Summary: Jesus was used by God to accomplish precisely what He intended by sovereign foreknowledge, power and miraculous interventions. Only the Lord is able to make sense of chaos
How Christ Gives Meaning to All Aspects of History
Illustration:If God did not bless, not one hair, not a solitary wisp of straw, would grow; but there would be an end of everything. At the same time God wants me to take this stance: I would have nothing whatever if I did not plow and sow. God does not want to have success come without work, and yet I am not to achieve it by my work. He does not want me to sit at home, to loaf, to commit matters to God, and to wait till a fried chicken flies into my mouth. That would be tempting God.
Martin Luther, quoted in What Luther Says In Knowledge of the Holy.
1. Jesus was used by God to accomplish precisely what He intended by sovereign foreknowledge, power and miraculous interventions. Only the Lord is able to make sense of chaos. Only God is able to take things that seem to make no sense and use it for His eternal purposes.
Ask the Lord to give you a greater insight into the ways that God is able to work all things together for His good as we love God and fit into His plans. (Rom 8:28,29)
Illustration:During his days as guest lecturer at Calvin Seminary, R.B.Kuiper once used the following illustration of God’s sovereignty and human responsibility:
I liken them to two ropes going through two holes in the ceiling and over a pulley above. If I wish to support myself by them, I must cling to them both. If I cling only to one and not the other, I go down. I read the many teachings of the Bible regarding God’s election, predestination, his chosen, and so on. I read also the many teachings regarding ’whosoever will may come’ and urging people to exercise their responsibility as human beings. These seeming contradictions cannot be reconciled by the puny human mind. With childlike faith, I cling to both ropes, fully confident that in eternity I will see that both strands of truth are, after all, of one piece.
2. Jesus is able to show us how all history has an inner logic contained in the way God’s love overcomes all forces of darkness. Never forget that we are in the middle of a fierce battle between the kingdom of darkness and light. God used Jesus to show us how miracles, signs and wonders can be used to demonstrate the love of God in the most strategic way.
Example: Throughout history God has used great men like Paul the apostle, St Thomas, and William Carey for launching strategic movements to plant and grow new churches among the unreached people groups of the world. Ask God to help you to trace the patterns of how He used great men and women throughout history.
3. Jesus is able to show us how history is filled with patterns that are consistently repeated both for good and bad.
Example: Remember how God used Martin Luther and Calvin to take advantage of peoples’ disenchantment with the dry orthodoxical teachings of their day. The reformation was a direct result of men going back to the pattern of Jesus Christ who pointed out the errors of the teaching of the Pharisees. Carnal teachers always make it difficult to know God personally. Jesus said to the Pharisees, "You err because you do not scriptures or the power of God." Ask God to use you to lead people to know our heavenly Father through your intimate relationship with Him.
4. Jesus is able to show us how history is full of errors to avoid. Thousands fail because they are not willing to make changes from past mistakes. There were many examples in the first century church where the apostles saw people trying to use religion as a club to intimidate people. Jesus came to give them the freedom to live an abundant life without the fear of being oppressed by abusive religious leaders.
Ask the Lord to help you study history to know the errors to avoid as seen in the examples of abusive religious authorities.
5. Jesus is able to show us how history is often wrongly interpreted by people who would use it for their selfish political advantage. Jesus saw how the Pharisees used their positions as the spokesmen for the Jews to maneuver the Romans to have him crucified.
Often times men in religious authority misuse their
positions for their own political advantage similar to the ways that Machiavelli used politics as a weapon for his own social and economic benefits. Ask the Lord to help you to analyze and identify ways that people wrongly interpret events for their own political advantages.
6. Jesus is able to show us how history is filled with stories of those who succumbed to the worries, riches, pleasures, troubles or persecutions of this life. Ask the Lord to help you overcome the temptations that the vast majority of Christians give in to.