The Promise of Messiah in the Old Testament

My thanks to Matt Waymeyer for this: The promise of the coming Messiah begin in embryonic form in Genesis 3:15 where God promised to remedy the entrance of sin into the world through a future descendant of the woman. Throughout the remainder of the Old Testament, this initial promise is developed and expanded so that the overall picture of the coming Messiah is filled in and revealed more and more clearly. In this way, Genesis 3:15 can be viewed as the initial strokes of paint on the canvas of biblical prophecy. Then, with each new prophecy, more detail and color is added to the canvas and the picture becomes fuller and clearer: He will come through the seed of the woman (Gen 3:15). He will come through the line of Shem (Gen 9:25-27). He will come through the line of Abraham (Gen 12:3). He will come through the line of Judah (Gen 49:8-12). He will come through the line of

read more The Promise of Messiah in the Old Testament

The centre of the Old Testament

Bruce Waltke: [T]he center of the OT, the message that accommodates all its themes, is that Israel’s sublime God, whose attributes hold in tension his holiness and mercy, glorifies himself by establishing his universal rule over his volitional creatures on earth through Jesus Christ and his covenant people. An Old Testament Theology: An Exegetical, Canonical, and Thematic Approach (Zondervan, 2007), 144 (HT: Dane Ortlund)

Jesus and the Old Testament

“[Jesus] regarded the whole Old Testament movement as a divinely directed and inspired movement, as having arrived at its goal in himself, so that he himself in his historic appearance and work being taken away, the Old Testament would lose its purpose and significance. This none other could say. He was the confirmation and consummation of the Old Testament in his own person, and this yielded the one substratum of his interpretation of himself in the world of religion.” Geerhardus Vos—Biblical Theology (p 358) (HT: Tony Reinke)

Jesus Did Not Arrive Unannounced

“The prophets searched. Angels longed to see. And the disciples didn’t understand. But Moses, the prophets, and all the Old Testament Scriptures had spoken about it — that Jesus would come, suffer, and then be glorified. God began to tell a story in the Old Testament, the ending of which the audience eagerly anticipated. But the Old Testament audience was left hanging. The plot was laid out but the climax was delayed. The unfinished story begged an ending. In Christ, God has provided the climax to the Old Testament story. Jesus did not arrive unannounced; his coming was declared in advance in the Old Testament, not just in explicit prophecies of the Messiah but by means of the stories of all of the events, characters, and circumstances in the Old Testament. God was telling a larger, overarching, unified story. From the account of creation in Genesis to the final stories of the return from exile, God progressively unfolded his plan

read more Jesus Did Not Arrive Unannounced

Goldsworthy: “the history of the word…climaxes in the word becoming flesh”

“It is clear from the New Testament that the primary means by which the church grew was through the preaching of the gospel. The apostle Paul, who wrote to the Corinthians that he was determined to know nothing among them but Christ and him crucified, expressed it simply: “we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles” (1 Cor. 1:23; 2:2). “The act of proclaiming, or preaching, was not the giving of opinions or of reinterpreting old religious traditions in new and creative ways. It was proclaiming the word of God. Whatever the form of the proclamation, the content was the gospel of Jesus, and it was by this means alone that people were added to the church. “Faith comes through what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17). We note to begin with that the word of God now attaches to both Jesus and to the testimony about

read more Goldsworthy: “the history of the word…climaxes in the word becoming flesh”

Russell Moore: “Every text of Scripture–Old or New Testaments–is…about Jesus”

“There’s plenty of Veggie Tales preaching out there, and it’s not all for children. As a matter of fact, the way we teach children the Bible grows from what we believe the Bible is about–what’s really important in the Christian life. There’s also such a thing as Veggie Tales discipleship, Veggie Tales evangelism, even erudite and complicated Veggie Tales theology and biblical scholarship. “Whenever we approach the Bible without focusing in on what the Bible is about–Christ Jesus and His Gospel–we are going to wind up with a kind of golden-rule Christianity that doesn’t last a generation, indeed rarely lasts an hour after it is delivered. Preaching Christ doesn’t simply mean giving a gospel invitation at the end of a sermon–although it certainly does entail that. It means seeing all of reality as being summed up in Christ, and showing believers how to find themselves in the story of Jesus, a story that is Alpha and Omega, from the spoken

read more Russell Moore: “Every text of Scripture–Old or New Testaments–is…about Jesus”

