At the Heart of the Storm
Chapter twelve looks at three figures from Israel's scriptures as they relate to Jesus' sense of vocation. Those figures are:
Why did the Messiah Have to Die?
Wright explains that three strands are coming together in Jesus and his work:
- God's returning to his people
…[Jesus] believed…that the full force of this…would accomplish the purposes for which Israel itself had been called in the first place; and that it would do so in him, in his willing obedience to this vast and terrifying purpose. Israel's God had promised to return and establish his kingdom. He would do this in and as the Messiah, the servant. In and as Jesus of Nazareth… Every other way of bringing God's kingdom had been tried and failed. This one was where the scriptures seemed to point and where his own prayerful awareness of vocation was pointing with them. (pp. 169-170)
The scriptures had said that a great King (Messiah) would come, that a Servant would suffer on behalf of Israel, and that YHWH himself would return to his people. These strands all come together in Jesus himself. Through Jesus' death, God won the victory over the Satan, the power standing behind all that plagues God's good creation.
Under New Management: Easter and Beyond
This chapter can be summed up beautifully in the following way:
The resurrection is all about Jesus as the prototype of the new creation. The ascension is all about Jesus as the ruler of the new creation as it breaks into the world of the old. The second coming is all about Jesus as the coming Lord and judge who will transform the entire creation. And, in between resurrection and ascension, on the one hand, and the second coming, on the other, Jesus is the one who sends the Holy Spirit, his own Spirit, into the lives of his followers, so that he himself is powerfully present with them and in them, guiding them, directing them, and above all enabling them to bear witness to him as the world's true Lord and work to make that sovereign rule a reality. (pp. 203-204)
Wright is here talking about the resurrection, new creation, Jesus' ascension and enthronement at the right hand of the Father, the second coming, and begins to briefly touch on what all this means for Jesus' followers today, foreshadowing what is to come in the last chapter. He also clears up some of our misunderstandings about heaven and the second coming.