There once was a woman who went to her deep freeze and pulled out a brisket to cook. She put it in the frig overnight and got it out the next morning. She put it on the counter and waited for it to cook. When she returned a couple of hours later, she stuck her cooking thermometer into it and–lo, it was room temperature. It had not cooked a bit!
She then pulled out a roasting pan and placed the brisket in it. She put it in the oven and set the timer for two hours. When she returned, she pulled out the brisket and checked the temperature. Again, it was room temperature. It had not cooked even a little bit.
So, she reached over and turned on the oven; she set the temperature on 350°, and walked away. Several hours later, she came back and checked its temperature. IT WAS PERFECT! It was now ready to serve.
Even though there was only one brisket, there were three methods used. Let’s compare them to the Christian life and see what we can learn.
The Brisket on the Counter- This brisket closely resembles a cadaver–wait! It IS a cadaver! Or, at least, part of one. The point is that the brisket represents a dead body. Before Christ raised us from the dead, we were cadavers. The best illustration is Lazarus. We will pick up the narrative at the tomb. Read John 11:38-40, 41-44.
- Where was Lazarus? He was in the tomb.
- What was Lazarus’ condition? He was dead and wrapped. Read Ephesians 2:1-2. Us, too.
- Why did he come out? Jesus called him. Read Ephesians 2:4-5
- What happened after he came out? They removed his graveclothes. He was bound by strips of cloth, much like an Egyptian mummy, but with his arms wrapped to his sides. If his legs were wrapped, too, then he might have had to hop to get out! After Jesus raised us from the dead, we began the process of having our graveclothes removed. Read Ephesians 4:22-24 and Romans 6:11-14. It’s a process. Read Revelation 7:9-10 and 19:14. One of these days, we will receive a robe of white, which represents sonship (girls, you, too) and purity. Galatians 4:6 says it best.
The Brisket in the oven- This brisket was in the right place, but it still didn’t get cooked. Why not? Because the oven had not applied heat to it, which would have transformed it into a delicious roast. Our salvation is not brought about by anything we can do. Remember: We are cadavers. Without the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, we cannot be brought back to life. Read John 3:5-6. Our flesh is still alive, but our spirits are dead. The Spirit of Christ quickens us and gives us life. We are born again! Read 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14. Jesus called us to come out of our graves! His Spirit gives us life! Again, Galatians 4:6. No Spirit? No life. We are just walking cadavers.
The Brisket with the oven on- This brisket gets transformed by the heat of the oven. Over time, it turns into a delicious dinner ready for the table. The Spirit within us works just like the heat in that oven. Over time, we are transformed into the image of our Savior. Read Romans 8:28-29, 2 Corinthians 3:6-9, 10-13*, 14-18. Conformed and transformed. The law was like the oven that wasn’t turned on. It had no power to transform the brisket. Neither does the law have the power to save us. We need Christ not only to save us, but to transform us as we move from glory to glory. This process is called Sanctification. Eventually, we are glorified as we step into His presence!
Next week, we begin a new time and a new study, “The Spirit Within.” Go to revkellyanderson.com and look under “About Salvation.” It’s there! Our new time, tentatively, is live at 4:00 on Thursday. It will be posted.
*The Jews are God’s chosen people to show the world His love. As I understand it: Right now, we are in the Times of the Gentiles, but that window will close–possibly, soon–and God will once again focus on the Jews, and the veil mentioned in 2 Corinthians 3 will be lifted. Their interest in our Savior, Yeshua Ha’Mashiach, is of great importance to us, because it signifies the closing of the Times of the Gentiles and the immanent appearance of our LORD.