Friday, May 26, 2006

The Fountain Opened

"Let the water and the blood, from your wounded side which flowed be for sin the double cure, cleanse me from its guilt and power."

The song gets it right, but the commentaries miss it. I've looked at a huge amount of commentaries on John and Zechariah and have not found this link.

When water comes out of Jesus side, the water and the blood are not primarily a medical evidence they are a fulfillment of Zechariah . John's gospel says ..

Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water ...
These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.” (John 19:34-37)

He is obviously thinking of Zech 12:10:

They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son...

A few verses on in Zech 13:1 ...

On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity. (13:1)

The two terms sin (hattah) and impurity (nidah) are technical.
1. How do we deal with sin? Blood.
2. How do you deal with impurity? Water of cleansing (Numbers 19:13,20,21)

The temple has the function of dealing with sin (blood) and impurity (water). Now instead of daily sacrifice, a fountain is opened up in Jerusalem forever ... out of our saviours side.

"Let the water and the blood, from your wounded side which flowed be for sin the double cure, cleansed me from its guilt and power."

Two Swords?

On the night before Jesus died he ...

asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Nothing,” they answered. He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”

The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords .” “ That is enough ,” he replied. (Luke 22:35-38)

What do you make of the two swords reference? I've got a theory, but before I share it, I'd like to hear yours.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

You've read some of mine, I'd like to hear yours

I've got plenty more thoughts, what ideas do you have? Post here.
Three criteria:

1. The entry must be Biblical or theological
2. It must be a new slant or thought
3. This is not the platform for rehersing old and tired debates

The cry of dereliction in John

In Matthew and Mark we have the words of agony from the lips of Jesus. "My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?" John has a similar cry in his gospel.

Jesus has promised that "whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst" (John 4:14). The water he was talking about was the Spirit, welling up to eternal life (7:37-39). Again he says, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink" (7:37).

At the cross, the one who can give water without cost, the one whom we should ask for living water, the one in whom was life itself and whom the Spirit of God lived -- cries out "I am thirsty" (John 19:28)

At that moment, His soul deeply thirsted so that I could be satisfied.

A Different Ten Commandments (Exodus 34)

Contrary to most popular opinions, I think that God actually issued a second form of the Ten Commandments after the Israelites sinned by worshipping the golden calf. Moses broke the first tablets and then made a second set. The second ten include commandments forbidding pagan worship - covenants with Canaanites, idols, eating blood - and commandments about right worship - feasts, redemption of first-born, firstfruits etc... (Exodus 34:1-26)

Having listed these (and it is hard to divide them as neatly into ten), Exodus says "Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write down these words , for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with Israel. Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights ... And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant - the Ten Commandments." (Exodus 34:27-28)

Perhaps this second set were given to a people who could not even get their obedience to the first two commandments right - 'no other God' and 'no idolatry' ? Our moral metal is not very strong.

Job and prayer

What is the book of Job about? What do Job's friends do wrong? What does Job get right? They seem to be giving some very good answers and Job makes some very strange ones. Do we go back and analyse everywhere Job gets it right and Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar and Elihu make theological mistakes. I'm suggesting - NO.

What matters is not our assesment, but Yahweh's. The all-supreme creator gives his summation in chapter 42. The NIV says:
"I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has." (42:7; cf. 42:8)

But that is not what is literally there. No translation or commentary has this literal translation of the Hebrew:
"I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken to me rightly, as my servant Job has."

From my brief look at the concordance the word translated here by the NIV 'of me' is evey other time translated 'to me'.

What God is saying is that the others have not prayed to God like Job has. Supporting evidence ...

1. Job prays when his is first hit by tragedy (1:21)
2. Over and over again, Job wants to speak to God; his friends merely speak about God.
3. The Satan wants to test Job's relationship with God, not his theological positions (1:8-9)
4. At Yahweh's appearing, only Job speaks and confesses his folly (42:1-4)

and the clincher is what God says next ...

5. Having shown Job to be a man of faith-breathing (prayer), Yahweh orders Job to intercede in prayer for the his friends (42:9-10). The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and affective.

Job treats God as someone with whom he has a relationship (albeit scary sometimes); his friends treat God as a theological debate. They may score good theological points, but Job trusts God.

Rather than being just a book about 'the problem of evil', Job contains a sharp and scarry message for 'would be theologians'. They actually infuriate God with their endless discussions if they are not men and women of prayer (42:7). The book Job is a word of strengthening to people who pray.

Kite Flying

I have several bizarre thoughts each day and I thought I'd send them up in the air ... the blog air. If anyone wants to read them, shoot them down or take them up - please do so.