A key difference between the Age of Decay and the Age to Come are their relational polarities. CS Lewis in Mere Christianity talks about how God brings us into his very own life. It’s hard to figure out what that means but this is one way into one aspect of it. By relational polarity I mean the direction in which we face, towards which we expend ourselves, for which we live.
The relational polarity of the Age of Decay is “my life at your expense”
The relational polarity of the life of God, how he is in the Trinity towards himself and therefore expressing his glory through creation is “your life at my expense”. Jesus therefore is the ultimate revelation of God because he expends himself for the welfare of others.
The most common response I receive when I teach on a lot of Jesus’ teaching, much of which is lauded by people, teaching such as “turn the other cheek”, “love those who persecute you”, etc. is that “this is unrealistic in the REAL world” and they are right. Turning the other cheek usually means getting both cheeks smacked, but note, Jesus never said it wouldn’t. If you live the relational polarity of God in the context of the Age of Decay you will get exactly what you know the Age of Decay dishes out which is exactly what Jesus got. Jesus got a Roman cross, naked and proclaimed by the powers of Rome and Jerusalem that their proficiency of the relational polarity in the Age of Decay was unmatched in their time. Jesus, however, does not stay dead. He is vindicated by God and as proclaimed vindicates the relational polarity of God. God’s relational polarity trumps Caesar’s, Herod’s, the religious leaders of Jerusalem and our own.