Yeah, that title sounds bizarre, but it’s the normal sort of stuff that flows from Eugene Peterson. My friend George Varghese sent me the book, and it has set my heart on fire.
In his sermon on what the Messiah would look like, Peterson lines out the then-current misunderstandings of Messiah—he’d be a king, a warrior, a political enabler of justice. That’s what the disciples expected of Jesus. But when they watched him die such a horrible death, they abruptly had to come to terms with their expectations. Why, why, WHY??
Then came Resurrection. Whoo! Where did we go wrong? Recaculate! Peterson has this to say:
After Jesus was resurrected, his followers started scrabbling through their Bibles, their Hebrew Bibles, their Genesis-through-Malachi Bibles, with fresh eyes. Everywhere they looked, they came across anticipations and hints of the Messiah. They delighted in finding foreshadowings, reading between the lines, putting two and two together, discovering the background of the person they knew as Jesus. They found a fullness they had not expected. Gospel and epistle writers could hardly write a paragraph that didn’t echo something from their Hebrew Bibles.
The story of Jesus didn’t begin with Jesus. Salvation, Jesus’ main business, is an old business. And now as we read the Gospels and letters that Paul and others wrote, we can see how skillfully they blended those centuries of anticipation into the narrative of Christian living. [Adapted, pp 66, 67]
How do we see Jesus? Is He simply the one who died on a cross to save us from our sins, or is He God in human flesh, demonstrating his love for us in the most powerful and effective of ways, and longing for us to love Him in that same way?
Of the Father’s love begotten, ere the worlds began to he,
He is Alpha and Omega, He the source, the ending be,
Of the things that are, that have been,
And that future years shall see,
Evermore and evermore.
Thank you, George, for sharing Kingfishers with me, along with your love.
What does Messiah mean to you? Comment below, or email me:
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