Jesus: True and Better

Update: Great quote from the First Helvetic Confession “The entire biblical Scripture is solely concerned that man understand that God is kind and gracious to him and that he has publicly exhibited and demonstrated this his kindness to the whole human race through Christ his Son.”

I’ve been preaching through Luke 24 during August. The above (from Tim Keller) and below (from Rich Ganz) are some helpful resources in seeing Jesus in all the Scriptures.

The Bible – Jesus Christ from Beginning to End

Genesis: The seed of the woman who crushes the head of the serpent.
Exodus: The I AM, who comes in the burning bush – “I am that which I am.”
Leviticus: The final burnt offering of Leviticus
Numbers: Pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night
Deuteronomy: The Prophet of Ch. 18
Joshua: The commander of the Lord’s hosts and the captain of our salvation
Judges The Angel of the Lord
Ruth: The kinsman redeemer
Samuel: The King whose line will never end
Kings & Chronicles: The power and fire of God in Kings and Chronicles
Ezra: The final temple of Ezra
Nehemiah: The wall of safety
Esther: The deliverer
Job: The redeemer of Job
Psalms: The good shepherd
Proverbs & Ecclesiastes: Our wisdom
Song of Songs: The Bridegroom
Isaiah: The prince of peace
Jeremiah: The righteous branch
Lamentations: The weeping prophet
Ezekiel: The spirit of obedience
Daniel: The Son of God in the fiery furnace
Hosea: The forsaken husband
Joel: The Lord dwelling in the midst of His people
Amos: The roaring lion
Obadiah: The possessor of the Kingdom
Jonah: The dead and risen one
Micah: The preacher of righteousness
Nahum: The avenger
Habakkuk: The everlasting and holy one
Zephaniah: The terrifying one
Haggai: The Lord of Hosts
Zechariah: The high priest of Zechariah
Malachi: The Son of righteousness

Matthew: The Son of Man
Mark: The Son of God
Luke: The Son of the most high
John: The Word made flesh
Acts: He is the one who baptises with the Holy Spirit in Acts
Romans: The sovereign predestining Lord of Romans
Corinthians: The life giving spirit of Corinthians
Galatians: The seed of Abraham in Galatians
Ephesians: The forgiver of our sins
Philippians: The bond servant
Colossians: The Image of the invisible God, the fullness of the Godhead
Thessalonians: The destroyer of the antichrist
Timothy: The mediator between God and man
Titus: He justifies by grace in Titus
Philemon: He is the loving friend in Philemon
Hebrews: The great High Priest
James: He is the one who will not tempt us
Peter: The chief shepherd
John: Our Advocate
Jude: He is the one who keeps us from stumbling and makes us stand glorious in Jude
Revelation: The first and the last, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, King of kings and Lord of lords.

David Murray: 10 helps on the Imprecatory Psalms

Taken from a mix of the latest Connected Kingdom podcast and his chapter on ‘Christian Cursing?’ in Sing a New Song, summarised here.

1. In the first gospel promise (Gen 3.14-15), God promises a curse on the serpent and his seed. Prayers in the psalms for God to curse are really a prayer for that first gospel promise to be fulfilled.

2. David was not a vindictive person – in fact he was a very forgiving character. So this is not not personal vindictiveness. The Bible portrays David as a merciful and gracious man who often prayed for his enemies. The imprecatory psalms he wrote, then, sprang not from a vindictive temper, but from a heart on fire for God’s glory.

3. The king represented God. God’s reputation was tied up with the king. Offending the king was offending God’s anointed. And David was God’s anointed in a particularly special, Christological way.

4. There are multiple NT quotations from the imprecatory psalms. 35, 69 and 109 are the most frequently quoted Psalms in NT after 2, 22, 110 and 118. So clearly the NT is not embarrassed about these psalms.

5. The NT has its own imprecations. Jesus himself pronounced curses on the Jewish leaders in Matthew 23. Also Gal 1.8-9 and famously 1 Cor 16.22: “If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed.”

6. The imprecatory psalms are based on the justice of God. The theme of the imprecatory psalms is that justice be done and the innocent righteous vindicated. Furthermore, the foundation of biblical justice was retribution: “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”—a principle to which the psalms often appeal (“Let the net that he hid ensnare him,” Ps. 35:8). If the idea of retributive justice is lost or devalued, then the imprecatory psalms will never be properly understood.

7. The Psalmist is really praying “Thy kingdom come” – which involves not just the upbuilding of God’s kingdom, but the destroying of competing kingdoms. Preferably by conversion, but if not, by removal.

8. The eighth help is a reminder that “vengeance is the Lord’s.” To pray the imprecatory psalms is to deny one’s own right to vengeance and leave it to God’s wisdom. It’s hard in our context to relate right away to these psalms, since we live easily in a land with no imminent persecution. But God’s Kingdom is still at war, and these are war psalms.

9. An imprecatory prayer will often have the good of the sinner at its heart, because God will often use judgments to bring sinners to himself.

10. Finally, the imprecatory psalms point us to Christ, who at the end of time will return to punish the wicked and vindicate his people. Ultimately the imprecatory psalms will be answered and fulfilled in the return of Christ and the last judgment.