Several important elements characterized Jesus’ ministry. He proclaimed the coming of God’s kingdom as the good news of God’s redemptive plan (Mk 1:14-15) and taught as one who had authority (Matt 7:28-29; Mk 1:21-22). His miracles, such as the healing of a leper (Mk 1:40-45), demonstrated Jesus’ compassion and power for all. The towel and basin point to Jesus’ humble service (Jn 13:1-17; Matt 20:25-28; Phil 2:5-7), while the cup and bread reveal his role as the mediator of a new covenant with God’s people (Lk 22:14-20; Heb 9:11-28; Jer 31:31-34).
This culminated in Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross (Matt 27; Mk 15; Lk 23; Jn 19). All of God’s redemptive work is focused on this point: Jesus provided payment and forgiveness for humanity’s sin; through him, salvation has come and creation can be reconciled to God (Rom 5:6-11; Col 1:19-23; 1 Pet 3:18).But death was not the end. Jesus rose from the grave to give eternal life to all who would believe in him (Matt 28:1-10; Mk 16:1-8; Lk 24:1-12; Jn 20:1-10; Rom 6:1-14; 1 Cor 15:1-22). The entrance to the empty tomb mirrors the doorframe of panel 3, as Christ’s resurrection is now the gateway to redemption for all people. All of this fulfills God’s plan throughout His story, as Jesus explained to his followers after his resurrection (Lk 24:25-27, 44-48). The central image of Jesus connecting panels 6 and 7 (H) engages the viewer with extended hand, offering the same invitation to follow that he did to his first disciples. Like the ark of the covenant that connects panels 3 and 4, Jesus fully manifests the presence and glory of God, and holds the covenant God has made with His people. It is through Jesus alone that we are able to enter into God’s story and experience His gift of salvation (Jn 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Tim 2:5).
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