When I think of the disciples following Jesus toward Jerusalem, I think of Jesus taking them up in his salvation that he was to accomplish there, once for all, for them and for the world. From our perspective it is not easy to think of what Jesus went through on his way to Golgotha (or, Calvary) apart from thinking how that salvation he accomplished through his death we are a part of now. By his death and resurrection we are now the resurrection people of God, people who through baptism into Christ have been baptized into his death and have been raised with him into newness of life. So we in Jesus naturally are those who know a salvation which involves in this life a death and new life in the same world that Jesus lived. Yes, far removed in time and culture, but at heart the same, in alliance with the flesh and the devil.
Jesus’ walk to the cross for our salvation was unique. Only he suffered the trial of taking himself the cup of judgment due the world. And by his death he redeemed everyone so that all who put their faith in him are taken up with him into this great salvation.
This salvation is a life now on earth as members of the Body of Christ. So that we live the same kind of life as he lived. Jesus did not have to die to live that life. He already lived life fully in God’s kingdom as the Son of God, and by the Spirit. But for us to be saved into partaking of that life, Jesus had to die. And by his ascension and the outpouring of the Spirit we share in what he accomplished so that we too can live by grace and the Spirit in God’s kingdom here and now.
So it is hard for me, at least lately, to think of Jesus’ salvation without thinking of how we in Jesus have been taken up into that salvation, by grace through faith. And into a new life. But like Jesus it is a life in this world which is assailed by the world, the flesh and the devil. Jesus the sinless one did not live without temptation, and neither do we, of course. And by the Spirit Jesus is present to help us through every temptation. We are indeed to grow up in this salvation in Jesus. And to become more and more like him in his death. So that we may partake more fully of his resurrection life here and now. So that others may see Jesus through us, and especially us together as his Body on earth.
How do we look at salvation in Christ and what that means for us here and now, and how might we be missing out on the full Biblical picture?