Direction of Travel

May 6, 2009

If Christ is the Alpha and Omega of our theology, we need to learn how to interpret the scriptures in the light of Him.  This gets shown up perhaps most of all in our direction of travel within the Bible.  For example, we read this:

The bull and the goat for the sin offerings, whose blood was brought into the Most Holy Place to make atonement, must be taken outside the camp; their hides, flesh and offal are to be burned up. The man who burns them must wash his clothes and bathe himself with water; afterward he may come into the camp.
Leviticus 16:27-28

We make some links to Christ: Day of Atonement (tick), sin offering (tick), blood presented to God (tick), outside the camp (tick), burned offering (tick), cleansing (tick).  But then we can go wrong.

Wrong response 1
‘All the details of Jesus’ death outside the city wall, the descriptions of him as the propitiation for sin, etc. take the language of the Jewish Day of Atonement to explain what is happening at the crucifixion.’

Wrong response 2
‘It’s amazing how the ritual of the Day of Atonement points to Christ!  The sin offering was sacrificed outside the camp (I’ve read John 19:20 and Hebrews 13:13!), and the blood was taken into the Most Holy Place.  The details totally line-up with Jesus’ death: He is the sin offering!  It all fits together!’

The right response is to confess that it’s nothing more than totally blindingly obvious.  The ritual of the Day of Atonement had no other purpose than to detail the crucifixion of Christ.  The point of the Day of Atonement is to preach Christ crucified. 

Correct response
‘It is relatively unsurprising to me that the manner and circumstances of Jesus’ death line-up exactly with the gospel as proclaimed in the Day of Atonment.  That is why the rituals were given.’

The direction of travel in interpreting these things is not to examine at the accounts of the crucifixion, then clasp our hands to our mouths when reading Leviticus 16.  We should read the Pentateuch, and nod knowlingly when we reach the Gospels.

Christ is proclaimed in the Old Testament, not ‘pointed to’; the New Testament does not unveil new information about Him, but simply records the happenings predicted by the Law, prophets, and writings.

‘…I stand here and testify to small and great alike.  I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen…’
Acts 23:42 

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Christocentrism

May 6, 2009

In Jesus Christ ‘are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’ (Colossians 2:3).  The Person of Christ is the chief ingredient of all true theology.

Theology is a logos (a word) about a Theos (a god).  The only true and living Theos has revealed himself in His Logos.  Jesus Christ, the Word of God is the heart of theology.  

Christocentrism is about theology devoted to Him.