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Posts Tagged ‘Old Testament’

L. Michael Morales writes:

“What do you think of the Christ?” In guiding the Jerusalem leaders to contemplate this question of eternal weight, Jesus turned to the authority of what is written “in the book of Psalms,” specifically Psalm 110 (Matt 22:41–46; Mark 12:35–37; Luke 20:40–44), and asked a question childlike in both simplicity and profundity, the answer to which plunges one into the unfathomable wonder of the incarnation of God: How could David refer to his son as Lord? This probing question was but the application of what Jesus would later declare, that he himself is the object of all the Scriptures of the Old Testament, summarizing their threefold division in Luke 24:44 as “the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms,” with the Psalms standing as the summary representative of the Writings.

Read the rest of the post here Jesus and the Psalms – The Gospel Coalition Blog.

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“One cannot cite any part of the OT as binding for people today (like circumcision, food laws, tithing, or Sabbath laws) without considering where such commands are in the entire story. The OT as a whole must not be thought of as a gigantic book of Proverbs but must be read and interpreted in light of the unfolding story of redemption.”

– Tom Schreiner, Galatians

via An Infant in a Cradle: The OT is not a gigantic book of Proverbs.

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Like so many young Christians, the book of Leviticus used to bore me.  Genesis was exciting.  The first part of Exodus was also exciting enough to give me the momentum to get through to the end.  But then Leviticus was like a brick wall in my Bible reading plan.  So many laws and rituals, so many rules.  But something has changed as I have gotten older.  Leviticus is absolutely beautiful to me!  Why the change?  It’s because I see Christ everywhere in this book. 

Take for instance this passage:

And he [the High Priest] shall take a wife in her virginity. A widow, or a divorced woman, or a woman who has been defiled, or a prostitute, these he shall not marry. But he shall take as his wife a virgin of his own people, that he may not profane his offspring among his people, for I am the LORD who sanctifies him.” (Lev. 21:13-15)

The High Priest is this passage was commanded to take a pure virgin for his wife. She could not be defiled in any way, for if she was, it would profane his offspring which God would sanctify through him.  But how does that apply to Christ? Christ must also take a virgin for His bride, pure and spotless. Christ is certainly worthy to take for Himself a pure bride. But the next verse describes a woman who has not been defiled, who has never been a prostitute. Now the New Testament clearly portrays the Church as the bride of Christ (Rev. 19:6-8), but how can this ever describe us? The Church is made up of people who are in no way undefiled and pure, for we all sinned and fallen short of God’s grace (Rom. 3:23).

Paul wrote the following a few thousand years later:

 For I [Paul] feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. (2 Cor. 11:2)

The Apostle Paul was passionate to present believers to Christ as pure virgins. But how can this ever be? How can we who were so defiled, so impure, so much prostituted to the ways of the world, ever be made into pure virgins again? All of us have prostituted ourselves to idols of the world and to ourselves. We were all defiled and living in sin (Eph. 2:1-2). We are all unclean? How can we be virgins? To abstain from all evil might be good, but it could not turn back time. Only a complete reversal of our condition, a new birth, could bring this about. But that is impossible!

It certainly is impossible. Nicodemus felt the predicament when he said, “How can this be? Can I enter into my mother’s womb a second time?” (John 3:4) But by the grace of God, in a manner of speaking, this very thing did happen to us. God’s amazing grace and divine power did re-create us. His Holy Spirit did birth us anew, so that we are now re-generated into new creatures – ones who are clean, undefiled and pure. We are new creatures. All of us were defiled by sin and unfit for Christ, but all our defilements have been washed away, forever. And not merely washed away, but it’s as if the clock were turned back to the point where we were never even affected by our own sin or infected by another’s (Adam’s). Our nature was transformed spiritually into that of a newborn baby.

But let us not forget that Paul’s passion was also that we become in our deeds what we are in our renewed nature. Paul was concerned that we live out this new nature, that we become practically what we already are positionally. And God has promised to complete in us what He began as we work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 1:6; 2:12-13).

Leviticus, and the entire Good Book for that matter, is all about Jesus Christ. He will one day take us as His pure and spotless Bride, a virgin untouched by worldly corruption. Until then, He is busy at work fitting us into a perfect bride that is fit for a perfect Bridegroom, our perfect High Priest and Lord Jesus Christ.

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