological and metaphysical questions aside, there is a separation of "waters above" from "waters below," and a sharp distinction made between heaven and earth. On every day of creation, the Scriptures explicitly record God seeing that His work that day was good... except the second day, the day that the separation was created. Is this to suggest that this aspect of creation was bad? Of course not (Genesis 1:31). However, could this hint at a notion of incompleteness? Immaturity?

What we find at the end of the great Scriptural chiasm is telling, and glorious. In the beginning, we find heaven and earth separated. In the end, in glory, we find heaven invading earth. We find a New Heaven with a New Earth, joined by the New Jerusalem (the great Bride).

This is the great movement of Scripture, the great movement of human history: maturity unto glory. And all of this is done IN CHRIST. This is the LORD'S doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes. This 'New Creation' is heaven invading the earth. Christ Jesus is resurrected, ascended and glorified, the Firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29), and therefore we can say quite happily and boldly (and without fear of falling into hyper-preterist error), "Christ is the New Creation."

God and man come together IN CHRIST. Heaven and earth come together IN CHRIST. Is this not in complete, glorious keeping with the flow of Scriptural history: the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth? (Ephesians 1:10) The faithful are "new creations" because we are IN CHRIST (2Corinthians 5:17). Christ is not only our focal point, our pinnacle, in a philosophical or moral sense, He is very much the Center of all things in a very comprehensive way.

2,000 years ago, the Son of God came to end the old order of things, and inaugurate the New Heavens and New Earth; altering creation for the (infinitely) better, for all time. The last 2,000 years have simply been an outworking of that historical/cosmological change; as the next 2,000 years will be, as heaven and earth continue to come closer and closer, as God's kingdom comes and His will is done on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). This same One - whose glory blinded Paul for 3 days and sent John immediately to his knees in obeisance - this True Emperor invades this earth with His heavenly kingdom, calling out His Bride to bring heaven and earth together (Revelation 21:2-3). This is a marriage which affects all levels of existence.

The Spirit and the bride say, "Come."