CONNECTING WITH THE CROSS

Yes or no.

As far as looking forward is concerned we have no narrative or clear teaching that allows us to say that the ancients actively looked forward to the person we know as Messiah Yeshua. In fact we have evidence that people in antiquity who wrote, spoke, and lived the truth did not even know what they were writing about, and some were even unaware of divine mercy to all people. They had several covenants to pay attention to, they had the exhortation of prophets, the leadership of kings and priests, all comprising a very full plate without the conflicting hope of the One who would cut down the crowding weed, and plant trees that sing out at the presence of Yahweh (1 Chro. 16:33) The Lord gets his glory by planting his own trees, trees of righteousness, individuals, not any group (Isaiah 61:3). We can say that a future event fires our thoughts and actions but it is only our cross-connected now that assures us of lamp, light, and fuel.
Looking back calls for some reality checks: the start, the process, the destination. These position the reader, for example:

  1. to relate to Genesis as the database for where the roots of humanity’ are socially, spiritually, internationally, and election (enter Abram).
  2. to relate to Exodus as a record of salvation and covenant (enter Bne Yisrael)
  3. to relate to Numbers as the picture of the journey of the chosen people
  4. to relate to Leviticus as the instructions about how to approach God (enter priesthood and invitation), ark means come boldly
  5. to relate to Deuteronomy as the picture of the page-turning instructions about journey and rest

The kings and historical books have their unique place as examples of global governance in defiance of past and present graces.  The prophets are the witness to the grace and insistence of God in pursuing people to pay attention to agrewed upon business
So in looking back there is good reason to connect with relevant matters. People have chosen various ancient practices as foundations for our times. The ratiional that first must be first is hollow, because we know that change follows discovery, and discovery stirs growth.
There are pictures of Christ all over the Old Testament, and my interest goes beyond his teaching, because much of that has to do with Jews and Jewish religion.  My interest looks past the commandments to the promises, because they give life.  I look past all the messengers to hear the Risen Lord himself speak.  I thank God to have rescued me from several devilish snares.  These snares include:

DIET: vegetarian (Genesis 1 ignoring Genesis 9), the proposition that the priests are probably supposed to reckoned as handicapped because they consumed a great deal of animal flesh, roasted and boiled is not sustainable.
FORBIDDEN MARRIAGES: (Genesis 24, 25, 28, and 34, ignoring Ruth and Rahab Jacob’s and Isaac’s marriages), marriages within one’s clan (Isaac and Jacob), Moses is the child of an aunt Exo. 6:20, [later prohibited Lev. 18:14, with dire consequence Lev. 20:20], Since marriages between saved and unsaved are unavoidable prohibitions against marriage are inappropriate. The sanctified spouse is a loving bridge for the unsaved partner.
QUASI-HEALTHFUL LIVING in Exodus. 15:26 and Leviticus 11, (ignoring Lev. 11:24, Lev. 11:25, Lev. 11:27, Lev. 11:28, Lev. 11:31, Lev. 11:32, Lev. 11:39, Lev. 11:40 which show that this kind of uncleanness is not guilt requiring remission. Attaching a perfect medical exam to perfect compliance with the law is more bondage than anyone can reasonably undertake,, and unreasonable, since Christ heals without strings and often with a word, in addition to the intrinsic mechanism of repar and restoration in the human body.
TEMPLE and TABERNACLE THEOLOGY: Christ is the reality of atonement: he is priest, sacrifice, mercy-seat, lamp, incense-prayer facilitator. It all points to the cruciform Christ, not to the tabernacle items and process.

Skipping lightly over the Book of Hebrews’ proposition and elevating the temple and ritual are irresponsible choices. Christ eclipses all the messengers. The writer of Hebrews is quite kind and dispassionate. He simply contrasts the ancient messengers and the ancient means with the contemporary Son of God. Our Lord himself is more transparent. He says that all who ever came before him were thieves and robbers. John’s vision is about heavenly realities (not types) and the city that is to come. There is no temple that is not Christ himself.  Even the temple’s veil meets its end in Christ’s flesh and exposed as defunct at his death.

Bullying the disciples did not work in the first century. Another Pharisee revolt from Christ in the 21st century is in full swing. It is coming with a new ugliness, that does not shy away from putting Christ off to the side to pursue demonic doctrines. They desperately try to prove that everything in the Bible is all good, convert you to their outdated practices and discredited heroes, then they pronounce you saved.  Once you have committed yourself to the Bib el they can terrorize you with whatever kindergarten and human convention – eat, drink, clothing – they have chosen.  So we  ask “Good for what?”

We should not even be talking about physical exercise, much less diet.  One can hardly pick up the diet torch without drilling down into other xenophobic follies.   If the righteousness is a Pharisee version – Moses, don’t touch, taste or handle – then Christ ahs brought something that exceeds that, and  one should run for one’s life.   There is an invention, a  substititute, for every ancient commandment of human scope.  One should not be surprised to hear them have an antitype to circumcision.  Ultimately we are intensely interested in the Bible.  Do we need to depend on it? Yes or no.  Is it all good for salvation? Yes or no.
What would be the point of Chrisians devoting themselves to study without a goal, namely to find the footprints and promises of our Lord Yeshua?   It is not through commandments that we work out our kingdom connections, but through promises.

by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 2Pet 1:4,

 

Next – The One Thing in the New Testament