Sometimes when I preach the Mystery of the Gospel—that God is uniting all things in Christ Jesus—people will say, “Great. Got it. What now?”
Recently, someone asked that question.
It’s a question that I often ask myself… and, in a way, I know the answer.
I went home and wrote out the answer; it’s a long list, summarized by the statement: “You will love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” and”You will love your neighbor as yourself.”
I noted that we must do these things freely because we want to do them—not because we gained this knowledge of good and evil from a list for the purpose of making ourselves in the image of God. To do the latter is to crucify Love . . . rather than live the Life of Love.
The list is called “the law.”
The law is good, but no one will be justified (made right) by works of the law.
And yet we must do the law, and Jesus came to fulfill the law . . . in us.
In Revelation 10, the Angel of Yahweh, that looks just like Jesus, hands John a scroll.
But the Angel of Yahweh does not say, “Read it and do it.”
Once upon a time, He did say that to Moses and the Israelites and it killed them . . . and it killed Him . . .
They crucified Him on a tree just outside the walls of Jerusalem.
The Angel did not say, “Read it and do it.”
The Angel said, “Eat it and prophesy.”
Perhaps the Gospel is less like a list and more like a cheeseburger.
You don’t consciously apply a cheeseburger to your life—that’s just “playing with your food.”
You ingest it, digest it, and it changes you.
Perhaps you don’t apply the Word to your life, but the Word applies you to His Life? (Are you asking us questions or making a statement?) Perhaps you digest Jesus and He digests you? Perhaps you literally are . . . “His Body?”
John is told to measure the Temple; it is Christ’s Body rising in the world, seeking and saving the lost through gates that are always open. You are that Body, and the wounds in that Body are gates.
“The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev. 19:10).
We all eat the same mysterious Gospel cheeseburger, but we are each a unique, and indispensable prophetic testimony of Jesus.
As John puts it, “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
Eat it. And the Gospel will kill the old you and give birth to the New You. (I say capitalize because we capitalize the New Man, Jesus in us). But if you don’t ingest it and digest it, that undigested Gospel will just make everyone sick.
It’s rather shocking to reflect upon, but Jesus didn’t really leave much in the way of rituals, programs or lists of instructions to follow. On the night He was betrayed every one of His disciples was asking, “What now?” And Jesus, the Lamb on the throne, took bread, broke it, gave it to His disciples, saying, “This is my body.”
And then, He said, “Eat it.”
*Sermon discussion questions are available here: Discussion Questions To Prophesy the Mystery II
*You can download a PDF of “What Now?” (the handout Peter distributed during this sermon) here: What Now?