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It's for us BECAUSE it's about Him [repost]

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.


3 thoughts on “It's for us BECAUSE it's about Him [repost]

  1. coldfield

    read this and thought of you.

    “Christ sits at the receipt of sinners waiting for them to mention their wants. He is watching for you. I tell you again that he cannot reject you: that would be to alter his whole character and un-Christ himself. To spurn a coming sinner would un-Jesus him, and make him to be somebody else, and not himself any longer. “He cannot deny himself.” Go and try him: go and try him. I wish some trembling soul would at this moment go and cast himself upon Christ, and then report to us the re-suit. Come, poor quivering seekers, sing in your heart, unbelieving as you are. Oh, but if you were to perish at his feet, you would be the first that ever did so out of all those who have ever come to him; and that first man has never been seen yet. Go and try my Lord and see for yourselves. Well now, you Christian people, I want you to come also. If you believe your Lord he will be faithful to you. Suppose it is a time of trouble with you: he will be faithful to you; go and cast your burden upon him. Suppose at this time you, are much exercised with spiritual distress: go to the-Lord as you did at first, as poor, guilty, rebellious sinners, and cast yourself upon him, and you will find him faithful. “He cannot deny himself.” If my Lord were not kind to me to-night when I go to him with my burden I should think that I had knocked at the wrong door; because the Lord has been so good and so faithful to me hitherto that it would take my breath away if I found him changed. Oh, how good, how exceeding good is my Lord! I could sing that with all my heart, and I hope many of you could earnestly join with me. So how surprised you would be if I were to meet anything but love from my dear Lord after all these years of tenderness, There is no fear of it, for “he cannot deny himself.”
    - from CH Spurgeon sermon, “Eternal Faithfulness Unaffected by Human Unbelief”

    interestingly Amy Orr-Ewing referred to this when speaking of Christ in our day...just as pascalian, just as christocentric. If you can get the audio (from RZIM training day jauary 2012), see what you think.

  2. Pingback: It’s not about you « Watumishi wa Neno

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