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Archive for April 22nd, 2012

“These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

 The Lord Jesus refers to a 3-fold division of the Scriptures, which is the Old Testament:  the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms. Everything is written about Him so we can read for ourselves and be fed the bread of His Word.  Here are but three examples of the way the Scripture is fulfilled in Jesus Christ:

  • The Law of Moses: After 40 days and nights of fasting, the Lord is tempted sorely three times by the devil, each time Jesus responds, It is written and each time cites a Scripture passage from the Law of Moses, specifically from Deuteronomy.
  • The Prophets:  When Jesus comes intoGalilee preaching repentance and the reign of God, that is the forgiveness of sins, this was to fulfill what the prophet Isaiah preached in Isaiah  9: 1 and 2.
  • The Psalms:  When Jesus was upon the Cross, dying for your life here and to eternal life, He prayed Psalm 22: 1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?  Law of Moses, Prophets and Psalms are all the Word God fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you…” That is in His earthly ministry. He had preached this sermon, in fact 3 times.  Three times Jesus prophesies that He must be suffer, die and rise on the third day.  In Mark’s Gospel the three passion prophecies begin at8: 31,9: 31 and10: 34.  He says this must happen: His Cross is God’s just must for our forgiveness, so that He might bear wounds and be our Healer of body and soul.  The man in Solomon’s portico by Christ Jesus’ word could walk.  So we have legs and walk in the newness of life.  The three-fold division of Scripture points to the three fold must of Jesus Christ. Everything in Scripture points to the fact and act of salvation in Jesus Christ.   Jesus lived and breathed Scripture. When He was tempted, after fasting 40 days and nights, He had no revelation.  He was met by the Devil and sorely tempted three times and three times, He began:  It is written.  Scripture, God’s Word is food, defense and reasonable.  We need His Word day by day. 

Two statements that are true and complement each other regarding the Bible:

  • All of Scripture is God’s Word.
  • All of Scripture points us to Jesus Christ.

All of Scripture is God’s Word, Law or Promise because as Jesus first cited Scripture to the devil, Man does not live by bread alone but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God.  Every Word is trustworthy, true, infallible and without mistake.

All of Scripture points us to Jesus Christ by what He has done in His death and resurrection so we can walk in repentance and forgiveness.

All of Scripture is God’s Word. As also Jesus said: You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me…” There Scripture is true in all its words

 All of Scripture points us to Jesus Christ. “…you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3)

  • All of Scripture is God’s Word.
  • All of Scripture points us to Jesus Christ

Both statements are necessary, if we leave one out, we get lost.  There are those who say that All of Scripture is God’s Word but do not proclaim they point us to Jesus Christ, and then legalism arises pointing us to ourselves and our works instead of His good work.  Every word is true, that is right, but the purpose of  God’s Word to direct us to the Word made flesh is not clear.  These preachers do not point us to Jesus.

Then, there are those who say all Scripture points us to the Gospel of our redemption, but not all of the Scripture is for our life together. The Gospel means we are free to do whatever we want that is to keep on “practice sinning” (1 John 3: 1-7). These folks are the first to say the Bible is riddled with mistakes.  Both statements go together, here in the Bible are God’s Words, faithful, true and infallible, unmistakable, and so infallibly pointing us to Jesus Christ., as He said, “…written about Me…”

An example of the two statements in today’s Gospel.  Our Lord said He rose on the third day in fulfillment of Scripture:  but which Scripture?  Jesus said: For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.  Jesus says that Jonah points to Him and therefore Jonah is reliable and true.

  • God commanded Jonah to preach repentance and the hope of salvation to Ninevah and he ran the other way.
  • Jesus Christ came to preach repentance and the reign of God and ran right into the world, the flesh and the devil. He did not run the other way.
  • When Jonah ran the other way he took ship to do so and a great storm arose.  The sailors realized God caused the storm because of Jonah, so they threw him into the sea and the sea ceased it’s raging.  When Jesus was thrown into the depths of chaos, there was peace because He bore our sin.
  • The great fish swallowed Jonah as punishment by God.  Jesus deserved no punishment because He was without sin but upon was the chastisement that made us to bear our sin and be our Savior.
  • The great fish spit up Jonah on to the dry ground, according to God’s command because Jonah had repented, then he preached God’s Word to Ninevah. When Jesus arose from the “heart of the earth”, because hell and Satan could not stomach Him, He preached God’s Word and charge His Church to do so in the “Ninevah of this world” (Gerhard).

Perspicacity of Scripture:  it is clear in all its parts.    It is so crystal clear: 

Law:

  • You shall have no other gods before Me
  • Honor your father and your mother,
  • You shall commit adultery.
  • O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame?
  •    How long will you love vain words and seek after lies?
  • Sin is lawlessness.

Gospel:

  • “For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son…”
  • The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…”
  • “Take, eat, this is My Body”
  • “Come to me all who are burden and heavy-laden and I will give you rest…”
  • “He opened their minds to the Scripture…”
  • “You have put more joy in my heart
  •    than they have when their grain and wine abound.
  • “Men ofIsrael, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk?
  • See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.

I do not need to have a Phd in theology to understand the Bible.  The usual lament about the Bible is that it is so difficult to understand.  It is at times. However, a musician does not know and understand every piece of music, an artist every work of art, a chemist every equation, etc. but they can all do their vocation well. So can we.  We need to read the Bible daily because daily we need to be so fed by what we have read.  “I don’t have the time.” If I can watch Big Bang theory for a half an hour, I have time for the Scripture.

The great orator of ancient Rome, Cicero said: “Read at every wait; read at all hours; read within leisure; read in times of labor; read as one goes in; read as one goest out. The task of the educated mind is simply put: read to lead.”  This also is true regarding the Lord’s written word in the Bible. In Jesus Christ, His Word in the Bible becomes the times of refreshing. Read to lead.  Read to lead and so serve someone who might be lost.  Read to lead to stay true to the way who is Jesus. Read to lead and we are so led.  The task of the saved mind is simply put:  read to lead.

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