Where is Christ in the Old Testament? (Everywhere)

“When (Apollos) arrived [in Corinth], he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the [Old Testament] Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.”  (Acts 18:27-28)

Where does Jesus show up in our Bible?  The Gospels?  Nope.  How about Genesis 1…    Paul wrote in Colossians 1:16, For by [Christ] all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.”

The disciple, John, began his gospel this way:  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made…”  (1:1-3)  Later, in verse 14, to make certain his readers understood he was writing about Christ, John wrote, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

In his classic, “Christ in the Old Testament,” Charles Spurgeon wrote, “To the disciples on the moonlit road, the Master, beginning at Moses and all the prophets, expounded the things concerning Himself.  He is everywhere in Scripture; patriarchs and kings are types of Him who is the Ancient of Days and the Prince of Peace; the Law was but a shadow of good things to come, and the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.  The Old Testament was Christ’s Bible, and it is a Bible full of Christ.”

The early church fathers championed the axiom, “Christ is, in the Old Testament, concealed; and in the New Testament, revealed.”

Christ is Genesis through Revelation – the Living Word made flesh; the Alpha and the Omega; the Beginning and the End.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Power of Praising God

“About midnight (after having been illegally beaten and imprisoned), Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.” (Acts 16:25-26)

When life goes an angering, painful, or maddening direction – it’s the last thing we want to do.

But the power of praising God (especially in pain) is undeniable.

When we praise the wild, untamable Lion of Judah all heaven breaks loose – our perspective begins to shake and quake, doors that once imprisoned our minds fly off their hinges, and the bondage brought on by living in this corrupt world falls at our sides.

The Lion has roared.

David wrote, “You are holy, enthroned upon the praise of Israel.” (Ps. 22:3) God sets up the very throne-room of His Kingdom in the center of our praise.

Recently, I read the following quote: “The deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of the pain, thanking God during the trials, trusting Him when we’re tempted to lose hope, and loving Him when He seems so distant and far away. At my lowest, God is my Hope. At my darkest, God is my Light. At my weakest, God is my Strength. At my saddest, God is my Comfort.”

A song written in the late 70’s says it best: “When you’re up against a struggle that shatters all your dreams; And your hopes have been cruelly crushed by Satan’s manifested schemes; And you feel the urge within you to submit to earthly fear; Don’t let the faith you’re standing in seem to disappear….Praise the Lord.”  (YouTube Link below)

On May 13, 2013, my son took his life. But I stand before you this day and proclaim: God is still God; God is still good; God is still trustworthy; Blessed be His Name…Praise the Lord…

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

Thus Saith the Lord, “Get Out of My Way.”

If there’s one place I’d just as soon never end up it’s “in God’s way.”

Fortunately for Peter, he had no interest in being there either.

We pick up the story in Acts 10…

God is continuing to blow like a mighty rushing wind throughout the Middle East, establishing His church among not only the Jews, but everyone else as well.  Luke records, Even as Peter was [preaching the gospel], the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message.  The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles (anyone not a Jew), too.” 

In a word, all heaven was breaking loose.

Salvation now, in Christ, offered to all (not only Jews) was exciting to be sure – but not popular among the Jews.  They had yet to understand what the Cross had represented: freedom to all who would trust Christ, Jew and Gentile, alike.

The story continues in chapter 11.  When Peter returned to Jerusalem to report what God was doing among the Gentiles the Jews criticized him.  “But Peter began and explained (everything)…”, stating, And since God gave these Gentiles the same gift he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to stand in God’s way?” (vss, 4, 17)

Peter was a wise man.  No doubt, he knew passages such as Job 42:2, “I know that You can do anything, and no one can stop You.”  And Proverbs 21:30, No human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the Lord.” 

Moreover, Peter was acting on personal experienceHe’d gottten squarely “in God’s way” before.  We pick it up in Matthew 16:

From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.

But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!”

Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”  (vss. 21-23)

Translation: “Getting in the way of what I’m doing,’ says the Lord, ‘is not a good idea, placing yourself under My immediate judgment.”

There are times in our lives when, like the Jews, we witness God’s hand – and we don’t like it.  It’s at this time we come to a moment of truth.  Do we humbly accept God’s way?  Or do we complain, criticize, yell & scream, dig our heels in and strongly suggest to God that He has no idea what He’s doing?”

God, please help me to choose the former.

By the way, Peter’s listeners also made the right decision.  Luke records,  When the others heard this, they stopped objecting and began praising God. They said, “We can see that God has also given the Gentiles the privilege of repenting of their sins and receiving eternal life.” (vs. 18)

Wise decision.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick