Unlocking the Meaning of the Scriptures

“The meaning of all the Scriptures is unlocked by the death and resurrection of Jesus.” (1)

While I really appreciate this statement, I would ultimately have to disagree with Graeme Goldsworthy. Here is how I would re-phrase his statement,

“The meaning of all the Scriptures is unlocked by the death, resurrection and return of Jesus the Messiah.”

This is a significant difference. If one can accurately say that the death and resurrection of Yeshua unlocks all the Scriptures than it is almost understandable why one would consider the Old Testament to have been “fulfilled” in such a way as to have been done away with. However, the death and resurrection of Yeshua doesn’t unlock the meaning of all Scriptures, it merely reveals the mechanics of how God will accomplish that which is the over-arching theme of all Scripture. The consistent theme and unifying message of Scripture is that God wants to be our God, us to be His people and to dwell among us. Messiah’s death, resurrection, and conquering, Kingly return reveal the method by which God will accomplish this. Consequently, we realize that not all of the Old Testament has been fulfilled. Much of its meaning has become oh-so-much more significant to us than it was to the Old Testament saints (may they rest in peace and blessedness, for they believed that which they had not seen or heard)! Indeed as Colossians 2:17 correctly translated says, “These are a shadow of the things to come” (note that contrary to the NIV it does not say, “things that were to come” – past tense). No, praise God, it is yet future tense that we will see the completion of the redemptive work of Messiah!

Indeed, when Colossians 2;17 continues to say, “the substance (or the body) is Messiah” it is saying, look the festivals and other content of Torah are a shadow cast by Messiah, they are the best picture we have, but indeed the very fullness, the actual substance of Torah is Messiah himself. Messiah could no more do away with Torah than He could do away with Himself. He, after all, is the embodiment of Torah, the Word become flesh.

Of course we look forward with eager anticipation to the day when Messiah himself will live among us and rule from Jerusalem having “righteoused” all the world. Until that day, Torah is the shadow of Messiah which God the Father gave us as the first fruits of that which all creation groans in expectation of. Our first taste of that which Messiah embodies, God’s greatest gift to His children, His first-born Son.

“Be imitators of God, therefore like dearly beloved children”

Walk like He walked, keep that which He embodies. If He is the Torah-incarnate, then to walk in His Spirit is to walk in the ways of His commandments (which Psalms and Proverbs repeatedly commend to us). Was it not His Spirit Who wrote the Torah on our hearts—not so we could subsequently ignore it, but so that we could more easily keep it!

“Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds(a 1st Century synonym for keeping Torah or doing the commandments), not forsaking our own assembling together (“These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of the LORD , which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies. There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to the LORD. These are the LORD’s appointed feasts, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times.” Lev. 23:2-4), as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:24-29 NASB)

(1) Graeme Goldsworthy, Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture, p. 54

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