They understood earthquakes. Felt the tremors. Watched dirt crack as the ground’s muddy mouth opened wide. Mothers lunged for children. Men grasped the dirty, sweaty hands of fellow laborers to hold them safe. A trembling earth was terrible but familiar. But that day, it was not the earth but the sky that quaked. Thunder growled. Storm-sounds from a nearly cloudless sky. The heavens split and earth’s pulse paused until a voice exploded from the expanse, sounding something like honey salted with fire.
“You are My beloved Son; in You I am well-pleased.” Mark 1:11
In You I Am.
Son of God. Son of Man. Died the death of His beloved but also lived the life she should have.
Jesus, the Anointed One of God, incarnate God, is the new Adam; the new Israel. He is the restorer, redeemer, reliever and re-doer. He is the new you.
The stars in the night sky number Abraham’s offspring (Genesis 22:17) and one star of a myriad lead magi from the East to worship at the little feet of one descendant (Matthew 2:2).
The first man eats then falls before the serpent in the garden (Genesis 3:6) yet the God-Man abstains from food and confounds the dragon in the wilderness (Mark 1:13).
Moses fasts 40 days before returning with the Law and a glow (Exodus 34:28) yet Israel’s heart remains stony so for 40 years they walk it out (Joshua 5:6). And all this time is reclaimed by Christ.
Immediately after His baptism by John, the Spirit impelled (forced, urged, sent) Jesus into the wilderness where one day for every year Israel wandered, He is tempted by His foe, faux, surrounded by wild beasts and angels. He doesn't succumb like they did but smashes the beast’s demonic histrionics like eggshells, returning not with heavier laws but limitless grace. He's not seeking robots or puppets, but lovers. A code of conduct can't make a stony heart beat but the Hound of Heaven* can.
And the cross. Death's defeat and the King's coronation. The One who is faithful and true reigns with justice and mercy. Bleeds like a man but like God alone, His blood makes filthy robes white (Revelation 7:14). His holy death births our holy life.
Jesus untangles sin’s knots and makes crooked paths, straight. He is God and the way back to God. The Cartographer of the new heaven, new earth. The Architect of the sacred city that comes from above.
God saw all that He had made, and it was good. True, a tongue-twisting traitor spewed venom on creation, taking unique interest in the image-bearers of the One he hates most. But God’s good is always good. So, God dressed himself in flesh and set out to redeem His bride and rid their house of vermin.
In You I am.
The Father speaks this to the Son. And then the son pours out his Spirit on you. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Therefore, be a witness of this truth in the strength the Spirit supplies. God’s good is always good. If you are in Christ, the Father’s authority abides in you. The earth may tremble under your feet, the sky may quake and set your heart racing, a slick-tongued serpent may even whisper lies in your ear.
Just remember if you’re in Him, the power of the almighty God is in you. Go in peace. And power.
*Francis Thompson's The Hound of Heaven, https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-hound-of-heaven/
"Lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily entangles and run with endurance the race set before you. "