One of the great threads of the Bible is that God chooses to be present with his people. The Church is a people that are joined to Jesus and share in his life and blessing by the Spirit. Jesus' invitation at the Festival of Tabernacles to 'come to me and drink' is as relevant today as it was 2000 years ago!
The cross was a painful and gruesome instrument of execution however it became a symbol of hope for Jesus' followers. In John's account of Jesus' death on the cross, he wants to highlight particular things that are taking place; that Jesus is being rejected as a king, that he substitutes in our place and that he is victorious over sin and death. This is the event that all world history turns on and when Jesus cried out, 'It is finished', he was declaring that he had completed the work of salvation that he had come to earth for.
As Jesus is put on trial, we see him pointing to the kingdom that is to come. Soroush helps us to see that the advance of this kingdom is not like a drama that we take our seat to watch, but rather one in which we are drawn into and play our part.
In the final hours before his arrest, Jesus prays for himself, his close friends and for everyone who will come to trust in him. On top of this, the writer of Hebrews tells us that Jesus continues to pray and intercede for us. By looking at what Jesus prayed, we get an insight into his heart for his people and the plans and purposes he has for them.
As Jesus moved closer towards the end of his earthly ministry we come across a gloomy, grief-filled group of disciples who seem to be lacking hope! Jesus encourages them by reminding them that an advocate is coming who will turn their grief into joy! In this talk, Gavin unpacks the idea of Joy within our lives. Where do we find our joy? Is it possible to be completely Joyless? How do we stay joyful in difficult circumstances and desperate situations?