Beneath The Surface, An Editorial Comment: The Resurrected Christ And The Old Testament Scriptures -- By: Henry B. Smith, Jr.
Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 28:1 (Winter 2015)
Article: Beneath The Surface, An Editorial Comment: The Resurrected Christ And The Old Testament Scriptures
Author: Henry B. Smith, Jr.
Beneath The Surface, An Editorial Comment:
The Resurrected Christ And The Old Testament Scriptures
Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.” (Lk 24:44-48 ESV)
Luke 24:44-48 centers on the apostolic eyewitness of the resurrected and ascended Christ, and focuses on three major points. First, the life and mission of Jesus are entirely grounded and rooted in the Old Testament revelation. Second, Jesus commissions His disciples to proclaim His message, armed with their eyewitness testimony and gifted with the Holy Spirit. Lastly, Jesus departs for heaven to finalize His earthly mission and inaugurate the apostolic mission, which is to extend to the ends of the earth.
Opening the minds of the disciples is an act of divine power. Here, Jesus does for all the disciples something quite similar to what He had previously done for Cleopas and his associate on the road to Emmaus (Lk 24:25-33). Not only does Jesus affirm the authority of the Old Testament revelation, He shows that the key to interpreting the Scriptures is the Messiah Himself.
Thus, we find in these verses two vital truths that must be contemplated. First, because of the state of the natural and sinful mind due to the effects of the Fall (Rom 8:5-8; 1 Cor 2:6-16), a powerful, external act of divine and sovereign power is required for the human mind to properly comprehend the Old Testament Scriptures.
Secondly, once this supernatural act takes place, the recipient of this divine illumination will be able to understand that the entirety of the Old Testament was given with Christ as its center and purpose. The hearer must not mistake the Scriptures themselves, however, for the One of whom they speak: “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me...” (Jn 5:39-40 ESV). The opening of the mind by the sovereign power of the Spirit of Christ is essential to engaging in a proper hermeneutical approach to the Old Testament revelation. This is clear from the dialogue on t...
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