Pastor’s message for May (by Michael Whitcomb-Tavey)

What commonality exists in all of my “Metaphor and reality” sermons?

Throughout the past six weeks, I have been preaching on various metaphors in the Bible that depict a reality that the Christian experiences. These metaphors are numerous and many. In the midst of all of them, I choose six of them to discuss. These six metaphors all have two things in common. First, they all directly relate to Jesus Christ, and second, the realities with which they bespeak are all made possible by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross, and his subsequent victory over the grave. We can have fellowship with Christ (“abide in Christ”) because of His sacrifice and victory. His
sacrifice and victory is the impetus of our strength, growth, and health as a Christian (“rooted in Christ”). Since Christ was victorious over death and the demonic realm via His sacrifice and victory, then we can take refuge in Him, where nothing can harm us (“hidden in Christ”). His sacrifice and victory is the very means which makes it possible for us to be born into the kingdom of God, and be birthed into the New Creation, when He makes all things new (“carried by Christ”). Additionally, His sacrifice and victory has set us free from the power of sin, and has provided the means by which we are able to have peace with God, relationship with God, and fellowship with God (“washed by Christ”). Finally, due to our new found freedom in Christ, which is
born from His sacrifice and victory, we are able to emulate and embody the nature and character of Jesus Christ in our own lives (“Clothed in Christ”).

Those realities are truly an existence for the believer. Because you have fellowship with Christ, you can speak with and live life with Christ. Even in isolation, you are never alone. Because you are rooted in Christ, you can resist temptation, and mature as a Christian. Because you are hidden in Christ, you need not fear the troubles of this world. Because Christ carries you, you can hear the voice of God in your own life, guiding the course and direction of your life. Because you are washed by Christ, you can reject the sensation of guilt and shame in your life, knowing that God has accepted you. Finally, because Christ clothes you, you can truly live a life that pleases God, acting and thinking in ways that pleases God. And all of this is made possible because of the sacrifice that Jesus Christ suffered upon the cross, and His subsequent victory of the grave. Amen!

Dear God, through your sacrifice and victory, I am able to experience a reality of victory, hope, love, and fellowship. Because of your deeds, I have peace with you, and a new existence. Thank you! Amen.