Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Reflections for the 4th Week of Lent, Part 2

Thursday – Moses Wrote About Jesus?

Moses wrote about Me. This is what Jesus tells the Jews in today's Gospel. 

We might wonder how this could be. Moses lived thousands of years before Jesus. How could he have written about Him?

Let's break down this conundrum point by point.

Point 1 – Moses, the traditional author of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible), did not write by himself. He was inspired by the Holy Spirit. God is a true Author of Scripture, and He used human beings (also true authors) as His instruments.

Point 2 – God, obviously, knew the whole plan of salvation history from the very beginning. He knew it eternally. And He certainly knew it when He inspired Moses. 

Point 3 – Therefore, God could easily have dropped hints about New Testament salvation historical events throughout the Old Testament, and He did!

Point 4 – These hints or prefigurations or foreshadows are called types. Types can be people, things, actions, and events. They are real, but they are also signs of other people, things, actions, and events still to come. When we study the typology of the Bible, we see how the Old Testament prefigures the New Testament and how the New Testament fulfills the Old Testament.

Point 5 – Moses, inspired by God, incorporated numerous types into his writing. Joseph, for instance, is a type of Christ, for he shed his rich garments and became poor (as Christ put aside His divinity and became poor), was betrayed by his brothers, and ended up a powerful ruler who saved countless lives.

Point 6 – Types are always weaker than the realities they foreshadow. Joseph was not divine, nor was he perfect. His actions were limited by his humanity. But he does point to Christ in many important ways, giving us hints of the Messiah Who was to come. 

This is why Jesus says that Moses wrote about Him. Jesus and His saving deeds appear in mystery thousands of years before they occurred because God, in His wisdom and love, enriched history by dropping clues of the wonderful salvation He was planning for His people.

Friday – His Hour Had Not Yet Come

Jesus could make waves when He wanted to. The Jews were trying to kill Him, but there He was, speaking openly in Jerusalem. He even “cried out” in the Temple area. The Greek word here suggests a loud, emotional, urgent message. 

Indeed, Jesus wanted people to know for sure that He was not alone in His teaching. “You know Me and also know where I am from,” He said, quite ironically since the Jews didn't know Him very well at all. “Yet I did not come on My own, but the One who sent Me, whom you do not know, is true. I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me.” 

These are some pretty heavy words. Jesus was basically saying that God Himself had sent Him, that He came directly from God and knew God personally and intimately. He also indicated that the Jews did not know God. These were fighting words really. Jesus was claiming His own divinity, subtly but certainly, and also denying the Jews' claims to religious authority.

The Jews, naturally, were furious. They tried to arrest Him but unsuccessfully, for His hour had not yet come. It was not time yet for Jesus to make the ultimate sacrifice on the cross. He had more to do and more to say. So He walked away. Jesus was totally in control of the situation. The Jews could not touch Him until the appointed time, no matter how angry they were at His challenging words.

Saturday – Our Refuge

When life is just too much to bear, hide in God. When enemies close in on every side, hide in God. When nothing is going right, hide in God. When you are frightened and worried, hide in God. When you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, hide in God. When you are overwhelmed and exhausted, hide in God. When you are sick and in pain, hide in God. 

God is our refuge, our strength, our mercy, and our justice. He is the One Who gives us strength and sustains us. He is the One Who rescues us and tucks us safely away in His arms. He is the One Who comforts us and wraps us in love. 

So hide in God.

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