How are we to understand Christ within the grand narrative of Scripture? After all, Jesus himself said that all Scripture was about him (cf. Luke 24:27, 44–48).
Previously, I said that the box represents the world enslaved to sin. The bottom line/side of the box is a time line of biblical history. The smaller box on the right signifies Israel within the world.
Thus far, the model has readied us for Christ’s arrival. Put simply, Jesus came to set the world right. Jesus is the promised royal seed of Abraham and David (hence the name “Christ”).
Jesus was born under the Law, yet he was not subject to the enslaving power of sin and death. In fact, he honored God the Father when he exposed evil, shame and corrupted powers in the world. Nevertheless, his own people rejected the promised king, whom God sent to reconcile the human family. They executed him by nailing him to a cross, enduring the shame of sinful men. According to God’s covenant with Israel, anyone who hung dead on a tree would be cursed. Because Jesus is king, he represents Israel and thus is able to take away her curse.
In life and in death, Christ perfectly honored his heavenly Father. Therefore, God vindicated Christ by raising him from the dead. The resurrection announces the defeat of God’s enemies. At the cross, Jesus condemned sin, humanity’s oppressive slave master (cf. Rom 8:3).
The resurrection indicates that God accepts Jesus’ sacrifice as recompense, securing our redemption. God’s people are no longer set apart by the Mosaic Law, bound by its demands and curse. Jesus’ blood establishes a new covenant (Jer 31; Ezek 36; Heb 8, 10; Luke 22).The Holy Spirit now leads Christ’s followers. God reconstitutes his people around Jesus’ 12 disciples, who symbolize the restored Israel. This freedom signals a return from exile for God’s people. Perhaps, one might call Christ’s salvation a “new exodus.”
Notice the cross at the center of the graphic is the turning point. From here, we see on the time line that God’s people break free from the confines of slavery (inside the box). This is the result of Christ’s resurrection, which initiates the restoration of Israel. Note the line circles back to the box, at the place where the original “exodus” occurred.
Keep in mind that God always promised to reunite Israel (cf. Ezek 37:21–22). This is why Jesus in Matt 10:5–6 says, “These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (cf. Matt 15:24).
In the next unit of the story, we will see how God’s blessing now extends to the nations.