The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses

Justin Taylor posts: Vern Poythress’s book, The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses, is now available online for free. Here is the table of contents: Part 1: Understanding the Different Aspects of the Law The Challenge of the Law of Moses The Tabernacle of Moses The Sacrifices, Prefiguring the Final Sacrifice of Christ The Priests and the People, General Principles for God’s Dwelling with Human Beings Prefiguring Union with Christ The Land of Palestine, the Promised Land The Law and Its Order The Purposes of the Tabernacle the Law, and the Promised Land: Pointing Forward to Christ The Punishments and Penalties of the Law Prefiguring the Destruction of Sin and Guilt through Christ Part 2: Understanding Specific Penalties of the Law The Principle of Penal Substitution Principles of Justice for the Modern State Just Penalties for Many Crimes Penalties for Sexual Crimes Deterrence and Rehabilitation A Critique of Prisons Our Responsibilities Toward Imperfect States Fulfillment of the Law

read more The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses

Preaching the majesty of God

. The Majesty of God in the Old Testament, a recent book by Walter C. Kaiser Jr., is designed to provide preachers and teachers with insight on appreciating and preaching the majesty and greatness of God as presented in the Scriptures. Kaiser writes: Alas, however, much of our teaching and preaching suffers from a mediocre view of God’s majesty. We are too much like those chided in Psalm 50:21, who “thought [God] was altogether like [one of them].” As presenters of the Word of God, we desire to soar to the heights of the heavenlies and to lift the sights and hopes of our listeners to the very portals of the throne room of God himself; yet, more often than not, we feel frustrated and vacuous in the final results, both in our private study of the Word of God and in our listening habits on Sunday. Therefore, we and the people we serve, starve for the awesomeness, greatness, and

read more Preaching the majesty of God

The Spirit of Holiness

I found this article by Michael Haykin helpful for some current research I’m doing into the understanding of the link between the Spirit and ethical transformation in the Old Testament. One does not have to read far in Romans—the most systematic of all of Paul’s letters—to encounter a reference to the Spirit’s sanctifying work. In Romans 1:4 Paul describes the Spirit with a phrase that is unique in the New Testament—he is the “Spirit of holiness.”[1] What exactly does the Apostle mean by describing the Spirit thus? Why does he not use the more common term “Holy Spirit”? For some writers the terms “Holy Spirit” and “Spirit of holiness” are simply synonymous and they would understand the term “Spirit of holiness” to mean something like “the Spirit whose character is holiness.” There is another way, though, to understand this phrase and that is to see it as a description of the Spirit’s work: he is the giver of holiness, the

read more The Spirit of Holiness

Scripture Congregates About Jesus/Gospel

D.A. Carson: “Strictly speaking, then, Christians are not to think of the New Testament books as just like the Old Testament books, bringing the next phase of God’s redemptive plan to us. Mormons argue that that is all they are — and then say that Joseph Smith brought a still later revelation to us, since he was yet another accredited prophet. But the author of Hebrews sees that the climax of all the Old Testament revelation, mediated through prophets and stored in books, is not, strictly speaking, more books — but Christ Jesus himself. The New Testament books congregate around Jesus and bear witness to him who is the climax of revelation. Later books that cannot bear witness to this climactic revelation are automatically disqualified.” (HT: Gospel Muse)

Come, Thou Long Expected Servant

Here’s a great Advent thought from Matt Jenson at The Scriptorium Daily. He also throws in some good hermeneutic advice too! Advent is upon us, and as God’s good timing would have it, I spent all Tuesday last week reading and many hours throughout the week discussing Isaiah with students. Often spoken of as a ‘fifth gospel’, the book of Isaiah is a feast for Old Testament Jesus-watchers. That’s helped by Handel, whose Messiah teaches us to hear the prophet as evangelist. And we are right so to do. As long as we’re patient. In Advent, we sing of the ‘long expected Jesus’. To hear Israel’s Scriptures faithfully is to hear in them the slow, painful, hopeful building of expectation. It is to hear a people fumbling toward a future usually only hinted at, but occasionally emerging from the fog in visions as brilliant as they are evanescent. To jump to Jesus to quickly in reading the Old Testament is

read more Come, Thou Long Expected Servant