Friday, October 10, 2014

The Promise to the Fathers Fulfilled

26 “Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation. 27 For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him. 28 And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. 32 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33 this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’” (Acts 13:26-33 (ESV)

“And we bring you the good news.” The gospel, that is what gospel means, good news. It isn’t something you obey or follow, it is something you believe, and causes rejoicing when you do. And the gospel is that God has fulfilled everything he promised to the fathers. Everything that was written in the scriptures which everyone, including Paul, failed to understand even though they were being read every Sabbath. And it all centers in Christ, not as a new law giver, but as a fulfiller of the law, as a promise delivered. Yet to this day, people read the Old Testament, and twist the New Testament into a book of laws. The gospel becomes a list of rules to follow, the understanding that it is good news is lost. I mean, how do you obey “Osama Bin Laden is Dead”? Remember this news? In my generation it was the best news ever delivered, it was good news.  It was celebrated in the streets with dancing and impromptu parties. And this the news of a man pronounced dead. Men die every day. But perhaps that is why we celebrated Christ’s resurrection, not every year at Easter, but every week on the first day of the week, every Sunday, marking the day of the week he rose. Now when reading scripture we read it the way Paul does here, looking for all the different ways in which Christ had been promised in the history and culture of Israel, and how all these promises are fulfilled now in the resurrection of Jesus, the only begotten son of God. 

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