The Ultimate Makeover:
Jesus the End and the Beginning
Hope Community Church
September 11, 2005
Telford Work, Westmont College
Jesus Christ Is the Omega and the Alpha...
Jesus is the alpha and omega (Revelation 1:8, 22:13) not just chronologically but logically.
Sin attempts to overturn this, setting ourselves rather than God as the center and goal.
Redemption then inverts our inversion: Jesus becomes the end of the old and beginning of the new.
"I died, and behold I live" (Revelation 1:17-18): Jesus is the hinge on whom the ages have turned (1 Corinthians 10:11).
An imperfect analogy for Americans: the Constitution of the United States:
It is the result of royal abuse and confederate failure.
It is more an ending and beginning than a middle.
closes all earlier events and births all subsequent ones.
It focuses and defines American history like no other event, even 1776.
It has become the object of ultimate American loyalty.
It embodies who we are as a people.
Turning points of other communities include the Exodus/Torah and the Hejira/Qur'an.
Some communities — e.g., pagans — have no one turning point. What is the fundamental hinge and identifier of your life?
... of All Things
Jesus is the center of Christian faith as Lord of all (Acts 10:36).
The gospel announces that all things are being ended and remade in the ultimate "extreme makeover" (Col. 1:15-20, Rev. 21:5).
Evidence of this awareness permeates the earliest Christian witness, the New Testament. Have you really heard the good news?
... of God and Theology
Jesus is God's forsaken one, and God-with-us (Hebrews 2:9, John 1).
Jesus is a stumbling block and foolishness, and the crucified power and wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:18-31).
Jesus is the beloved heir of the Father (Romans 8), and the loving giver of the Holy Spirit (John 20:19-23, Acts 2). Are you a member of his Triune fellowship?
... of the Universe
Jesus is subject to the creation's futility, and Lord at the Father's right hand (Romans 8).
Jesus is the redeemer of the old creation (2 Corinthians 5:1-15), and the firstfruits of the new creation (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).
Jesus is the one by whom all things were made, and the one in whom all things come together (John 1, Colossians 1). Are you alert to the signs of his reign?
... of Humanity
Jesus is the enemy of the old order, and the center of a new and eternal order (Acts 10:34-43).
Jesus is rejected by "men" (1 Peter 2:4), yet immortal intercessor forever (Hebrews 7:23-25).
Jesus is the last Adam, and the man from heaven (1 Corinthians 15).
Jesus is the taker of sin and death, and the bringer of righteousness and eternal life (Romans 5:1-11). Is he your brother and your hope?
... of Israel
Jesus is its suffering Servant (Isaiah 52-53 in Romans 10:5-17), and anointed Messiah (Isaiah 61 in Luke 4:16-30).
Jesus is the eternal son of David in the flesh, and designated risen Son of God in power (Romans 1:3).
Jesus is the Chosen (and rejected) One of Israel (Luke 9:18-36), and the head of "the Israel of God" (Galatians 6:15-16).
Jesus is the goal of the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 5:17-20), and the author of the Good News (Mark 1:15).
Do you share his mission and bear his marks?
... of the Nations
Jesus is victim of the nations' oppression, and King of Kings (Psalm 2 in Luke 3:21-22 and Hebrews 5:1-5).
Jesus is destroyer of their idolatry (1 Thessalonians 1:8-10, Revelation 17-18), and destination of their treasure (Revelation 21:22-27).
Jesus is disarmer of the principalities and powers (Colossians 2:8-15), and the new human being of cultural inclusion (Ephesians 2:11-22).
Jesus is the object of their rulers' scorn (1 Peter 2:11-17), and the object of their eternal worship (Revelation 7:9-10).
Do you bow down to him, or only to the god of your own tribe?
... of a Life
Jesus is the obedient servant, with the name above all names (Philippians 2:5-11).
Jesus is baptized (ended) by John, and baptizer (giver of life) with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11-12).
Jesus is foreknown and predestined, and the first of many brothers and sisters (Romans 8:28-30).
Jesus is the subject of judgment (Matthew 25), and the object of worship (Matthew 28:16-20).
Jesus is the ultimate threat to our own righteousness, yet its only real security (Acts 9).
Jesus is the good shepherd (John 10:1-18), and the sharer of his throne (Revelation 3:20-22)
Jesus is the pioneer of our own deaths and resurrections (Romans 6:1-11, Colossians 2:20-3:17)
Is your life baptismal, dead and risen, Christ-shaped?