Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thus it is written

Luke 24:44-48 shows Jesus giving the Apostles a lesson in interpreting scripture and preaching, or if you want to get fancy, a lesson in hermeneutics and homiletics. Keep in mind that the Scriptures for the disciples was our Old Testament. Jesus claims to be the primary subject and fulfillment of what was written in "the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms." Wow! He then goes on to explain their singular mission (and our's) as proclaiming and bearing witness to "these things".

This month I've read through Isaiah from beginning to end...a first. It's a staggering, mind-boggling (insert your own superlative) book of the Bible. Reading it has made Jesus much more real to me. It's given me a bigger view of the triune God (Father, Son and Spirit are all in it's pages), a bigger view of wrath & judgment, grace & mercy, the horror of sin/idolatry, the wonder of forgiveness, the atoning work of Christ, world missions, the Kingdom (both it's "already" and "not-yet" aspects), hope & Heaven. It's all there. In technicolor. The imagery is, well, inspired.

Read Isaiah and you'll probably come across things that sound familiar. That's because the Apostles, especially John, were constantly quoting or alluding to Isaiah. Where did the New Testament writers get their warrant to do this? Were they hijacking the Jewish scriptures? No, they were simply doing what their risen Lord had taught them. "Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, 'Thus it is written...'"

May our minds be opened.

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