Wednesday, April 2, 2008


The Hebrew Scriptures, known to Christians as the Old Testament, describe a God who was sometimes in contact with humans but more often was unapproachable. Abraham talked with God, but only occasionally. Moses wanted to see God's glory, but he only got to see a tiny bit -- and that part changed him physically (Exodus 33 - 34). God was basically unknowable, terrifying, and distant.

That all changed with the arrival of the Son of God in the flesh. In Jesus, God was with us (Emmanu-el) and we got to watch him work and ask him questions. Theology writers like Michael Jinkins and Baxter Krueger tell us that Jesus is the perfect revelation of the Father to us -- so now, we finally know what the Father is like, because of Jesus. He said himself once, "if you've seen me, you've seen the Father." (John 14:9).

After he was resurrected, Jesus said, "Go to my brothers and tell them 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' " (John 20:17)

Now we have access to the Father through jesus (Romans 5:2, Ephesians 2:18). Now we can call God our own Father. Or as Jesus said, "Papa" ("Abba" in Aramaic) in Mark 14:36. And Paul tells us in two places, Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6, that through the Holy Spirit's speaking for us, we now use the same familiar term. Wow! What a dramatic change from the remote, inaccessible God of old!

"Papa." All those warm connotations of closeness and tenderness are now available to everyday, average people. Really -- to all people -- all we have to do is start talking to him in the name of Jesus.

Have you talked to Papa today? How about right now?

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