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It's for us cos it's about Him

It's common to hear the argument that christological interpretations of the OT are at the expense of seeing the pastoral applications.  Effectively the argument is, "If it's all about Jesus then it's not about us."

Well... here's how Paul quotes the OT in Romans 15:3

Christ did not please Himself but, as it is written [in Psalm 69:9]: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me."

Psalm 69:9 is Christ speaking.  The One on Whom insults fall is Christ.  This is obvious for Paul.  It's not a conclusion he argues towards, it's a premise he considers to be self-evident so that he can argue from it to other conclusions (i.e. - because Christ is like this, so should you be).

Does this Christ focus detract from the Psalm's application to us?  Paul doesn't think so.  Here's how he immediately continues.

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us.  (Romans 15:4)

The OT teaches us - not by putting us directly into the shoes of the Psalmist.  Christ is the Zealous Insult-Bearer - it's actually about Him.  But it teaches us because it brings us to Him.  Then in Him come the applications for us.

But first, this is what we need to be taught - we need to be taught Christ.


0 thoughts on “It's for us cos it's about Him

  1. John L

    Christ is our Glorious forerunner (Heb. 6:20), not merely our external example as you wrote in an earlier post (Christ in the wilderness).
    C. S. Lewis' distinction of knowledge seems applicable: Contemplation and Enjoyment.
    Because we are IN Christ we can Enjoy Him instead of only Contemplate Him externally.

  2. Tim V-B

    Heh, I wrote about C S Lewis' distinction only a few hours ago for our parish magazine.

    Did you know it already, or (like me) did you pick it up from Mike Reeve's Table Talk with Michael Ward?

  3. John L

    Thanks Glen! Well, I hope to add more, God willing - time permitting.

    Yes Tim, that's where I heard it! I take it you liked it too. The evangelical subculture is a small but international world. :)
    Of course, it's the only world and culture worth the name...

  4. Dev

    oh sorry - it's ljungberg

    btw what do you guys think about this then:

    Psalm 69:5 5 O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.

  5. Glen

    I knew someone would raise that. And I knew that someone would be you Dev.

    I dunno. Verse 4 insists on His innocence: He is hated "without cause" and has stolen nothing. Verse 7 makes it clear that: "it is for Your sake that I have borne reproach." And v9 repeats that the reproach He bears is for the LORD.

    Which points to v5 being imputed to Him as He bears reproach on behalf of the people. So is it a case of:

    "O God, You - *You* know the real deal concerning my folly and my guilt. From You they are not hidden."

    Everyone else in the Psalm thinks He's bearing reproach for Himself, but He entrusts Himself to the true judgement of the Father who knows what's really going on.

    What do you think?

  6. Dev

    it's mental how many times this Psalm is quoted about Jesus and His last moments

    vs 2 - John 15:25

    vs 9 - John 2:17 (more about His death than the temple), Rom 15:3

    vs 22-23 - Rom 11:9-10

    vs 25 - Acts 1:20 (!!?)

    not to mention the references to sour wine, etc

    yet it's such an odd place to take these quotations from
    perhaps they indicate that this is the one of the most complete OT accounts of His last moments?

    yup Glen - that's a good explanation for vs 5

    John here we could use some help - this particular use of 'wrongs' or sins is in reference to the guilt offering - implying 'unintentional sins' yes?

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