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Thursday, 7 July 2011

Jesus is the True and Better

I had a meeting with our "Live Kidz" leaders (7-10 year olds - the children that is) this week and I was talking about how it's important to point children to Jesus in all the teaching that's given. The need is particularly acute with the Older Testament because it's harder to see how this fits into the gospel of Christ. The danger is that we can end up moralising ("David was brave so we should be brave, Samson slept around and gave away secrets vital to national security and...we mustn't do that.....etc").

But how do you do that in a way that displays Christ in all his atoning work, and interprets the text without allegorizing, stretching the meaning, or distorting the context. Not easy but Tim Keller does it well and hence my big plug to the leaders to become well acquainted with the The Jesus Storybook Bible (which contains much of his teaching).

When writing a follow up email to those leaders I included an extract from some classic Keller teaching which gives some good, clear examples of what it is that we need to be doing. I've pasted it in below, I think it's great:

“Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:27)

Jesus is the true and better Adam who passed the test in the garden and whose obedience is imputed to us (1 Corinthians 15).

Jesus is the true and better Abel who, though innocently slain, has blood now that cries out for our acquittal, not our condemnation (Hebrews 12:24).

Jesus is the true and better Abraham who answered the call of God to leave all the comfortable and familiar and go out into the void “not knowing wither he went!” to create a new people of God.

Jesus is the true and better Isaac who was not just offered up by his father on the mount but was truly sacrificed for us. While God said to Abraham, “Now I know you love me because you did not withhold your son, your only son whom you love, from me,” now we can say to God, “Now we know that you love me, because you did not withhold your son, your only son, whom you love, from me.”

Jesus is the true and better Jacob who wrestled and took the blow of justice we deserved, so we, like Jacob, only receive the wounds of grace to wake us up and discipline us.

Jesus is the true and better Joseph who, at the right hand of the king, forgives those who betrayed and sold him and uses his new power to save them.
Jesus is the true and better Moses who stands in the gap between the people and the Lord and who mediates a new covenant (Hebrews 3).

Jesus is the true and better Rock of Moses who, struck with the rod of God’s justice, now gives us water in the desert.

Jesus is the true and better Job, the truly innocent sufferer, who then intercedes for and saves his stupid friends (Job 42).

Jesus is the true and better David, whose victory becomes his people’s victory, though they never lifted a stone to accomplish it themselves.

Jesus is the true and better Esther who didn’t just risk losing an earthly palace but lost the ultimate and heavenly one, who didn’t just risk his life, but gave his life to save his people.

Jesus is the true and better Jonah who was cast out into the storm so that we could be brought in.

Jesus is the real Rock of Moses, the real Passover Lamb – innocent, perfect, helpless, slain so the angel of death will pass over us. He is the true temple, the true prophet, the true priest, the true king, the true sacrifice, the Lamb, the Light, the Bread.

The Bible is
not about you — it is about him.

Indeed it is!

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