The crucifixion was not a bad dream. It really happened. Jesus Christ really was flogged, His beard pulled out, nails driven into His hands and feet, and a spear thrust into His side. It was not something that His disciples thought had happened, only to discover their error and that Jesus was still alive. No, He really had died. In this respect, Abraham’s near sacrifice of Isaac did not fill out the type exactly. In the region of Moriah, Isaac almost died, and Jesus really did die.
And in the midst of His passion and death, it was there that the Lord Jesus was making all things new. Without the shedding of blood, nothing can be made new. And when He cried out on the cross that it was finished, He said this because it really was finished—sin was finished, envy was finished, striving was finished, grasping was finished, the world and all its ways were finished. On that grim day, the heavens and earth turned a corner, and God gave us a brief moment—three days and three nights—to get ready for what we were going to encounter around that corner.
The Lord Jesus rose from the dead, and in that rising, all things are displayed as new. The old ways cannot be resuscitated; they are gone forever. The worldlings—and in our day there are still more than a few—pine for the old days. But it is useless—their wishes are all vanity, top to bottom. Christ is risen, and however much the world demands permission to go back to the ancient ways of death, that permission will always be denied. God loves us and tells us no.
What form does that no take? Permission is denied through the life that the Spirit bestows upon the Church. We are alive forever, and we have been scattered all over the globe. Moreover, the life we have been given is catching; it is contagious. Feel free to touch everyone you meet—this is God’s way.