Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Let the Scriptures be fulfilled

Mark 14:43-50 (ESV)
And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. [44] Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard." [45] And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, "Rabbi!" And he kissed him. [46] And they laid hands on him and seized him. [47] But one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. [48] And Jesus said to them, "Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? [49] Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled." [50] And they all left him and fled.

It’s peculiar. We are studying Peter’s Gospel. Peter claimed it as his own according to Papias who kept track of such things so Eusebius could make use of them later. I think everyone should read Eusebius. Cleans up a lot of nonsense really. What is peculiar here though is this. Mark records one of those who stood by drew his sword. We all know it was Peter. The other gospels tell us as much. But Peter doesn’t identify it as being him. One wonders if Mark left out who it was as a way of showing respect for Peter, of if Peter was embarrassed by the incident. Of course John rarely mentions himself by name either. The disciples shunned that sort of behavior often enough.
“Let the scriptures be fulfilled.” Jesus points out the absurdity of coming after him with clubs and swords. They could have arrested him with far less fanfare at anytime. Let scriptures be fulfilled. Jesus is speaking of the Old Testament , my Nestle Aland tells me to look up Isaiah 53:7. And like a sheep led to slaughter Christ did not open his mouth. He went silently though they afflicted him and oppressed him.
Scripture was fulfilled. It is a running theme of the New Testament, and when we fail to study the Old Testament, we fail to grasp it. This is one thing Christianity has, that no other religion does, fulfilled prophecy, and prophecy of a type that couldn’t be fulfilled by a determined individual. How would Jesus make it so that soldiers would come and arrest him by night like a robber? How could he orchestrate it that he should be tried by gentiles, that they would not break his bones, and so many other things? Yet scripture is fulfilled. It is fulfilled when he is led away quietly.
Of course, so many missed the prophecies being fulfilled. The Pharisees hardly understood that they were acting out what had been foretold. They interpreted the Old Testament differently, and were blinded. They did not understand the Messiah would do these things, and the things they thought he would do, were not what he did. Even today, when people refuse to let Christ be the key to scripture they find themselves missing the point all together. But when they realize Christ is the key, then it becomes much more understandable.

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