the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our tribulation,
that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble,
with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." -2 Corinthians 1:3-4
This past Sunday, I learned something new from these two verses that I hadn't seen before. It's in the very first part of the passage - in the way that God is identified: "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ..."
At first glance, this seems pretty simple and not too surprising. Yet, compare this to the way that God identifies Himself in the Old Testament: "the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob..."
Since the coming of Jesus, the relationship that God can have with people is defined in a new way. It's not through the old covenant, but the new one.
While Abraham was obedient, and obedient even to the point of being willing to offer his own son, Jesus was more perfect in obedience. While Jacob was the leader of a new nation that became a multitude as great as the stars in the sky, Christ was the firstborn from the dead. Hebrews 8:6 says: "But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises."
Of course God did not change, but the relationship that we can share with Him is wonderfully new and better. I am not just God's servant, but also His daughter (Galatians 3:26) and even His friend if I live according to His will (John 15:14). Rather than having to seek out a prophet who is filled with the Spirit of God for advice and wisdom, I myself am blessed with the Holy Spirit, who helps me to understand God's word and teaches me about God. Of course, all of this is only through Jesus, the mediator of that covenant and my righteousness before God. Thanks be to Jesus for the marvelous blessings we can receive through faith!
And this doesn't even get into the topics of comfort and tribulation. But if I were to start on that, the post would go on for a few pages :)