23 September 2010

Finding Christ in the Old New Testament

I hope the title, 'Finding Christ in the Old New Testament', is catchy, because the irony there is important for understanding a subtlety we often miss.

My Sunday School class is going through the books of First and Second Peter this year.  We are still in 1 Peter 1, and have not yet reached verse 13 (that's next week).  The importance of verse 13 is that it is the first time a command is issued in the book of 1 Peter.  Peter spends the first 12 verses of his letter (I know he didn't write it in verses, but that's the easiest way to refer to it) proclaiming the glory of God and Christ, and our place in Christ.

I constantly remind the class that being a Christian is not about finding a way to write God into their stories, but about finding a way to write themselves into God's story.  We often hear about 'finding Christ in the Old Testament' but we take for granted that we'll find Christ in the New.  Not necessarily so...we can often too easily pass over the proclamation of the gospel to get to the commands (passing over the indicative to get to the imperative) since we want to put 'shoe leather' on the text.  That passing-over is a mistake, and a serious one.

I need to get a patent on a new line of wrist bands called, "WHJD" ('What has Jesus done?'), but I'm guessing somebody already has.  However, I have a funny feeling that they wouldn't sell nearly as many as the old WWJD bands, simply because the reality of the focus of the gospel isn't nearly as important to many people, believers or not, as is living a moral life.

And that's exactly why we struggle so much trying to live up to God's requirements for us...we take the focus off of Christ and put it on ourselves, as we are woefully bent to do.

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