Archive for April, 2009

April 13, 2009

Amazing

From one of my favorite stories – and all-time favorite musical; a story that is filled with grace and mercy. It is apropos. For those of you who don’t like voyeurism – please give me a smidgen of patience and just watch.

Watch Here

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April 2, 2009

1 Corinthians 15: You Can Count on God

In the midst of considering Paul’s passion for the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection, we cannot miss an important point in Paul’s apologetic, which is God’s promises do not fail.

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,”

The idea that God fulfills his promises is a theme addressed over and over again in the Bible. For example, Romans 1:1-4 reads “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,” The reason it matters is because God has laid his name on the line in the Old Testament concerning messianic prophecies.

From the first messianic prophecy found in Genesis 3:15 to the last one found in Malachi 4, the Old Testament has a string of prophecies that called the nation of Israel to look to the future hope of the anointed One that promised salvation and redemption. Second Temple Judaism was saturated in the expectation of the appearance of the Messiah. Multiple figures rising to claim the title around the time of Jesus shows just how much of an undercurrent this hope was for the first century Jew.

The fulfillment of messianic prophecies is important because without it the Old Testament does not make sense and the implications of God’s involvement in your life become trivial and pathetic. First, the Old Testament doesn’t make sense because of God’s continued persistence to look over the persistent rebellion that his finite creatures utilized in an attempt to mar his infinitely glorious and perfect righteousness. From the days in the Garden of Eden to the throne room of David, we find pictures of God’s continued pursuit of his people despite themselves. How can we make sense of scandalous statements like “The LORD also has put away your sins; you shall not die” in 2 Samuel 12:13 after David’s sin of idolatry, covetousness, adultery is revealed in the murder of Uriah. In other words, if God’s word isn’t to be trusted than his promises of salvation mean nothing; they would bankrupt, empty words that did more harm than good by raising a false hope.

Second, Paul’s summary in 1 Corinthians 15:32 that says “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” summarizes the useless hope that Christians place in God if his OT promises don’t come to fruition. Not only does our salvation depend on God’s trustworthiness, but also if he is not trustworthy then we are living our lives in vain. We would all fools who trust an empty gospel.

But, praise the Lord that this is not the case. His promises do come to fruition. It is not vanity to trust in his salvation. This is why “in accordance with the Scriptures” is vital to our proclamation of the Gospel. It is why our celebration of Easter must include reflection on the messianic prophecies found in the Old Testament. In this faithfulness we find a new covenant between man and God. One that we can never break. Once you are part of this covenant – a participant in Jesus’ death and his blood that establishes this very covenant – and the salvation that accompanies it then you will never find yourself outside the camp again. It is a firm foundation that lends itself to our exulting in the hope that God’s never failing word accomplishes all it purports to do.