1 John 2.2
Jesus is praying in this passage from the gospel of John, referring to the issue that His disciples, who are believers in Him as their Messiah, are not of this world, but have been elevated to a higher level of understanding of the works of Jehovah. He himself being of the spiritual realm, of an eternal existence, is also not of this world. He was about to be put to death as a fulfillment of the sacrifice needed according to the Torah, the Law, that a perfect sacrifice without blemish must be offered to Jehovah. This sacrifice would result in the justification of sins, and righteousness for all who believe in the finished work of the Messiah.
1 John 2.2 says ” and He Himself, (Jesus,) is the propitiation for our sins and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” So we see the concept that is in tune with Hebrews 3.12-4.5, and 2 Corinthians 5.14-15, and Romans 5.15-19, that Jesus died for all mankind, offering Himself as the justification for our sin. Justification means, to absolve, to declare guiltless, to hold blameless. It’s the picture of Israel in slavery to Egypt, when God sent Moses to set them free from that slavery, they then went into the wilderness free from bondage, yet when faced with entering into the Promised land they could not enter because they had no faith in Jehovah to care for them there. Hebrews 3.19 “So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” Now in like manner Jesus has set mankind free from slavery to sin, and we now are in the wilderness of life, standing at the border of eternity and what will keep us out of eternity with our Savior, unbelief. Righteousness is not the same as justification, righteousness is the result of the saving act of Jehovah. It is afforded only to those who trust in the work of the Savior Jesus Christ.
As a result we, as believers, are living as strangers and aliens in a foreign land, we are born into a spiritual life, John 3.3, “You must be born again”, and Romans 8.23, “..even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.”
Exodus 16.3 In the wilderness Israel, having been set free from slavery to Egypt, start complaining to Moses about being hungry saying, “Would that we had died by the LORD’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by pots of meat, there we ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into the wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Isn’t it unbelievable that they would rather go back to slavery than to continue in the new freedom they have with Jehovah. This new freedom is so unstructured, it’s so grace full, it’s so freeing they could hardly stand it. They needed the comfort of their slavery, their aimless, unfulfilling lives, where they worked day and night for a substandard existence.
Do you see the parallel to our lives in Christ, where we are in this world, yet not of it. And yes, too often, we as believers long for slavery to sin again because it’s so comfortable, its the life we know have known for so many years, it’s hard to not see everything through it’s lens. Yet who would trade the freedom of life in Christ for the life of bondage again. In Christ we have the Holy spirit to guide us, fill us, and to lead us in righteousness each day. Just as Israel was given Manna each day for nourishment, so the Holy spirit fills us each day for spiritual nourishment, as we trust in the finished work of our savior.
Let us live each day as strangers to this world, keeping our eyes on eternity with Jesus.