Friday, June 19, 2015

the last arrow

Stand in the Rain is down to the final 3 weeks of our 3-year schedule.
In the days we have left, we are going to scour the archives for articles we meant to publish but never did because they were too long, or too strong, or too far gone. If we find any that touch upon our remaining books (1 Peter, Ruth, and the first half of 1 Samuel) we intend to deploy them.
We want to leave nothing in reserve. We want to be found with Sword unsheathed and no arrow left in the quiver.
The Word for today:
1 Peter 2:4-17
"Look, I lay in Zion a stone, a chosen and priceless cornerstone, and whoever believes in him will never be put to shame."
So you who believe see his value, but for those who do not believe, "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone..."

(1 Peter 2:6-7)
"Like a Rolling Stone"
These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. (Colossians 2:17)
The Bible is one big song, or psalm. The song is held together by repeated images, technically called "types," which are pictures of things to come.
Teaching with types is the primary teaching method of the Holy Spirit. In the Bible, the movie comes out before the book! Junior- and senior-high students "watch the movie" instead of reading the book, then write a "book report," because the movie is easier to understand (and takes a lot less time). The Holy Spirit "shows the movie" first, filling the Old Testament with people, places, objects, and actions which serve to make it easier for us to understand the concepts of the New Testament, especially the concepts concerning the heart and character of God--the heart and character which brought Him to the cross.
'Types' can be people. Isaac, the miracle baby promised to Abraham and his wife Sarah (who was long past child-bearing age) typifies Jesus Christ, who was also supernaturally born.
Isaac was the son of promise. God promised Abraham that through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed (Genesis 26:4; cf. Genesis 12:3; 18:18; 22:18). This was fulfilled in Jesus Christ, a descendant of Abraham and Isaac.
'Types' can be objects or things. The wood that Isaac carried to his own sacrifice foreshadows the cross that Jesus would carry to Golgotha.
'Types' can be actions. God told Abraham to bring Isaac to be sacrificed. Abraham obeyed. Then God stopped him, telling Abraham that God would Himself provide the sacrifice. Later, God not only provided a sacrifice but was, Himself, the sacrifice.
Some 'types' are 'types in contrast': Ishmael was Abraham's son born to the slave-girl Hagar. In contrast to Isaac, Ishmael is "the son of the flesh." Together, these two sons depict the New Testament concept that naturally, on our own, we are slaves to sin. But supernaturally, by faith in God's Son of Promise, we are set free from sin and death (see Romans 9). Jesus Christ emphasized this concept, telling the religious Pharisee Nicodemus that "You must be born again. That which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit."
Types, then, foreshadow the character and work of Jesus Christ. A trick question that serves to help the Bible student understand the concept of types is--
In approximately what year did Passover occur?
The Bible student reflexively thinks in terms of "B.C.," thousands of years before Christ, in the time of Moses and the Exodus. But an understanding of the typology of Scripture gives us the correct answer: the passover in Exodus is only the copy and shadow of things to come (Colossians 2:17; Hebrews 8:5). Our real Passover was at the cross of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 5:7) in approximately 33 A.D. The blood on the posts and lintels of the doors in Egypt were the faint whisper, for a relatively few Hebrews, of the blood on the post and crosspiece where hung the Lamb without blemish--the Door to eternal life for all nations, for all time (John 10:9).
These types echo and re-echo throughout the Bible, pointing to Jesus. Every story whispers His name. The types, which are actually the Bible's most sophisticated and meaningful prophecies -- deep calling to deep -- become more emphatic, more pronounced, until the echo is overtaken by the original -- the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world -- in a dizzying timelessness.
These repeated motifs become the refrain, the chorus, of one big song. The Bible is arranged--composed--with the types as the repetitive elements tying the whole together. The Bible is not arranged chronologically. It is not arranged thematically. The Bible is arranged symphonically.
For the last ten years of my life, very nearly every available moment has been consumed with teaching (or preparing to teach) the Bible. I can't give any meaningful accounting of the rate of success and/or failure, for the Bible teaches the folly and danger of measuring a work of the Spirit, which I believe every Christian ministry to be.
But one night in late June, I had my most gratifying moment. A small crew of hardcore Bible students, some of them on their second or third trip with me through the 66 books of the Bible, had gathered on a Thursday night--a night so mild, so lush and gorgeous that any "sane" person would have opted out of Bible study in order to enjoy the weather. But this crew, insane in the Spirit, were there when I started to trot through another of the types. This one happened to be the motif of the rock: starting with the rock that was smitten, from which life-giving water flowed (Exodus); to the stone the builders rejected which became the capstone of the arch (Psalms/1 Peter); to the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands, which crushed the prideful institutions of man (Daniel); to the stone of stumbling and a rock of offense for unbelievers (Isaiah/Romans/1 Peter); which same stone is the foundation of the church, upon which the wise man builds his house (1 Corinthians/Matthew).
As I was spieling through this very abridged rock chorus, I could see in their eyes that they "got it," that they knew the Chorus and so were well on their way to learning the whole Song! They were following after the Rock of their salvation (Psalm 95:1) as He rolled through scripture--their steppingstone out of the valley of the shadow and into the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, a morning without clouds, when the tender grass springeth out of the earth, through clear shining after rain (Psalm 23/2 Samuel 23).

No comments:

Post a Comment