Friday, February 22, 2013

You, Me and The Messiah in the Old Testament: A Five Twelve Focus

Do you ever wonder why, if it's so outdated and unimportant, the Old Testament is even in the Bible? For years I was taught it was simply to understand history and cute moral stories, nothing more. We don't live in that culture, so some things don't apply...right? But I had questions about it...I saw that some parts were being applied while some were being left out. I saw that as a redeemed people, commanded to be set apart, were are doing a lot of things that aren't even written in the Bible, in the name of the Lord. It just wasn't all adding up for me, and I wanted to know why. As I began to ask questions, I discovered that this was going to be a road I would go down alone with the Lord. I needed to discover it for myself. And once I took the time to camp out in it and search, I discovered I was right...there is much more to it than meets the eye.

A precursory reading just to say have have read it simply will not show us the richness and relevance of what is written there. So, today we will embark on an Old Testament adventure, and I will endeavor to reveal you, me and our Messiah in the Old Testament to you as you read this blog.

The first thing we must understand is the purpose of the Old Testament. No one puts it better than Paul the Apostle in these words he spoke in 1 Corinthians 10:

For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come."

Isn't that an interesting thought? That God is using their story to teach us even now?

We must also understand that Jesus himself tells us that He is to be found in the Old Testament. In the book of Luke, we read an interesting story about two young men on a road to Emmaus, just after Christ's death.

And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalmem. And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place.

While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them. But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. And He said to them, "What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?" And they stood still, looking sad. One of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, Are you the only one visiting Jerusalmen and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?" And He said to them, "What things?" And they said to Him, "The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but him they did not see.

And He said to them, "Oh foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?" Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, he explained to them the things concerning Himself in the Scriptures.

Now think about that. The accounts of Moses are in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. That's the Old Testament. But we don't hear about Jesus' birth until the New Testament, in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. And the prophets, the books in the middle of the Bible, they were written hundreds of years before the birth of Christ! Yet, Jesus uses the Old Testament to show them Himself. So why aren't we doing that very same thing? What do they say and how do we figure it all out?

Our God uses physical, earthly examples to explain spiritual principles. Think about all the parables Jesus told. This is exactly what he was doing, he was giving us illustrations that are relevant to our culture, to help us comprehend the Kingdom of God. 

God never changes. He was doing that long before Jesus came to earth. That's what Paul's words in 1 Corinthians confirm. He was giving us a living parable in Israel, a people, a priesthood, a redemption story-so that we could make sense of His work in our lives today.
We must change the way we read the Old Testament. From this point forward, when we study together, when you read the scriptures of the "OT," ask yourself: What is the God principle here?

That will be the Five Twelve focus when we delve into the OT. There are shadows of Him everywhere, waiting to be let's get to it! Let's walk the road to Emmaus once more, let's dive in, and let's discover how God was truly revealing it all from the very beginning!

I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: My plan will take place, and I will do all My will. Isaiah 46:10

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