Eyes That See

“I Once Was Blind”

More on Obadiah

I recently blogged a bit about Obadiah (here and here).

What I was unsatisfied with about both my paper that I did last semester on Obadiah and the two blogs was that I have proved inept at tying Obadiah together with the most important part of the Gospel, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

When I first read Obadiah, some things stuck out and reminded me of the crucifixion of Jesus.  Most notably the mention of “casting lots” in verse 11:

“On the day that you stood aloof,
   on the day that strangers carried off his wealth
and foreigners entered his gates
   and cast lots for Jerusalem,
   you were like one of them.”

However, since the passage refers to Isreal, I did not attempt to relate it to Jesus.  Thankfully, Dr. Russell D. Moore ducked into a phone booth and came to save the day.  In “Beyond a Veggie Tales Gospel: Why We Must Preach Christ from Every Text,” Dr. Moore says that Jesus

“relives the story of Israel itself–exiled in Egypt, crossing the Jordan, being tempted with food and power in the wilderness during a forty-day sojourn there. Jesus applies to Himself language previously applied to Israel and its story–He is the vine of God, the temple, the tabernacle, the Spirit-anointed kingship, the wisdom of God Himself.”

 With this understanding of the Bible in mind, the Christological implications of the book of Obadiah practically jump off the page and slap you in the forehead!

 

Edom’s violence toward Israel was most astonishing because they were, nationally speaking, “brothers”- in the sense that the founding fathers of both nations, Esau/Edom and Jacob/Israel, were brothers.  Similarly, the violent obscenity that is the Cross is most astonishing when we realize that not only was Jesus the promised Messiah and Savior of the Jews, but He also was Himself a Jew.  So when verse 10 of Obadiah says, addressed to Edom, “because of violence done to your brother Jacob,” we can address Israel with a similar statement: “because of violence done to your brother Jesus.”  With some slight variations to make the analogy work (i.e. “wealth” to possibly “life,” since Jesus had no earthly wealth), verses 10-14 can be read as a typological prophecy of Jesus:

 

“10 Because of the violence done to your brother Jacob,
   shame shall cover you,
   and you shall be cut off forever.
11 On the day that you stood aloof,
   on the day that strangers carried off his wealth
and foreigners entered his gates
   and cast lots for Jerusalem,
   you were like one of them.
12 But do not gloat over the day of your brother
   in the day of his misfortune;
 do not rejoice over the people of Judah
   in the day of their ruin;
 do not boast
   in the day of distress.
13 Do not enter the gate of my people
   in the day of their calamity;
 do not gloat over his disaster
   in the day of his calamity;
do not loot his wealth
   in the day of his calamity.
14 Do not stand at the crossroads
   to cut off his fugitives;
do not hand over his survivors
   in the day of distress.”

July 20, 2008 Posted by | Christ, Jesus, Obadiah, Typology | Leave a comment

Keep Your Eyes On Him. (Part I)

I just finished moving out of my apartment today.  Something that I realized is how quickly things lose value when you are moving.  I saw the decrease in my stuff’s value in two ways:  1) how easy it was to throw things away, and 2) how little I now like the things that I did not throw away.  After all of the time and effort that I put into the move, I thought that if Jesus showed up and told me to sell everything I had and to follow Him, then that would be easier than ever- not only because it’s Jesus, but also because I don’t like my stuff a whole lot right now.

The thought that followed that one was how much this stuff- that now had little or no value to me- had distracted me from Jesus in the past year.  So as I write this blog to you, dear reader, pray for me that I will greatly improve in the area of keeping my own eyes on Him.  I do not keep my eyes on Him as well as I ought, but I caught a mere glimpse of Him and it was enough to change my heart, my dreams, and my life. 

In this blog I would like to encourage you to keep your eyes on Christ Jesus our Lord, who has the power to forgive us of our sins because He died for them on the cross, God raised Him from the dead, and He will judge us all one day.  Believe in Him and repent of your sins and you will be saved.  The problem that we face in the struggle to keep our eyes on Him has nothing to do with Him.  He is the most glorious sight that our eyes could ever and will ever behold.  Therefore, what we need is merely to see Him more clearly.  My aim in this blog is to help you to see Christ more clearly by reading the Old Testament the way that Jesus and the authors of the New Testament read it: typologically.

I would like to briefly define typology, discuss why I think that Jesus and the authors of the New Testament read the Old Testament typologically, and end with my typological argument that Jesus is the Old Testament’s promised Messiah. 

According to my brother‘s definition, typology requires two things: 1) a divine pattern of events that is 2) fulfilled (with escalation) in Jesus.  So a typological understanding of an event would include both the divine pattern and how it was fulfilled, with greater significance, in Jesus.  I will give an example shortly when I show why I think the New Testament authors read the Old Testament typologically.

I believe that Jesus gave us all reason to look for more than just what is apparent on the surface of the Old Testament Scriptures in His conversation with the disciples on the road to Emmaus.

“And he said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”  Luke 24:25-27

And when He spoke to His disciples later in Luke 24:

“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.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.'” Luke 24:44-47

This not only shows us that there is more to the Scriptures than what the disciples on the road to Emmaus saw (and I don’t think we should assume to be more intelligent than them), but it also gives credibility to the way that the New Testament authors interpreted the Old Testament.  The risen Christ “opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.”  And if the New Testament authors learned to interprit the Scriptures from Jesus, then the way that they interprited it is the way that He interpreted it.

So how did the New Testament authors understand the Scriptures?  Typologically.  I believe this is very apparent in Matthew 2:15, where the apostle Matthew quotes Hosea 11:1. 

“This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt I called my son.'” Matthew 2:15

“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.” Hosea 11:1

In Matthew 2:13-15, an angel appeared to Joseph and told him to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt.  They stayed there until King Herod died, at which time God called His Son, Jesus, out of Egypt.  Matthew then says this fulfills what the prophet had spoken.  The apparent problem is that the prophet, Hosea, was not speaking of the Messiah.  He was speaking of Israel.  So we have to explain why Matthew interprets Hosea’s looking back to the Exodus as pointing forward to the Messiah.  Matthew was either wrong here or he saw something deeper than the surface.

(To be continued…)

May 10, 2008 Posted by | Christianity, Jesus, Typology | , , | 1 Comment