Sunday, February 06, 2011

It Had to Happen

Luke 24:44 Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled."

44 Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς· οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι μου οὓς ἐλάλησα πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἔτι ὢν σὺν ὑμῖν, ὅτι δεῖ πληρωθῆναι πάντα τὰ γεγραμμένα ἐν τῷ νόμῳ Μωϋσέως καὶ τοῖς προφήταις καὶ ψαλμοῖς περὶ ἐμοῦ.

This is one of the last things that Jesus tells His disciples. They were still thinking that He would establish an earthly kingdom. They did not quite understand how the Scriptures (our Old Testament) predicted Jesus' life, death, burial, and resurrection. So He had to give them one last lesson. He had to explain ὅτι δεῖ πληρωθῆναι. The word δεῖ gives a sense of necessity. That's where you get the "must be." The word πληρωθῆναι is an aorist passive infinitive. The fact that is in the aorist gives a sense that something happened at an undefined time in the past. It is not necessarily puncticular as some of the older scholars say, but it is generally something in the past.

The point is that He is trying to explain to them that what was predicted by what we call the Old Testament had been fulfilled. He is telling them here that He tried to get them to understand that while He was with them. Now that He has been resurrected those words were indeed fulfilled.

What does this mean for us? Personally, it makes me lean even more toward amillenialism. I am not looking for an earthly reign of Christ on earth in the sense of a millenium because of Old Testament prophecies. The Old Testament found its fulfillment in Him. However, I write this with very broad strokes and am prepared to rethink this as necessary.

From an application perspective, I think it also means that we are to examine where we are being thick. Jesus is all over the Old Testament. Not in the sense of floating axe heads or in every piece of wood symbolizing the cross, but everything in the Old Testament points us to Christ. Since we are Christians we can read the Old Testament as Christians instead of as Jews. We can see how the Old Testament points us to Christ. This is confirmed here by the words of our Lord and in numerous other places in the New Testament, both explicitly and implicitly.

Let's rejoice that we worship a God who keeps His promises. He promised a Messiah and gave us one. Won't you worship the Messiah with me?

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