Opening THE Book 12 with Rev John K-S
8th February 2019
as published by St Andrew's Church in the Gorleston Community Magazine
Rev John Kinchin-Smith
Assistant Minister, St Andrew’s Church
Last month we made a jump from the Old Testament into the New Testament. Well, what's the connection? You remember the prophets we heard about earlier? We can read their words in the final seventeen books of the Old Testament from Isaiah to Malachi
Now prophecy in the Bible isn't mostly about foretelling the future. Most of the Bible prophecies are addressed to Israel (and other nations) at the time of the prophet. They largely express God's judgement upon these nations and the consequences if they continue their evil actions. God's heart calls out to them to turn back to Him
But when the prophet "sees" and speaks of the future, the words are startling! How do we know, for example, that Jesus really was God's answer to the dismay, misery, and ruin of the world? Read, for example, Isaiah chapter 53. Isaiah was writing about 600 years before Jesus but this chapter not only describes the suffering of Jesus with extraordinary accuracy, but also explains its meaning. Writing some years after the death of Jesus, the apostle Peter quotes from this passage in his first letter, chapter 2: "Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example.. .He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. When they hurled insults at him, he did not retaliate...He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross...by his wounds you have been healed"
Another wonderful prophecy is found in Jeremiah chapter 31 from verse 31: "The days are coming" says the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel—I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbour, or a man his brother, saying, Know the LORD, because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more"
Wow, there's a connection there! On the night he was betrayed, Jesus took a cup of wine and when he had given thanks, he gave it to his disciples, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for the forgiveness of sins"
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