Jesus is the New Israel Part 2


In the last post I laid out the core principle for interpreting the Old Testament: that Jesus Christ is the fulfilment of Old Testament Israel. He is the Israel of God because he is God. He is the King.

Therefore we would expect to find in Jesus the fulfilment of all kinds of things the Old Testament pointed to. Obviously its easy to find examples of Jesus being the fulfilment of specific prophecies, but even more importantly we also discover lots and lots of examples in the New Testament of him being the fulfilment and goal of the biggest themes that run right through the Old Testament. The whole book of Hebrews is basically written to make this case, but so is lots of John’s gospel. It’s a little like John says “OK Jesus is the new Israel, so what does that mean he will be, and what does it mean he will do?”

Here are a few of his conclusions from chs 1-2:

·         Jesus is the culmination and author of creation. In the beginning was the Word – Jesus (1:1-2)

·         Jesus is the culmination of the separation between light and darkness(!) Even light and dark were created for the purposes of illustrating the true light – God who came into the world (1:3-9)

·         He is the owner of the world and it’s people (1:10-11)

·         He is the author of life and the governing power for who is in the family of God (1:12. Note that this was written to Jews who assumed they were already in the family of God. John maintains that it is Jesus who decides who gets in)

·         He is the dwelling place of God (1:14) The word became flesh and “tabernacled” among us

·         He is the fulfilment of the glory of God, displayed in the tabernacle and temple in the Old Testament (1:14)

·         He fulfils and supersedes Moses with the covenant of grace (1:17)

·         He is God (1:23 implicit in the Isaiah reference)

·         He fulfils the Passover for the forgiveness of sins (1:29)

·         He is the Christ (1:41), promised by Moses in the Law and written about by the prophets (1:45)

·         He is the Son of God, the King of Israel (1:49)

·         He is the fulfilment of the dream of Jacob about the house of God and the gate of Heaven (1:51)

·         He is the end of symbolic ceremonial washing as the way to be spiritually clean. He replaces it with the new wine of the Kingdom and joy, thereby displaying his glory (2:6-11)

·         He is the fulfilment of the temple, the locus of worship, the place where God’s glory dwells and where God reveals himself (2:21-22)

That’s enough for the moment. John goes on (and on) in subsequent chapters, so I probably will in subsequent posts. For now let’s just fall on our knees and worship Jesus