Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What if God was one of us?

The Word for today:
Daniel 9:1-19

Tomorrow, we will look at the most specific prophecy in the Bible.  It's called "The Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks."  It's a minutely detailed prophecy which pinpoints the very year of Jesus' death.  Some even think that this astonishing prophecy calculates the time of the cross to the very day--some 500 years after Daniel!

So bring your calculators, because you'll need them.

Everybody talks about the Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks because it is so mind-boggling.  But for me it's not the greatest prophecy in the book of Daniel.

The greatest prophecy in Daniel doesn't really register in the mind, and it can't be calculated by a computer.  It only makes sense to the heart.

This greatest of prophecies actually consists of two prophecies--each great on their own--which are joined together.  The first prophecy is a vision of the Son of God:
He answered and said, "But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods."   (Daniel 3:25)
We met him just days ago.  When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were cast into the fiery furnace, he was there to deliver them.  It was as if he absorbed their punishment.

Sewn to the first to make a seamless, perfect whole is a vision of the Son of Man:
I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.(Daniel 7:13-14)

I know enough theology to tell you that there's a technical phrase--hypostatic union--for how Jesus was all-God-all-the-time and all-man-all-the-time, all at once!  (It seems that when we can't explain something, we invent important-sounding words to mask minds that are utterly inadequate for the subject.)

I don't know the technical ins and outs of this most wonderful combination.  All I know is that in order to mend broken lives, God had to sew together the Son of God and the Son of Man.

In order to bind up the brokenhearted (1), Son of Man/Son of God had to be sewn together so perfectly that even God couldn't tell where one left off and the other began.

(1) Isaiah 61:1, cited in Luke 4:18-19

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