Sunday, July 19, 2015

Yahweh in O.T. = Jesus in N.T.

Job, in the book which bears his name, expressed many a person’s dilemma. In chapter 23 are these words ‘Oh, that I knew where I might find him, that I might come even to his dwelling! I would lay my case before him, and fill my mouth with arguments. I would learn what he would answer me, and understand what he would say to me.’

There is expressed Humankind’s problem regarding God. Where can he (if God is ‘He’) be found. Where would a person look? If someone stumbled across him, how would he be recognised? What if God never wanted to be found? When all of creation and life is considered, the greatest of all mysteries remains God. Unless he chose to reveal himself we would never find him.

Here is the most awesome, wonderful, and at the same time, disturbing claim of the Judeo-Christian Bible. The unseen God has revealed Himself. How? His existence is proclaimed through creation (Romans 1:20). His character and intent He made known to specific people, beginning with Adam and down the line to Noah, Abraham, Moses and the prophets (Amos 3:7). The Lord God’s self-revelation culminated in the Babe of Bethlehem, Emmanuel (God with us) who was given the Greek name Jesus (in Hebrew, Joshua).

To us, the strange revelation concerning God is that He is a tri-unity. That blows our mind. Some parody the concept (to their judgement) others sidestep it as too hard to grasp. However, God hasn’t left us in the dark on this. Genesis 1:26 and 31 begins the unveiling. The Aaronic threefold blessing stresses this mystery, as does Isaiah’s vision (6:3) Daniel in 9:19, Paul (2 Corinthians 13:13 and the Angels in Revelation 4:8. For me, it is when Jesus cries in agony on the cross “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me” undergirds the uniqueness of the eternal. Why did Jesus break the three fold emphasis? Emmanuel was on the cross!

In John 10:30 Jesus makes an astounding claim: “The Father and I are one.” The Greek word for ‘one’ is in the neuter gender and implies essence. Jesus asserts the Father and He (and the Holy Spirit) are of the same essence.  Here was a charge of blasphemy requiring death. It didn’t happen then but it was the charge that the High Priest used to justify the death penalty on Jesus (Matthew 26:63-65). The writer to the Hebrews in chapter one makes the most astounding statements regarding Jesus. As you read and examine what is written it takes your breath away and at the same time (should) make you bow in gratitude and wonder. It amplifies what Jesus said about Himself in John 14:8-11.

As those who are disciples of the Lord Jesus we may find the doctrine of the Godhead beyond us. It is to be accepted by faith. What we are called upon to believe is the great faith statement of Thomas in John 20:28 “My Lord and my God!” (Psa 35:23). Jesus never refuted it. How then does this Jesus measure up to the revelation of Yahweh in the Jewish Scriptures (the Old Testament)?

Yahweh                                           Title                                       Jesus

Exodus 3:14                                      I AM                                       John 8:58. 18:5-6

Isaiah 40:28.  66:2                          Creator                                  John 1:3. Col.1:16

Isaiah 45:22. 43:11                           Saviour                                  John 4:42. Titus 1:3-4

Isaiah 60:19-20.                               Light                                      John 8:12

Isaiah 41:4.                                        First & Last                           Revelation 22:13

Timothy 1:17. 6:14-16                      Lord of lords                         Revelation 17:14.19:16

                                                            King of kings

These are a selection of passages showing the identity of Yahweh and Jesus to be one and the same. The big issue which determines the truth of this comparison has to be the resurrection of Christ Jesus, bodily. If He didn’t arise then the high Priest was right. It is His resurrection which verifies who He is and what He has achieved.

Next week we will have a brief look at the defining word relating to God. That is ‘I AM’ and Jesus claim on it.


©Ray Hawkins. July 2015.

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