The inability of men to recognize Jesus as the Son of God until after his crucifixion is a key theme of Mark , and the first man who identified him as such was the Roman centurion on duty during his execution. The self-identification of Jesus as the “ Son of Man ” who suffers for his people made him repugnant to unregenerate men and unrecognizable to Israel (“ His own received him not ”).

Calvary or Rome?

Institutional Christianity has a long and sordid history of mixing Church and State. The temptation to use political power to impose “right” beliefs and other agendas is too great. Advancing “Christianity” through the  political mechanisms  of this world  always  necessitates the use of the coercive power of the State, and this corrosive mixture inevitably corrupts the Church and destroys its witness.

Starting from the Cross

The theme of fulfillment is dominant in the New Testament. In Jesus Christ, the promises of God have found their fulfillment. He is the Son of God sent to redeem Israel and rule the nations but in a most paradoxical way. Peter confirmed that he was the “ Messiah ” but failed to understand that he would undertake that role as the “ Servant of Yahweh ” who came to “ bear the sins of many .” His true identity was revealed through his self-sacrificial act at Calvary.

One Message for All

The Gospel proclaimed by Jesus is NOT about reforming society or fixing governments. His message summons all men to repent and join an entirely new social order and political reality, namely, the Kingdom of God, and his message contradicts the political ideologies of the present “ evil age .” Responding positively to his invitation is vital considering the approaching end of the existing world order and its disappearance from the Earth.

Sound Teaching

In 2 Timothy , Paul discusses the future resurrection of believers as he responds to denials of this “ sound teaching ” by deceivers who were disrupting the Assembly, denials he treats as little more than idle chatter . In doing so, he demonstrates that his later theology remains well within the Apostolic Tradition and the teachings of his earliest letters. From the beginning, belief in the coming resurrection was central to the doctrine of salvatio n taught by Jesus, his Apostles, and the early Church. This teaching was and remains  “ sound ”  because it is based on the past resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

The Ultimate Revelation

Jesus is the one who unveils the mysteries of God, and only he is qualified to reveal the “ unseen God .” In him, all the promises of God find their substance. He is the interpretive key that unlocks the Hebrew Scriptures and provides the correct understanding of Bible prophecy. The proclamation of “ Christ Crucified ” is the “ power and wisdom of God ,” and there is no knowledge of the Father apart from him.