Friday, December 10, 2010

Christ at the Center of History

It's elementary to say the Bible is about Christ, that Adam exists as a man who foreshadows the second Adam.  You see that truth clearly when you study the fulfillment of the prophecies in the New Testament, until you come to the one about Jesus and the holy family fleeing Herod into Egypt. Hosea 11:1 is a strange one, because it seems to not fit in at all.
Kevin DeYoung posits the correct interpretation on this thought: that Christ is the new Israel. That in the same way the man Adam, or Moses, or Jonah foreshadowed Christ, the entire nation together foreshadows Christ. Israel came from Egypt, was baptized in the Sea and cloud under Moses, faced the trials in the wilderness, preached the law from Sinai "thus says the Lord" and came into the promised land.
Jesus came out of Egypt, was baptized, faced trials in the wilderness, preached the law "you have heard it said... but I tell you" and entered the promised land of rest.  Therefore Israel the nation is the foreshadowing of Christ. It's the analogy, the weak mist, the ghost compared to Jesus, who is more than the fulfillment of scripture and history, He is the source of it's strength. It is what it is by mirroring and copying Him. 

That is a truly remarkable thought.  Christ bends all of human and cosmic history about Himself.  All nations, peoples, languages, relationships, and world events are taken after Him and find Him the source of their strength.  Not only is He at the center of all the Bible texts, stories, commands, songs, He is at the center of the created History.  He is more than the consummation of the Old Testament, He is it's substance, it's reality.  It in itself is the dimly lit history or analogy pointing to the truth found in Christ.  He is the foundation for existence, the highest end.  He is the one in which all things hold together, all the narratives and events.  
And not merely at the center of Scripture, but at the very core of the universe which orbits around Him, created after Him, in His likeness.
Paul would say it like this in Colossians 1:16-17 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 
But I confess I because of the size I had failed to apprehend the colossal statement that is, and it was not until I saw that the enormous history of the huge nation itself was foreshadowing Christ did I realize in some small part the magnitude of His anchoring presence in this world. 
It's one thing to bend all of scriptures about you, it's another again to bend all human history to you, and to have living nations existing for the sole purpose of reflecting your story.

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