Jesus becomes the end of the old and frustrated,
and the beginning of the new and intended.
"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 is 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.
Similar analogies for other communities include the Exodus/Torah and the Hejira/Qur'an.
Some communities — e.g., pagans — have no one turning point.
The story of Jesus is constitutive of Christian faith, "making all things new" (Revelation 21:5).
Evidence of this astonishing awareness permeates the earliest Christian witness.
A question for Lent, Easter, Advent, Christmas, or any other time:
What is the fundamental hinge and identifier of your life?
II. ... of God
A false prophet and a blasphemer?
No, God-with-us (Colossians 1, John 1), rejected but reconciling God and creation.
A stumbling block and foolishness?
No, the crucified power and wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:18-31), reconciling all things.
The beloved heir of the Father (Romans 8:14-17, 29),
and the loving giver of the Holy Spirit (John 20:19-23, Acts 2).
Are you a member of his Triune fellowship?
III. ... of the Cosmos
The one by whom all things were made (John 1:3, 1 Corinthians 8:5-6),
and the one in whom all things come together (Colossians 1:16-17).
Subject to the creation's futility (Romans 8:17-28),
Lord at the Father's right hand (Romans 8:31-34).
The redeemer of the old creation (2 Corinthians 5:1-17),
and the firstfruits of the new creation (1 Corinthians 15:20-24).
Are you alert to the signs of his reign?
IV. ... of Humanity
The enemy of the old order (Luke 5:33-39),
and the center of a new and eternal order (Acts 10:34-43).