A Trust that Cannot Be Broken

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What causes you to trust the words of another person? Your answer no doubt includes the previous trustworthiness of that individual. Has he or she told the truth in the past? Does he or she have experience or expertise in what they are saying to you? Many considerations go into believing the assertions of someone you know even if you are not conscious of them.

Because Jesus rose from the dead just as He said He would do, we know we can have absolute confidence in His words. We know His claims are true because of His resurrection. It follows that what He says about Scripture is of utmost importance and of necessity must be true. If Jesus is God as He claimed, how could He possibly be wrong in His opinion of the Old Testament?

Because Jesus rose from the dead just as He said He would do, we know we can have absolute confidence in all His claims.

Previously, we looked at Jesus assertions regarding the validity of Genesis. Now we will expand that assessment to the entire Old Testament.

“If You Believed Moses, You Would Believe Me”

Jesus always spoke with the utmost reverence for Scripture, which in His day consisted of what we know today as the Old Testament. He frequently quoted from it and repeatedly referred to its words as something that must be fulfilled (Matt. 22:29; 26:54; Luke 33:37; John 13:18). He criticized the religious people of His day for not knowing it, “But Jesus answered them, ‘You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God’” (Matt. 22:29).

Jesus confirmed the authority of Scripture. In John 5:39-40 He said this to the Jews who by this time were seeking to kill Him, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” A little later he added this, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me” (John 5:46).

The tremendous respect of the Jewish religious leaders for Scripture was correct, but they did not fully believe what they read. If they had, they would have recognized Jesus as their long awaited Messiah.

 “Scripture Cannot be Broken”

In John 10:35 Jesus said this, “. . . and Scripture cannot be broken.” With these words, Jesus asserts that the words of the Old Testament are absolutely reliable and accurate. They cannot be found lacking in any way. They stand firm; they cannot be twisted to mean something else or neglected as having no value for us.

In Matthew 5:18 Jesus made this strong statement about the Law, which in His day could refer to the entire Old Testament as well as well as just to its first five books, “For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” Scripture will more than pass the test of time; it will endure forever. Everything written on its pages must be fulfilled. Jesus regarded the Law as unbreakable truth that would stand forever.

This is bad news for us. If we cannot be loosed from the demands of the Law, we are in deep trouble. The good news, however, is that Jesus came to fulfill the Law (Matt. 5:17). He lived the morally perfect life we could never live and fulfilled all the other demands of the Law as well. He was the perfect sacrifice for our sins to which all the sacrifices in the Law pointed. He took our place on the cross bearing the punishment of the Law for our sins.

No one else has ever claimed to do that for us. No one else could ever do that for us!

Because the Old Testament is God’s Word and as such “cannot be broken,” Jesus needed to fulfill its demands in our place, which He did. This is why Christ is the only way to eternal life as He claimed in John 14:6. Only He fulfilled all the demands of the Law in our place. No one else has ever claimed to do that for us. No one else could ever do that for us!

“Everything Written about Me . . . Must Be fulfilled”

One of my favorite stories in the Bible is that of Jesus talking with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus shortly after His resurrection. I would love to know all the details of that conversation, but we are left with just a summary, “And he said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:25-27).

It’s no wonder the hearts of the two listening burned within them as He spoke (24:32). What an amazing time it must have been to listen to Jesus spend perhaps an hour or two explaining how all of the Old Testament looked forward to His coming.

That evening, as He appeared to the rest of His disciples, He spoke these words, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44). Now we understand a little bit more about His respect for the Old Testament; it all spoke of Him. As such it tells us much about both His first and second coming!

To Sum Up

Just as with the book of Genesis, Jesus regarded the entire Old Testament as the authoritative Word of God. As such, it’s accuracy in its original manuscripts cannot be broken; it stands forever as the inerrant Word of God. Why am I so confident in Jesus’ evaluation of the Old Testament, you might ask?

First, I know the character and trustworthiness of my Savior. If He as the most loving and self-sacrificing person who had ever lived verifies the integrity and accuracy of the Old Testament, whom am I to question it? Secondly, Jesus said “whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Jesus did not come as an opposing view to the God of the Old Testament. He came to fully reveal Him to us. He is the Word of the everlasting God made flesh.  Thirdly, Jesus accurately predicted the timing of His resurrection from the dead. Has anyone else ever done that? I can trust His words.

Lastly, Jesus is my Savior. What does it say about my future hope if He as someone who claimed to be God was wrong about something as critical as Scripture or about anything for that matter? I trust his ability to take me from this life to forever.

Do you trust Jesus enough to agree with Him regarding the words of Scripture?

A Voter’s Guide to Biblical Characters

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With the time to vote rapidly approaching, I wonder which biblical character might do well against Hillary in the upcoming election.

If we were to replace Trump with someone from the Old or even the New Testament, who might that be? Would he fare better in this year’s election and defeat Hillary?

Let’s look at how some of the characters from the Bible might possibly do in the 2016 presidential election if they were to run against Hillary Clinton.

Jacob

I’ve always liked Jacob. He seems like someone who could be a great leader if given the chance. He always finds a way to get things done although it doesn’t always look so pretty. While the matter of the stolen birthright and blessing might come up, he and Esau have reconciled.

Oh, but Hillary would certainly highlight the matter of the wives and their servants during the campaign. I can just picture Rachel and Leah battling it out on a daytime talk show; that would end his candidacy for sure. Jacob would never succeed as a candidate.

Joseph

What about Joseph? He certainly has fantastic experience serving as the second in command over all of Egypt. Amazingly, he correctly interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh and then on the spot devised a plan to store up grain during the seven plentiful years so they would survive the seven lean years. We could certainly highlight his economic wisdom in any campaign.

However, there’s the matter of Potiphar’s wife. We know Joseph is innocent in the matter, but Hillary and the media would surely work day and night to prove he was guilty. I’m sure they would dig up other women, as well, to falsely accuse Joseph and convincingly back up the story of Potiphar’s wife.

Before long, even Christians might be repeating the mainstream media mantra, no doubt started by Hillary, identifying him as a misogynist. Let’s keep looking for a better candidate.

Moses

With Moses’ training in Egypt and his experience leading the Israelites, he might be the ideal choice to put up against Hillary. Who could question his leadership ability in confronting Pharaoh and in leading the Israelites out of Egypt? He kept the struggling Israelites together as a nation during the forty years they wandered in the wilderness bringing them to the brink of entering the Promised Land.

However, there is the matter of the plagues. I’m certain as media recounts the number of firstborn killed in Egypt as result of the last plague, things would turn ugly. