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Bible Ah-Ha! #10

I grew up hearing that one of the strongest reasons for believing in Jesus is that He fulfilled hundreds of predictions in the Jewish Scriptures. Years later I found myself wondering where most of those prophecies were. Sometimes I found clear and compelling predictions. But more often than not, when I checked the sources for myself I found obscure or mysterious statements, written in the past tense, and referring historically to someone other than a future Messiah. Then at some point I discovered that:

Christ fulfills more than predictions

In the fifth chapter of Matthew’s gospel, he quotes Jesus as saying: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (5:17). Jesus goes on to say that every detail of the Law must be fulfilled (v.18).

Jesus’ own words, then, can help us understand how a Gospel writer like Matthew could repeatedly claim that Jesus fulfills Scripture that is written in the form of someone else’s history rather than a clear prediction of him. As Matthew reflected on specific events in the life of Jesus, he saw how they gave a fullness of meaning not only to prophecy but also to historical patterns and principles in the history of God’s chosen people. All of the symbols and ritual of the sacrifice, the priesthood, the temple, and the religious holy days of Israel were a foreshadowing of him.

To understand how this could be, we need to see that Jesus was not just a Jewish Rabbi from the other side of the tracks. As John Stott writes of Jesus in his classic “Basic Christianity,” “So close was His connection with God that He equated a man’s attitude to Himself with his attitude to God. Thus to know Him was to know God (John 8:19, 14:7); to see Him was to see God (John 12:45, 14:9); to believe in Him was to believe in God (John12:44, 14:1); to receive Him was t receive God (Mark 9:37); to hate Him was to hate God (John 15:23); and to honor Him was to honor God (John 5:23).”

Because Jesus backed up such claims with his wisdom, his power, and his acts of rescuing love, I’ve come to believe that he is more than the source of all truth, scientific or religious. Just as importantly he brings all truth, and every truth of the Bible, to fullness of meaning in himself.

A memory device I’ve used over the years to burn the “completeness” of Jesus into my mind is to think of turning in any direction and seeing him:

Look Back— He is our Creator and God (John 1:1-3; Col 1:15-16)

Look Forward— He is our coming Judge and King (Rev 17:4)

Look Up— He is our Savior and Lord (Luke 2:11)

Look Down— He is our Sustainer and Security (Rom 8:34-39)

Look to the Right— He is our Example and Teacher (Matt 23:10;1Peter 2:21)

Look to the Left— He is our Advocate and Defender (1John 2:1-2)

Look Within— He is our Life and Strength (Gal 2:20)

This is also why I’ve been thinking in my last couple of posts that if we are disillusioned with life, the church, or God himself, it may be an indication that someone or something has distracted and diverted us from focusing on the one who knows and loves us far more than we could ever know or love him.

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4 Responses to “Bible Ah-Ha! #10”

  1. Gale L. Jarvis says:

    Mart i believe the Holy Spirit convinced me several years ago that every thing in life is a matter of opinion, thereby there is never a reason for me to ever argue with another person, but i also believe i have been chosen to be an ambassador for Christ i must give my opinion so the Holy Spirit has words in the heart and mind of others to work with, to encourage, convict, or to believe and pass on.
    I have mentioned this before, and even though many do not believe this is needed, for what ever reason i must believe God the Creator went to Hell in my place.
    i believe Adam condemned me to Hell, but Jesus paid the Ransom that was needed for my release.
    No one can come up with any thing worse than being separated from God, and i was, and God loved me so much that he suffered not just the physical pain, in which i know had to be terrible, but nothing compared to be separated from the Father.
    God has shown me Love that can ever be matched, this one thought if there were no others will keep me focused on God and others, knowing God Loves everyone, and every thing He has Created.

  2. brownsfan1642 says:

    I think, Mart, that this is why our passion must be for Christ Himself, first and foremost. If we are passionate about even very good things (ministry, relationships, the Bible), but try to respond in our own energy instead of in the strength of Christ Himself, we will always disappoint our own hearts, and those we care deeply for. Love for Christ and devotion to Him, can enable all the rest to rise to its best.

  3. percy172 says:

    Yes, Mart, you are very right.Any which way we look Jesus ia present. But sadly most of us don’t realise this fact and go about as though God is one who is far from us and does not bother about what happens to His creation, more importantly to us. Jesus said to His disciples, I will not leave you comfortless, I would ask the Father and He would send a comforter who would be with you always. What an cncouraging and motivating statement to feel His presence with us all the time.This is not a statement from the disciples or anyone else but from the one who came and gave His life for us and rose again.
    He is someone who has gone thru what we go thru, He knows what it is to be hungry, thirsty, betrayed, falsely accused, to be in pain,being over looked for a murderer yes we can go on. Whenever I reflect on Jesus when I go thru some issues, I am encouraged to speak to Him because He has experienced what I am going thru. And then His promises and words come alive lifting me up.

  4. daisymarygoldr says:

    Great memory device!

    Here are some attributes that prove Jesus is God:

    I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he. Isaiah 41:4
    Jesus said, “Fear not; I am the first and the last:” Revelation 1:17

    In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Genesis 1:1
    Unto the Son he saith…Thou, LORD, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands. Hebrews 1:10

    I AM
    And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. Exodus 3:14
    Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM. John 8:58

    “[W]ho can forgive sins but God only?” Mark 2:7
    Jesus…said…”Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” Mark 2:5

    [T]he Father hath life in himself; John 5:26
    In [Jesus] was life; and the life was the light of men. John 1:4

    Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
    Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever

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