As Abraham was on his way to sacrifice Isaac, the boy made an observation: they had fire and wood, but no lamb to sacrifice. Abraham replied “God will provide himself a lamb.” That day he offered up a ram caught by his horns in a thicket, but we can see something of a prophesy in Abraham’s words: “God will provide himself with a lamb.” Abraham could not have been speaking, at least in his own wisdom, of the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. But we get it. Now consider these words of Caiaphas: Continue reading
If you’re a follower, online or in real life, you know how I feel about the Old Testament: everything is a metaphor. The nation of Israel, sacrificial system, temple, alter, high priest, exodus from Egypt, brass serpent, passover, circumcision, etc. are all symbolic of what Christ does in the New Testament. You’ve probably heard me say (or at least read) that Moses leading the Hebrews through the wilderness is a portrait of Jesus leading us through this present wilderness. They were marching toward the “promised land” and so are we. Abraham was willing to offer his son Isaac… you get the point. Is there an analogy left that I could possibly make? Why yes, yes there is.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. –1 Peter 2:9
We – all Christians – are priests. Continue reading
I am about to start a sermon series on the book of Hebrews, and will endeavor to share those messages here. Hebrews ties together the Old and New Testaments by showing how Jesus is carrying forward into the church age the work started by God among the Hebrew people. Written to a Jewish audience, the letter to the Hebrews strives to prove that Christianity is the continuation of Judaism, and not something else entirely. If you have ever questioned why a Christian should read or study the Old Testament, this book will be an eye-opener. Quite simply, most of what God was doing in the Old Testament was meant to help us understand the work of Christ in the New. Continue reading
And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” -Mark 8:27-29
I want to unpack Peter’s statement here that Jesus is the Christ. There are two questions we need to answer; 1) What does Peter mean by saying that Jesus is Christ, and 2) What does it mean to us that Jesus is the Christ. Continue reading
The invisible sky bully; have you ever heard God referred to that way? Even worse than calling him the “invisible man in the sky” is the notion that God pushes people around because he is bigger than them. A real bully is often a coward, and throws his weight around or intimidates those smaller than himself with words. Those promoting the sky bully myth would have you to believe that God orders people to worship him, and sends to hell anyone that doesn’t. It makes it easier to not believe in a God that could be like that, or helps people to doubt there is such a God. In a way that’s good, because there isn’t a god like that. Continue reading