August 26, 2018

"Did Jesus Just Happen?"

Hints of the necessity of the Cross are found by the Christian as far back in the Bible as the Book of Genesis. Devout commentators see a a Prophetic View of it in Genesis 3:15 where the bruising of the serpent's head is seen to involve the wounding of a representative man. Others sense a call for costly sacrifice, involving a slain animal, in God's favorable response to Abel's offering and His lace of respect for Cain's surplus vegetables. . The cost requirement is spelled out in great detail for tabernacle offerings by the law of Moses. It was imported into Palestine with the Ark of the Covenant and became the central ceremony at the Temple in Jerusalem. And if we take the lead of the New Testament Church in its interpretation of the Jewish Scriptures, the Suffering Servant of Isaiah's Prophecy can be none other than Jesus Christ glimpsed from afar. He is a strange and tragic figure notyet clearly identified by whoever penned the passage. But the principle of vicarious suffering and death is explicit:: "the Lord hat laid on Him the iniquity of us all."

when we get to the New Testament itself, we find Jesus early trying to forewarn his follows that His death lies ahead, and that it will be a purposeful dying which He must undergo in order to fulfill His ministry. They had already had hints from John the Baptist, their earlier teacher, that Jesus was the "Lamb of God." If the title did not register, there is reason to suppose that it was not because the idea was foreign to them, but because every ounce of their Jewish patriotism was resisting the proposal that the Messiah would have to die. Even, John, who coined the phrase, was troubled when it began to appear that the One who he thought should be sinking his ax into the roots of a rotting society might get the ax instead. But as he was able, Jesus more and more took His friends into His confidence, attempting to show them not just that He must die, but why. The Last Supper was the final object lesson before the awful thing itself: "take eat, This is My body, broken for you: My blood for the remission of sins....."

Wayne McDoanld, Pastor
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