According to the Bible (and Jesus!), here’s how it works:
God says, “I have heard the cry of my people and I have come down to deliver them from slavery and bring them into a broad land flowing with milk and honey!”
Then God says: “Hey Moses! I’m sending you to Pharaoh and you’re gonna tell Pharaoh to set my people free [so they may hold a Feast to me in the wilderness…]! Then you will lead my people out of Egyptian bondage, through the desert and into the Land of Promise, a place of freedom flowing with milk and honey.”
A little later the people beg: “O that you would tear open the heavens and come down to earth!”
Then, as Walter Brueggemann expresses it: “This baby named ‘Save!!!!!’”…born into human history, born of a woman, born under the law…in order to deliver those of us under the law!
And still later: “Wait here in Jerusalem until you are clothed with Power from on High; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in Samaria and even unto the ends of the earth.”
Now? We’re the ones immersed into Jesus’ death and resurrection in the waters of baptism, we’re the people “clothed with Power from on High!”
Once again God says, “I have heard the cry of my people and I have come down to deliver them from slavery and bring them into a broad land flowing with milk and honey!… Then you [that’s us, the Church!] will lead the people out of bondage, through the desert and into the Land of Promise, a place of freedom flowing with milk and honey.”
To deliver God’s people into the paradisiacal Kingdom of God on earth: from life under the law and into the Promised Land of the Reign of Grace. Presbyterians describe the Church as “The exhibition of the Kingdom of God!!” May we be the exhibition and the realization of Heaven to a world in pain and bondage a world still in need of deliverance…even though it is past the ninth hour and the temple veil has been torn apart; even though it is early Easter dawn and the stone has been rolled away!