Tuesday, August 22, 2006

All biblical narrative is about Messiah-Jesus.

Mark Lauterbach is studying Ezra-Nehemiah:
"I am studying through Ezra-Nehemiah these days as we lead the church in understanding how God fulfills his promises for his everlasting kingdom. Set in the century after the exile, these books record the activity of God to rebuild the temple, the law, and the city of Jerusalem.

It would be very easy to study these for purely historical interest. Or, more commonly, to study these for "leadership principles." Neither of these is true to a Gospel driven approach. All biblical narrative is about Messiah-Jesus. This is not exception.

The opening verses of Ezra are a thunderclap about God's ways.

Ezra 1:1 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom.

Here is what God has taught me.

These words seem simple, as a record of history, but behind them lies the covenant of God with Abraham -- a covenant to bless all nations through his ultimate Messiah-son. That covenant restrained the hand of God's justice against his people so that a remnant survived. That covenant God is working to fulfill here.

Behind them lies the covenant at Sinai and the clear conditions of obedience and the blessing of the land that will follow, or the curses of judgment that come with disobedience. Those curses came to pass after 800 years of patience by God toward his people. That covenant failed and the new covenant became a "felt need."

Behind these words lies the promise of God through Isaiah -- that God would raise up the King Cyrus, and through him he would rebuild the city and the temple after exile. (see Isaiah 44-45).

Behind these words lies the promise of God through Jeremiah (ch 25 and 29) that the exile would last 70 years.


Bluegrass Endurance said...

I can not agree more. It seems all too often we turn to God's word to find out about things pertaining to us and then miss the whole point of scripture, that it points to Christ. This ends up making the Bible a book about man and not one about Christ. It is only when one understands this, I think, that one can even apply what is read.

What is interesting is that I recently wrote on the same idea at, For His Glory ,as it had been on my heart for some time.

Journal T. Living said...

Mark, you say "all biblical narrative is about Messiah-Jesus". Or as I repeat the words of Paul in 1 Cor 15:1-6 it could be said, the one true gospel is the Christ, Jesus, died for our sins according to all the writings of scriptures, he was buried and He rose again the third day according to all the writings of the prophets. In is written in the Psalms, "lo, in the volume of the book it is written of Me." Jesus spoke in John 5:39, (you) Search the scriptures for in them ye think ye have eternal life, it is they that testifies of Me." Or Peter says it is "the word preached by the gospel." Jesus says in Luke 24, "O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:ought not the Messiach to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded to them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself."

Well spake the Holy Spirit concerning this generation of judgment which we find ourselves in, "all the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priest bear rule by their means, and my people love to have it so." There is a great sense of urgency in the Spirit and all who partake of the one true gospel according to the will of God and His grace hear by grace, "if we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanseth us of all unrighteousness." I and those with me desire to have fellowship with all who holdfast by grace to this doctrine.

Daniel lang
From Mt Clemens, MI outside of Detroit