Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Christ Is Fasting

Fasting is not something unique to Christian, Jews and Islam. In fact it is found in many other religion as most religion has some form of fasting. The Hindu fast, Baha'i fast, Buddhist fast, and even Pagan do fast. Although Judaism is a very ancient religion yet no religion can be said to have invented fasting. The idea does not originate from any particular religion but it is found deep in the nature of man. In man you find a deep hunger to reach out to the divine and have some kind of communion with God. Fasting is the expression of that hunger and desire to reconcile with God and have fellowship with Him. Man wants to taste of the supernatural, they want to partake in the things of the divine as such they fast.
Fasting, whatever form it may appear and whatever religion it may be found is the attempt of man to reconcile and partake with the divine. Christianity is not just a religion that originated from Judaism neither is it just another religion among other religion. Instead, Christianity is the consummation of all religion. Christianity is Christ and Christ is the sum of all things.

"We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God's original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him." (Col 1:15-16 MGS).
"He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth." (Eph 1:10 MSG).

All this things of God, all the things of the universe and all the things of man got stated in Christ, got its origin in Christ, and would be summed up in Christ. This propensity of man to fast has its origin in Christ. Fasting got started in Christ and would be summed up in Christ with all its various forms and expression in the diverse religions. Christianity (or rather Christ) is the summation of fasting in its many forms. In Christ you find the many different kind of fasting summed up in harmony despite of the diversity in the days of fasting, the purpose of fasting, the method of fasting etc. Fasting as practice by man has its origin in Christ, therefore in Christ you would find the original and the real fasting. There is something that exist in Christ that man is trying to express or copy.

Man had always fast to please God. In their many religion, in their many ways they try to reach our to God, to appease Him. But they've failed. God wasn't satisfied with their fast, they couldn't give God the fast that He desire. They thought fast was all about going hungry and starving themselves. This even angered God the more, they were so focus on the rituals that they miss the true meaning of fasting. Fasting was never about going hungry, that is not real fast, man is so blinded. Then God spoke, revealing to man what fasting really is.

"Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the Lord? “No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help." (Isa 58:5-7).

Notice that refusing to eat was never mentioned in these verses. Because refusing to eat is not really fasting. In the eyes of God, what He sees and calls fasting is the work of righteousness. When I first read these verses I was confused and I didn't understand, how does doing certain righteous work be called fasting. Our mind have been condition to think God request hunger strike from us. And it is hard to relate going hungry with being righteous. Man sight is so limited, all they could see is an act of abasing themselves by going hungry. To man going hungry is the goal, it is the fasting. But in God's eyes the goal is righteousness, this is fasting to Him. To Him the process of going hungry is not really fasting, it is only a means to a goal and that goal which is the works of righteousness is the real fasting.

God described fasting as, "freeing those who are wrongly imprisoned; lightening the burden of those who work for you. Letting the oppressed go free, and removing the chains that bind people. Sharing your food with the hungry, and giving shelter to the homeless. Giving clothes to those who need them, and not hiding from relatives who need your help." Man had failed to fulfill this fasting, it is the fasting that God demand. In all their many method of fasting none were able to meet the target. They got it wrong because they don't have what it take to give God the fast that He desire.

God must have fasting on earth, He must get the fast that He desire. So He sent His Son to give Him the fast that is after His own heart. Jesus came being anointed to fulfill the fasting that God require of man.

“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives  And recovery of sight to the blind,  To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the  LORD.” (Luk 4:18-19).

Can you see the striking similarity between these verses and the verses where God described the fast that He demand. Yes, they are the same, God anointed and sent Jesus to fast the fasting that He described in Isaiah 58:5-7. Man couldn't fast this kind of fast, therefore God sent His Son to fast this fasting for man. Christ means the anointed one, yes Jesus is the one anointed to fast the true fasting, for man. Hence, all those who are in Christ have fasted this fasting.
"...we believe if one died for all, then all are dead:" (2 Cor 5:14).

We find this principle all over Scripture. Jesus died so we are all dead, Jesus was righteous so we are all declared righteous, Jesus obeyed therefore we are no longer children of disobedience and Jesus was victorious therefore we overcomers. So also when Jesus fulfilled the fast that God demanded of man, we have fulfill that fast. We have fasted in Christ and Christ had become our fast. Just as Christ is our righteousness and our victory, Christ has also become our fasting. One fasted therefore all had fasted.
Those who are in Christ are in fasting. They are living a life of fasting as they live and express Christ in them. To the Christians Christ has become their fasting. Other religion can remain in the struggle to please God through fasting but Christ have put an end to that struggle for us. He was anointed to fulfill the real fasting therefore he had become fasting for us. When we practice Christ we practice the fasting that is after God's heart. For more understanding get my book: The New Covenant.

This post belongs to series, here is the full series:
Christ Is Fasting
Fasting In the New Testament
The Frustration
A Hunger For Starvation

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