Saturday, February 1, 2014

JM + T: Sharing Christ's Name

I can't sleep.  I watched two pro-life movies this week: October Baby and Babies are Murdered Here.  I suppose I'll share what I learned from Justin Martyr this week and maybe I can get sleepy.

When we finished section 120, Justin reminds the guys about what Paul says in Galatians 3:16.  Promises were made to Abraham's seed.  Not seeds, seed.  God's promise was meant for one specific man.  This man came through the tribe of Judah, and not Reuben or any other tribe.  The promise was specifically for him, making it true that not all biological Israel are Abraham's seed.  Instead, Abraham's true children have a blood transfusion from Jesus Christ, making many Gentiles the true seed.  The promise was for Jesus, and now Jesus shares the benefits with all his redeemed.

"If the were able to enlighten the nations and those who possess it, what need is there of a new covenant?"  Why did God send the covenant with Jesus if his Law was good enough to save?  Because the Law is not the covenant.  The law is a result of the covenant.  The covenant is that God saved us from slavery and then from death.  Then he gave us the law.  The Israelites only saw the law as the covenant itself, which is why they did not recognize Jesus when he came.

The coolest things I learned from Justin this week: I think his translation of the name Israel is wrong.  It classically means "he who wrestles with God."  It was the name God gave to Jacob after he wrestled with a being who ended up being Christ.  It's a well-known fact that "el" means God.

Anyway, Justin translates "isra" as "man overcoming" and "el" as "power."  Who is the only man who has overcome sin and defeated death's power?  Jesus.  Jesus is the true Israel.  God simply gave his Son's name to Jacob until Christ came and fulfilled it.  Jesus is the promised seed.  We descend from Abraham because of the blood he shed for us.

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