If Jesus died + rose again then we are at the beginning
of a new world, a new creation,
everything is made new –
there will be a new heaven + a new earth.
He is One who has always created,
who is always creating and
who is moving forward with the creation
to that end for which, in the beginning,
He was the agent,
the leader, going before mankind in its march.
He is this because…
He is the One who not only died,
who not only suffered,
who has not only gone down to
the deepest depths of human predicament
who has not only known the deepest darkness of pain + despair + defeat + death, to face them, master them, conquer them –
He is the One who goes before us as the pioneer,
the leader of the human march.
In Jesus, and in Jesus alone,
the ultimate depth + height of the human situation have been measured.
He is the One who alone has the keys of death and hell.
He is not bound by any religious or philosophical or political system.
He cannot be domesticated within any of our forms of Christianity or any of our patterns of piety.
He cannot be identified with any of the systems for which we fight.
When one looks at the history of the Church, how pathetic it is to see how the Name of Jesus was invoked to defend feudalism against capitalism and then to defend oligarchy against democracy and now, in our own days, to defend democracy against Communism. What nonsense! As if we can domesticate Jesus and make Him a sort of mascot for our particular concern!
Jesus is not tied to any of our systems, not even our religious systems.
They will disappear but He remains.
Many of our inherited forms of religious thought and piety may have to change and that is a painful thing, for we cling to them very lovingly. That Jesus is greater than them all we see over and over again in the history of the Church…
[Jesus] is like refiner’s fire and there is much dross to be burnt up over and over again, even in our religion, and, indeed, precisely in our religion.
[Jesus] is the power that separates gold from the dross and everything – everything – in the end of the day has to be brought to the test of that fire.
Christ Our Eternal Contemporary - Lesslie Newbigin, Page 5 (formatting mine)
Full text here