Who he was, what he did, why it matters
The more I understand scripture, the more the Holy Spirit sends me to the Jews… to the Old Testament…to the history behind it all. How else can I truly understand the sacrifice Jesus made until I understand the sacrificial system he lived under at the time.
I am corresponding with a very kind atheist who lets me share scripture with her. The gospel message is not just a literal death on a cross. I can’t say, “Jesus died for your sins”…that just doesn’t make sense to someone from another country who is struggling to understand this Jesus person. “How exactly does God dying save people?” she might wonder. We are very proficient in telling His story, but not so well in conveying the symbolism behind it all. We are guilty of dumbing it down for our children too. Basically we tell them, “Just trust me, He died and rose.” Then they grow up reciting, but not really understanding the immense beauty and richness of what exactly God did for His chosen people. Maybe it’s time you delve into the history and prophesy of the Jews and develop a complete picture of the Messiah. If you are ready to be schooled by a professor of the New Testament and Early Christianity, then this is the book for you.
This book is full of imagery and metaphorical pictures, not just from scriptures, but from Wright too by using the analogy of a storm throughout the book. We meet the Roman and Jewish people through the eyes of the culture of the time. Wondered what happened in between the books of Malachi and Matthew? We are introduced to the men who “could have been” the Messiah, but only disappointed in the end: Judah Maccabee, Simon the Star, Herod the Great, and Simon bar-Giora. We discover fascinating meanings behind what Jesus said and did, hidden to those of us who have been skimming the surface of scriptures, staying safely within the confines of the New Testament. Wright uses the seven themes of the Exodus: tyrant, leader, divine victory, sacrifice, vocation, divine presence, and promised inheritance to compare with the coming, the life, death and reign of the King of the Jews. Finally Professor Wright discusses the enthroned Jesus and how he works with the church today through the Spirit.
I won’t kid you y’all, this is not an easy book to read, but SO worth your time and energy. Here is how Tom Wright organizes his book:
I am including a quote from Professor Wright on heaven and earth.
“They (heaven and earth) are not merely contagious, like two next-door houses. Heaven permeates earth. If Jesus is now in ‘heaven’, he is present to every place on earth. Had he remained on earth, he wouldn’t have been present anywhere except the one place where he was. The ascension enables him to be present everywhere.
Tom Wright also writes under the name of N.T. Wright. There are many videos of his discussions on YouTube. Get your boots on y’all, he goes deep!
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