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Into the TARDIS

23 January 2022

Imagine the scene…  Things are tough and the planet is about to be destroyed by a terrifying alien race.  Then suddenly, the TARDIS materialises, they open the door, run in, shut the door and breathe a sigh of relief as they find themselves safe inside a huge room full of flashing lights and strange equipment.

 

At the risk of sounding absurd, God is our TARDIS.  Like the TARDIS, He keeps us safe, of course, but there is much more to the analogy and I’ll unpack this as we look at John 16-20 and Exodus 12.

 

We start the week with John 16 as Jesus is warning His disciples that persecution is coming but they will have the Holy Spirit as their Counsellor.   Jesus tells them that He must return to the Father in order to send the Holy Spirit to them.  He goes on to say that their grief will turn to joy and that they will see Him again in the future.  The disciples aren’t too happy with this but this is actually the next step in God’s very big plan.

 

In chapter 17, Jesus prays for Himself, His disciples and all believers.  As He prays, He reveals much more about His ministry and what believers can expect in the future.  Jesus was just one man but through His death and resurrection, He was going to open up a life of faith to the believers – like with the TARDIS, there will be so much more on the inside of the kingdom of God than you could imagine from the outside.

 

We see the next part of God’s plan take place in chapters 18 and 19 as Jesus is arrested, tried (of a fashion), condemned and crucified.  From the outside, this looks like the Roman Empire administering justice in its usual efficient manner.  But what the people involved didn’t know was that something much bigger was taking place: the Son of God was dying for the sin of the world and nothing would ever be the same again.

 

But it wasn’t enough to die for the sin of the world and in chapter 20, Jesus is raised from the dead.  New life is breaking out but who would have guessed when they saw Jesus’ body sealed in that tomb? 

 

Let’s spend a few moments in Exodus 12 and see how the TARDIS effect was in operation even then.  A group of over a million Hebrews have been so persecuted by Egypt that they have begged God to save them.  The time arrives.   They see 9 plagues hit Egypt and…  God says to kill a lamb and daub its blood on the top and sides of their doorframes and to have bread without yeast and to be ready to set off.  Small, simple acts that lead God to free the Hebrews from bondage and set off on their journey to a land they could call their own.  Those simple acts of obedience at the first Passover led to the founding of God’s great nation.  The outcome was far greater than people could see from the outside.

 

So what is the significance of this for us?  Remember that God is our TARDIS, our strong tower and place of refuge.  But as we see in this week’s readings, when we look from the outside we only see a small part of God’s plan for the situation.   However, when we open that TARDIS door and go inside through a simple act of faith, we can be sure that we are stepping into God’s very big plan and when inside, we can see that there is so much more to His plan than we can see when we are outside.

 

Look at the door to the TARDIS and take that opportunity that God is placing before you.  Open the door and go inside.  God wants to show you that there is so much more than you can possibly imagine from the outside.  Step in and see.

*TARDIS stands for Time And Relative Dimension In Space and is a machine used by the Doctor (Who) to travel around the universe and through history.  Its unique feature is that it looks like an old-fashioned police telephone box but inside it is vast.  British people refer to the TARDIS when something is bigger than expected.  Doctor Who is a long-running BBC science fiction drama that has seen 13 actors in the lead role and caused generations of kids to hide behind the sofa. 


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Gill Hayes

Core Leadership Team
GoChurch Manchester