By John Larkins
One cannot read the Old Testament without great sorrow and shame for the insulting treatment God suffered as He conducted the training and inspiration to found, protect and instruct the Church He thought necessary to begin to restore mankind’s eligibility for eternal salvation (we must note that the gates of heaven were closed at this time).
The “mighty nation that was God’s desire had turned into a tiny remnant, tattered and damaged and fragmented as to faithfulness in the teachings given to Moses and later prophets. Upon careful study, one can make a case that political, social and historic events in Israel had devolved in such a fashion that the time was right for the next stupendous events to transpire.
About 2000 years ago, the universe was stunned by the birth of a very special child. The New Testament passages concerning His mother’s sacred agreement to birth the Son of God, despite the risks she was taking in her community, show that Jesus truly was a man and truly was God. “Be it done to me according to Thy will.”
We are privy to Mary’s joyful sharing of her pregnancy with her aunt, who was carrying Jesus’s cousin, John the Baptist. John would be six months older than Jesus and play a key role in his cousin’s mission.
We are now in the Christian season celebrating the fulfillment of the promise, kept alive for over 1000 years, that God would send a savior who would straighten out this mess. The Hebrews were expecting their many earthly enemies to be destroyed and their kingdom restored. Some Hebrews did not even believe in life after death, so one can see the spiritual wasteland in some groups. The religious landscape was strewn with sects. Some were very concerned with pleasing God, while others mostly focused on secular power, with no intention of sharing it. Many did not welcome the Savior, the King of the new covenant, who came to show them “The Way.”
The angel named Him Jesus. Jesus the Christ, son of Mary and redeemer of the world, had the unbelievable problem of how to avoid being killed by the current rulers before he could establish the “new and everlasting covenant.” As Jesus put it, “One cannot put new wine in an old wineskin.” Before He could attain adulthood, select and train bishops for His new Church, convert followers to His new Church and frame His death so that the sin’s price caused by Adam and Eve, would be recognized as the sacrifice of the New Covenant, “The Way!”
John Larkins was born in Oklahoma to an U.S. Army family. His education was in the Catholic Church and teaching in the United Methodist Church for 10 years. After 50 years of various positions in federal service at home and in Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, John and his wife Carol live in Gadsden. His formal education includes a BS certified for science teaching, an MBA from the University of Missouri and an MPA from Jacksonville State University in public administration and environmental management. For the past 15 years, John evangelized on the street, door-to-door, in tent revivals, and church situations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.