Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Testimony of the Law and the Prophets

It is interesting to note the way the OT ends.  After dealing with the utter failure of Israel to honor the Lord as they should, he calls on them to remember the Law of Moses and tells them that a prophet like unto Elijah will come just before the Messiah comes.  Then Malachi basically says that if they do not heed the Prophet’s testimony and by inference, Moses’, they will be utterly destroyed.  The KJV uses the word curse which conveys the idea well.
It would seem that the basic idea is that the Law and the Prophets all speak of one thing; a Messiah is coming who will bring salvation to mankind.  This has always been the point of the OT and the NT seems to pick up on this.  Joh 5:46  For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me.  Joh 5:47  But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?"  And then we also see both the Law and the Prophets used to describe the whole of the OT, Act 28:23  When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.  Rom 3:21  But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it. 
All this ends in Rev. 11 with the witness of the two witnesses.  One is described as Elijah, causing famine and the end of famine and the other is described as Moses, doing plaguelike works; Law and Prophets.  Again, there seems to be a reference to the testimony of Scripture that calls on people to turn to Christ. 
My point is the unity of the Old and New Testaments.  The Old is a testimony of the failure of the Old Covenant to produce a God honoring people.  Mankind was cursed and is still cursed up until the time of Christ.  The NT gives the same witness of Christ but we see him enter history and institute a new and better covenant.  Whereas the OT ends with bleakness and destruction, the New ends with the curse being removed and man and creation free from all the effects of the curse in Christ Jesus.  Rev 21:4  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." 
Rev 22:2  through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Rev 22:3  No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.
Rev 22:14  Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.
Rev 22:15  Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
One other point of interest is the prophecy concerning John the Baptist which alludes to him as Elijah.  We might wonder why didn’t Malachi just say that a man called John would be the forerunner?  One reason is because such a prophecy would be self-fulfilling.  Every Jewish woman would have called her firstborn son John and every man named John would have tried to be this prophet.  The same holds true with prophesying the name of Jesus.  Biblical prophecies do the intended job without doing more.  Just look at how some think they are “helping” God by trying to get the Temple built in Jerusalem and “gather” back the Jews to Palestine.  To those who have ears, let them hear.

No comments:

Post a Comment