Love Story

“The story of redemption is, in its purest form, a love story, but it’s a love story unlike anything you could ever imagine.” -Elyse Fitzpatrick, Comforts from the Cross

 

The Trinity Was Not an Earth-Shattering Revelation to the NT Writers

“Dr. Warfield rightly calls attention also to the matter-of-course way in which this identity of the triune God of the New Testament with the covenant God of Israel appears in the New Testament books. The New Testament writers are apparently not conscious of saying anything revolutionary. They assume the doctrine of the deity of Christ more than they expressly teach it. Why do they assume it? Dr. Warfield gives the answer. They assume it because it had already been established by the fact of the coming of the Son of God in the flesh. The doctrine was established by the fact of the incarnation before it was set forth in words. When the eternal Son of God became man in order to redeem sinners on the cross, and when the Holy Spirit was sent to apply that redeeming work of the Son of God to those who should be saved, then the doctrine of the Trinity was made known to men.” -J. Gresham Machen, The Person of Jesus: Radio Addresses on the Deity of the Savior

History, But More of a Testimony than ‘Straight Up History’

“This does not mean that the history recorded in the Bible is identical in every respect with the modern view of history. A historian today is supposed to give a full and objective account of all the facts of his period. The biblical historians, however, made no such claim. On the contrary, they were regarded as “the former prophets,” for they were writing “sacred history,” the story of God’s dealings with a particular people, for a particular purpose. They were convinced that God had “done this for no other nation” (Ps. 147:20). So their record is more a testimony than a history. They were writing down their own confession confession of faith. Therefore, they were selective in their choice of material and (the secular historian would add) unbalanced in their presentation of it. For example, ancient Babylonia, Persia, Egypt, Greece and Rome—each a mighty empire and a rich civilization—are only included as they impinge on the fortunes of Israel and Judah, two tiny buffer states on the edge of the Arabian desert, which hardly anybody had heard of. The great thinkers of Greece like Aristotle, Socrates and Plato are not so much as mentioned, nor are national heroes like Alexander the Great (except obliquely) and Julius Caesar. Instead, the scriptural record concentrates on men like Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah and the prophets to whom the word of God came, and on Jesus Christ, God’s Word made flesh. For the concern of Scripture is not with the wisdom, wealth or might of the world, but with the salvation of God. Biblical history is Heilsgeschichte, the story of salvation.” -John Stott, Understanding the Bible

He Casts His Shadow Back Into the Old Testament

In other words, it is a prolepsis. The coming event of Jesus casts its shadow before it in the coming of Israel out of Egypt. It is a foreshadowing of Jesus. This is pretty marvellous and even mind boggling. Why did Israel go down to Egypt and come out of Egypt? Because, in the ultimate, that is what would happen to Jesus. It was because it would happen to him in the future that it happened to them in the past. Their past experience caught the shadow of the coming Messiah, and the Word of God was fulfilled in ways that you would never have thought. Indeed this feature of prolepsis may have been in Matthew’s mind throughout his introduction of Jesus. In parallel with Exodus 4: 22– 3, Jesus is the Son of God in Egypt (Matt. 2: 15); in Exodus 14 Israel came to the water (of the Red Sea) and grumbled (vv. 10– 12), Jesus came to the Jordan and committed himself to ‘fulfilling all righteousness’ (Matt. 3: 13– 17); Israel’s record in the wilderness (Exod. 15– 17) was one of grumbling and discontent, Jesus in the wilderness (Matt. 4: 1– 11) met and conquered Satan; in parallel with Exodus 19, Jesus came to the mount (Matt. 5: 1), not as another Moses, to act as intermediary, but to sit as God (Exod. 19: 18; 20: 1) teaching his people his law. That the pre-history of God’s people was thus ‘shaped’ by the shadow of the Coming One not only enhances the wonder of biblical prophecy but also adorns the dignity and greatness of our Lord Jesus Christ.”Alec Motyer, A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Loving the Old Testament