Living in a Field of Hats

some ramblings and reflections on working with students in Herts and Beds.

The amazing Old Testament September 16, 2009

Filed under: Christian Life — Sarah @ 4:02 pm

THE HOLY BIBLE - 2At church bible study last night, we were continuing our look at Jesus by seeing him through the Old Testament. I thought this would be more reminding me of things I already knew that penny dropping moments . ..  but although I already understood some of the significance of Genesis 15 and God’s covenant with Abraham, there was a major penny dropping moment last night!

10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.

17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces

So, this is the making of the covenant in a way which was the norm in Abrams days. Some animals would be slaughtered and then both parties would pass through the animals that had been cut into two with the significance that if either party failed to fulfil their part they could expect to become like the animals.

What’s interesting here is verse 17. The original readers wouldn’t have had any problem with the rest of what’s going on here because it is the normal way in which things happen.  But, it’s meant to be the two parties walking through the slaughtered animals . . but verse 17 says that it’s a smoking firepot and a blazing torch. Weird huh? Well, it is until you factor in that the sign of God and his presence in the Old Testament is fire! Here we have two signs of God, so in essence God is acting on behalf of both parties.

This is my penny dropping moment though . . . If God is passing through on behalf of both parties, then God is taking responsibilty for potential future failure on both sides! So although the covenant is between Abram and the LORD, it is the LORD and the LORD who are confirming it. Therefore it is the LORD himself who must suffer for future failure by Abram and his descendants. And how will Abram and his descendants fail . . ..  by sinning, therefore the LORD will take the punishment for sin for Abram and his descendants! What a clear link to Jesus and the cross. It’s amazing to see that God has outlined his plan for salvation even in the making of the promise itself!

I knew that there were loads of foretelling of Jesus in the Old Testament, but I guess I thought I knew the main ones and that others that I didn’t know weren’t so exciting . . well clearly that’s not the case! The Old Testament is amazing and so crucial in our salvation story!

Praise God for the depth that the gospel runs to!

 

Jesus September 7, 2009

Filed under: Christian Life — Sarah @ 4:38 pm
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It’s been a while since I wrote, but I promise there is an update coming soon!

But, just been listening to a sermon on Isaiah 42 by Mike Cain this afternoon and thought I’d share some of the joy!

It’s simple but is so easily forgotten (especially by me) when things are hard, when the Christian life requires you perserve more than you ever want to or feel able to that we have a Saviour in Jesus. I get so tempted to box things and not to take all things to him, but Jesus is God’s ‘One true Servant’, the perfect one who allows us to come to the creator of the Universe. He is the one that brings justice and  comfort. All of this was so refreshing to be reminded of but what really struck me was a simple illustration:

“if we’d fallen down a hole, then we need someone who isn’t in the hole to come and rescue us.”

It’s one i’ve heard before, but the reminder that there is someone who can come to us when we feel that there is no-one who understands reminded me of just how loving our God is, and how we are far from alone and how stupid it is to not have my eyes fixed on Jesus when he is the perfector of my faith.

I feel so much like a bruised reed at the moment, feeble and unable to continue, and yet this amazing passage has reminded me that although there are many things wrong with this world, Jesus, the One perfect Servant came to be our rescuer before he came to be our judge, which will happen one day. He came full of grace which I don’t deserve but he came anyway!

Praise be to God!