Thursday, January 26, 2012

Note: Ernst Kasemann--Justice Is The Opposite of Condemnation

Ernst Kasemann noticed long ago that the ministry of condemnation is contrasted with the ministry of righteousness (see 2nd Corinthians 3:7ff), something Luther longed for and found in Romans. There is no condemnation of Jesus on the cross, no wrath against him. As Romans 3 teaches us the cross of Jesus is the righteousness of God and it has no condemnation of any man in it. Isaiah 53 as a poem of the cross and resurrection precludes any idea of it; where is the wrath in Isaiah 52:13 through 53? Answer: Not there. Further, the "meta-narrative"(to borrow a phrase from N.T. Wright) of the Bible shuts out, when looked at carefully, any thought of God's righteousness containing condemnation for mankind. The Exodus for instance was the saving of a sinful and sinned against people. At Jerusalem Jesus accomplished the greater Exodus. Jesus' cross is a "way out of no way," salvation at the sea, just as with Moses, only far greater, far more glorious. The justice of God the Father is not the justice of Edward Longshanks. The king extracted every bit of tax owed to him, down to the last hen's egg! God the Father does not use the cross to extract every last bit of punishment from Jesus, a punishment that should have been mankind's. On the contrary, if only we could see the righteousness of God on the cross as the greater and lasting Exodus, but theology is still handicapped by this concept and unable to dig its way out. It's no surprise that so many think of Christians as "meanies," it would seem that the Father in heaven is the ultimate meanie, extracting every last bit of suffering from Jesus in order that his righteousness be satisfied!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Of Whom Does Isaiah Speak?

One of the primary questions evoked by Isaiah 52:13-55, is "who is the writer talking about?" This is a poem but as a poem, it leaves us many clues. Clearly, Isaiah is talking about David. There are over 33 commonalities at last count between the mysterious slave of the poem and David. Secondly, Isaiah also seems to be alluding to Adam. The slave is an "ish" or "man." The poem speaks of the slaves appearance" and "form," another allusion to the form or appearance of Adam created in the image of God. Moreover, Isaiah 42, another "helper poem," to Isaiah 53, speaks of "Adam" who will be given in exchange for Israel.

Resurrection and then Justification

Whenever Paul speaks of justification, he always prefaces that with the resurrection of the dead, why? In Isaiah, verse 10 says, "When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand." It is verse 11, the following verse, the writer speaks of "the just my servant who shall justify many." Paul is simply allowing Isaiah to guide him in his theology and following Isaiah's order exactly.

Good Things Will Last

I Timothy 4:8

"For bodily exercise profits a little but godliness is profitable unto all things, having the promise of the life that now is and that which is to come."

How is it that godliness, the good that we do, the things of God will profit not only in this life but in the coming life as well? The answer may lie in Isaiah 53:11: "Therefore, will I divide him a portion with (of) the great, and he shall divide the spoil with (of) the strong: because he has poured out his soul unto to death and he was numbered with the transgressors, and he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Psalm 68:11

"God gave the word and great is the company of those who evangelize it"

You need your Hebrew here but...

What's neat is that this army of good news-tellers are women! This is unexpected for us but completely in line with both Old and New Testaments. After all, who, after Moses, starts telling the good news of getting out of Egypt. You guessed it, Miriam and the women who followed after her. And then of course, in the New Testament, you've got women all over the place preaching the good news, think of Mary Magdalene, who gave the first Easter sermon after Jesus and then all the women in Paul's day who were in some cases going to the four corners of the earth to preach. Remember, Paul doesn't tell women with the spirit not to preach but rather HOW to preach and pray (with their heads covered).