Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Don't forget the key--or you won't get in! (part 2)

The Word for today:
Jeremiah 35
(If you haven't already, I hope you'll read yesterday's Stand in the Rain blog.  It serves as an introduction to today's article.)

Yesterday, we read about an incident on the road to Emmaus, when a stranger happens alongside two disciples who were disheartened following the death of Jesus, and puzzled about reports they'd heard--that he was alive again.
So the stranger proceeded to give them a guided tour of Scripture. Starting in the beginning, then going verse by verse, he pointed out references to the Christ, the Savior:
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. (Luke 24:27)
It wasn't until they'd stopped for a meal that they realized the "stranger" was Jesus. All the way down the road, the stranger had been explaining things the Bible says about him!
Then, just as suddenly as he'd appeared beside them, he was gone. The two disciples asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?" (Luke 24:32)
You, too, will have your Road to Emmaus experience if you continue to systematically study the whole Bible. One day the key--Jesus--will be placed in your hand and the Old Testament will open before you as if you'd never seen it before. Suddenly, it's not about lambs and burning bushes; and it's not about Abraham and David. You will clearly see that those are just props and role players in the what the Bible really is--the Story Of Jesus.
But why wait? Let's pretend we're on the road to Emmaus right now. In the chapters we are currently reading, here's a few of the things Jesus would have explained concerning himself:
I will heal them (Jeremiah 33:6).
The gospels are a virtual parade of the healed.
I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin (Jeremiah 33:8).
This points straight to the cross.
In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land (Jeremiah 33:15).
"The Branch" is a symbol for one of King David's descendants who will rule forever. We meet "the Branch" in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah. Jesus was called "Son of David" by the people of his day, because they recognized him as The Branch.
The LORD is our righteousness (Jeremiah 33:16).
A description of Jesus, who became sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Thus says the Lord: 'David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel' (Jeremiah 33:17).
There's Jesus again--the eternal "Son of David" promised in 2 Samuel 7.
Because you have refused the terms of our covenant, I will cut you apart just as you cut apart the calf when you passed between its halves to solemnize your vows (Jeremiah 34:18).
This is a vivid picture of Jesus, who "passed between the pieces" while Abraham slept--signifying that Jesus, alone, would fulfill every requirement for man's salvation. This first occurred in Genesis 15:7-17, so Jesus would already have explained this to the disciples as they walked.

When you read the Bible, don't forget the key--or you won't get in.  And have a fire extinguisher ready--because hearts have been known to burst into flame.

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