Saturday, December 3, 2011

The deal never changed, only the terms

I have started a practice in my own time that I think would be very helpful for all Christians in understanding the personality, loves, hates, and desires of Jesus. I read Old Testament passages and insert the name Jesus anytime Lord, God or any other name for God is used. This will dramatically change your outlook and understanding of the man Jesus. I don't believe this is blasphemous as Jesus himself said, "...that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." and John said about Him
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

Jesus is the God of the Old Testament. So with this in mind I want to quote a passage from Deuteronomy 29:19-28. I know this is kind of long, but please stick with me, this is important,

    " When such a person hears the words of this oath, he invokes a blessing on himself and therefore thinks, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way.” This will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry.   Jesus will never be willing to forgive him; his wrath and zeal will burn against that man. All the curses written in this book will fall upon him, and Jesus will blot out his name from under heaven. Jesus  will single him out from all the tribes of Israel for disaster, according to all the curses of the covenant written in this Book of the Law.
 Your children who follow you in later generations and foreigners who come from distant lands will see the calamities that have fallen on the land and the diseases with which Jesus has afflicted it.  The whole land will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur—nothing planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which Jesus overthrew in fierce anger.  All the nations will ask: “Why has Jesus done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?”
 And the answer will be: “It is because this people abandoned the covenant of Jesus, the God of their fathers, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them. Therefore Jesus' anger burned against this land, so that he brought on it all the curses written in this book. In furious anger and in great wrath Jesus uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now.”

Jesus said of himself, "I have not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it." and concerning his disciples, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."

Jesus death on the cross did not abolish all law or any law, but replaced it with a different law. And what is Jesus' new law? "Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength" and the second, "Love your neighbor as yourself." All commands rest on these two things. So if this is what Jesus commands us now and this is also a summation of the Old Testament Law, what changed? The terms. In the Old Testament you had to follow the Law and love Jesus to the best of your ability and offer animal sacrifices to atone for your sin. In the New Testament you are to follow the law and  love Jesus to the best of your ability and Jesus' blood atones for sins once and for all. The difference is in the Old Testament the sacrifices never paid the penalty for sin they only pushed it back until a sufficient sacrifice could be made, Jesus' life. The difference between the New Covenant and the Old Covenant was that Law had many dietary, sanitary, and ceremonial commands and practices. These were all typologies so that when the real thing came they would recognize it. But the laws concerning righteousness never changed. Righteousness is still righteousness. And what God command in the Old Testament He still commands in our day. It has always been saved by grace. He has always accepted His righteous ones(Enoch, Moses, Elijah) that "loved him with all their heart, all their soul, all their mind, and all their strength" and "loved their neighbor as themselves". The rule has always been love me with all you've got, trust in me for everything and I will forgive you the rest. And the things that made Jesus furious with rage still make Him furious with rage today, make no mistake. Loving Jesus with all that you are was the ticket to heaven all along.

People often wonder why Jesus didn't address many social issues that plague our society today such as homosexuality, social norms, and politics. Many assume that since He didn't talk about them He must not care about them. The reason Jesus didn't reinterpret the whole of theology while on Earth is because He still stands by His words that He sent though the prophets.

I have never met a Christian that would claim Jesus didn't command us to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength." and "Love your neighbor as yourself." Everyone agrees these are good and right. Where the division comes is the interpretation of these. But we were given the interpretation, remember? "All the Law and the Prophets rest on these two." The Old Testament is Jesus speaking.

Don't think that you can say with the man from above, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way.”  Jesus gave everything for us. He expects us to do the same. Never forget:

"You are not your own; you were bought at a price.'

Feel free to comment or ask questions! 

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