Saturday, January 25, 2014

JM and T: Mostly Psalm 22

In sections 101-110, Justin mostly unpacks Psalm 22, showing how it exactly portrays Jesus's life and crucifixion.  The first words are Christ's last words on the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

It goes into detail such as men gambling for Jesus's clothes, how they beat Jesus, the people from all nations who judged the Lord (bulls of Bashan).  It even anticipates his resurrection.  Jesus trusted in the Father from his mother's breast. 

25"From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
    my vows I will perform before those who fear him.
26 The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied;
    those who seek him shall praise the Lord!
    May your hearts live forever!"

30 Posterity shall serve him;
    it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;
31 they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn,
    that he has done it.

Justin makes two interesting tangents.  At one point he mentions Joseph taking Mary and Jesus to Egypt to protect him from Herod.  Jesus was sent to die for his people, but he needed to be an adult before then.  Could not God have killed Herod instead of making the other infants die?  "I return answer by anticipation: Could not God have cut off in the beginning the serpent, so that he exist not, rather than have said, ‘And I will put enmity between him and the woman, and between his seed and her seed?’ Could He not have at once created a multitude of men? But yet, since He knew that it would be good, He created both angels and men free to do that which is righteous, and He appointed periods of time during which He knew it would be good for them to have the exercise of free-will; and because He likewise knew it would be good, He made general and particular judgments; each one’s freedom of will, however, being guarded."

Jesus still needed a strong opponent in the government.  God still gives people free will so that his grace can override their foolish decisions.  God allowed Eve to eat the fruit, but he used that to reveal Jesus throughout history.  God allowed the Jews and Romans to crucify Jesus, but he planned that from before he created the world so that his lost people could be saved.  Why did the infants have to die during Herod's jealousy?  Why do they die in abortion now?  It is not because God is heartless to allow it.  It is because people are being judged for turning their backs on God, and ultimately God is working to save some of them when all of them deserve hell.  

It is still a conundrum.  God sovereignly and unconditionally saves people from damnation but they still have free will.  God ordained his perfect world to suffer from sin and death so that he could reveal Jesus.  Ultimately, all answers will come someday.  Until then, we just trust that God is good and loving and knows what he's doing.

The other tangent was about God changing names.  He changed Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Jacob to Israel, and as God the Son dwelt on earth, he changed Simon to Peter and James and John to the Sons of Thunder.  Even in the New Covenant, Jesus changes names and improves scoundrels so that they can then bless the whole world for Jesus.

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