On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
I like to call it Macro-Theology. It’s stepping back to get the big picture of what God is up to in history. It is a summing up of God’s grand purpose for humanity. It’s about the dream of God to include in His life and glory the creatures made in His image. It is God’s grand design, His eternal purpose, His telos, towards which He is working all things (Ephesians 1:11, Romans 8:28-29).
Today’s bit of Macro-Theology comes right in the middle of John’s gospel; Jesus is only hours away from the cross. There in the Upper Room Jesus points His disciples to “that day” when His followers will know that He is in the Father, and they are in Him and He is in them. In a great economy of words Jesus lays out God’s plan for perfect unity between Himself and humanity. Jesus sets forth oneness and intimacy of which the greatest intimacy here on earth is but a pale shadow.
Most Bible commentators agree about “that day” being the day of the Spirit, the Day of Pentecost when God pours out His Holy Spirit on His people (See Acts 2). That will be the day when God’s people know God’s plan of including them in the very life of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God will not rest until we know: “I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.”
Many people think of God as “up there”, watching us from afar and not sure what He thinks about us. But the Spirit of God reveals that we live in Christ and Christ lives in us and in the Father. Without losing any of our individuality or uniqueness, God makes us one with Him.
This flows from the three great unions of the Christian faith: the Trinity, the Incarnation and the Atonement. The union of the Trinity is three divine Persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), who are the one God. There is the union of the Incarnation in which the divine nature is united to human nature in the Person of the one Lord Jesus Christ. Then there is the union of the Atonement, or, At-one-ment, in which our sinful human nature is made at-one with the divine nature through Jesus Christ.
This makes each day a grand and wondrous adventure of living united to God. God isn’t “up there” but “in here”! We are alive in Christ, and Christ in us, and Christ in the Father. This is not just the object of our faith, but something we experience in the overflow of love and joy from the Father, Son and Holy Spirit alive within us. We are talking about big and wondrous truths! Macro, eternal truths!
- So, take a few moments to be still God’s presence and reflect upon the very life of God inside you!
- Prayerfully reflect upon the following words by the Jewish- Christian scholar Adolph Saphir as he reflects upon the three union of the Christian faith:
“Let us ever with adoring hearts believe in the three unions which the Church of Christ has confessed in all ages…We believe these three unions, though we cannot comprehend and fathom them. We have a knowledge and experience of these mysteries in our hearts and lives, an assurance and consolation continually flowing from these eternal depths, and we wait with calmness and hope for the bright and perfect knowledge which shall be ours when we see face to face. Eternity alone can unfold the blessedness of those who know ‘the name of Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’” (Christ and the Church: Thoughts on the Apostolic Commission)
Grace and peace,