My goal in this series is our greater joy in Jesus, even in complex struggles intellectually, emotionally, relationally, etc. So, each time I will offer a buffet on 8 ‘P’s of good news. Chew and savor whatever helps your joy in Jesus. “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” (Isaiah 55:1)
Please, forgive my repetition of some core principles and the analogies of paradigms if you’ve already grasped them in previous articles and videos. By God’s grace, I want to assist you and any new readers in seeing the interconnection of the 8 “P”s of the gospel – especially their center: the Purpose of Christ, communing with Him and His people. If you’ve not yet viewed that video on the apparent structure of the creation week in Genesis 1-2, you can see its central point in the following video.
The 3rd part of Purpose in Christ is seen in the Feast of Firstfruits: “Wait for Me”. In the first aspects of the Purpose of Christ, we saw that the Lord calls us to rest in Him and follow Him. Now He calls us to wait on Him. Well, which is it? Are we to relax or get to work? Both, actually. The third part of His purpose is an encouraging and a sobering reminder that Christ is always working in and for His people (Deuteronomy 11:12, Psalm 68:19 and 121:1-8, John 5:17, etc.). But as long as we’re in this fallen world, His work and (more importantly) being with Him will often seem delayed. (Psalm 130:5-6, Lamentations 3:25, Isaiah 40:31, Micah 7:7, Matthew 25:1-13, James 5:7-8, 2 Peter 3:9, etc.)
Even when we don’t see Him working today, our ultimate hope is Him being with us and us being with Him. But all of us fall short and sometimes try to fill apparent voids of His work. Moses tried to get justice for an Israelite by murdering an Egyptian abuser (Exodus 2:11-15); Saul tried to facilitate Israel’s dedication to God by acting as a priest (1 Samuel 13:1-14); and instead of waiting on God’s counsel, Israel complained against the Lord. (Psalm 106:9-15) Why does the Lord make us wait? In Deuteronomy 8, God says He graciously creates a hunger in us to remind us that only He can satisfy us. For waiting on God as a Christian is not primarily waiting for God’s work but for an even more intimate relationship with God. For the same reason, Israel wasn’t to celebrate the Feast of Firstfruits until God had first led them through the wilderness and its hungers to inherit the Promised Land and all its fruits that the Lord provided by His power and grace.
And the 3rd part of Christ’s Purpose – waiting for Him – has practical and specific joys, too. We talk about this below, noting that we’re ultimately to wait for Jesus as our “firstfruits” of His resurrection now and ours to come. (1 Corinthians 15:20, 23)
For, as with many of God’s promises, the blessing of being with God comes in multiple, increasing fulfillments: in Canaan, in Jesus’ incarnation, in the gift of His indwelling Spirit, and finally in the new earth of Revelation 21-22. The analogies of a sport, band, or race reveal Jesus as our ringer who guarantees success. So, we wait on Him to do what we can’t: to bring us to God in eternal joy as our faithful, risen Lord Jesus.