Thursday, April 19, 2012

How to Read the Old Testament: An Illustration

Imagine writing a journal of your experience while enduring a difficult time in your life. Perhaps you were suffering financial, emotionally. Maybe someone you loved abandoned you. Maybe you lost your job, and because you had trouble managing your time and troubles while trying to resolve your problems, you decided to write a journal of your thoughts and experiences in order to cope.
Now, imagine that in the midst of your trial, suddenly a rich relative passed away and bequeathed to you an immense fortune. While receiving such immense wealth, you and your parents reconciled after a period of tense silence and avoidance. The girlfriend or boyfriend who broke up with you not only wants to get back together, but has wealth of his own that he wants to share with you in the bonds of holy matrimony.

To say that the Lord has "turned your captivity" would be one way to characterize your blessed turn of circumstances.

After enjoying your health, wealth, family and freedom for some time, you find that old journal in which you catalogued the pain and frustration which you endure for so long in a state of poverty, rejection and loneliness. Instead of being saddened or even scared, can laugh with triumphant joy, because  those hard times are far behind you, and you will never have to worry about them again. Not only that, but you will appreciate your blessings all the more, remembering what it had been like in the past. All you can do is thank God for the goodness which he has given you!

In this light we can read the Old Testament. We read about the trial and successes of the men and women who trusted the Lord, suffering persecution and rejection, blessed in every way notwithstanding the hardships that they faced. We recognize in them the mistakes, the failures, and the faults which we have made. More importantly, we witness the faithful service and assistance of a loving God who outlines for us in types and shadows the One who would redeem us from the Curse of the law, Save us from our Fallen, dead state, and grant us Life, Love, and Luxury at His right hand through His Son, His Only Son whom He loves.

We can look over the scores of sacrifices, seeing not just the types and shadows of Christ's sacrifice at the Cross, but also rejoice that He ever more makes justification for us as our High Priest. We can also rejoice that we can receive His gracious blessings without having to resort to the time-consuming, costly, and messy sacrifices which could never remove the consciousness of sins. We can appreciate that we have a loving Father would promised before the foundation of the world to send His Son to redeem us. Every pain, punishment, loss, hurt that the Old Testament saints suffered, we know that as believers in the New Covenant we will never have to endure those privations and humiliations, for the righteous wrath of God the Father has been fully, effectively , and eternally exhausted on the body of His Son, who died for us and as us at Calvary.

Breathe a sigh of relief, praise God for the wonderful things that He has done, for His mercy endures forever!

No comments:

Post a Comment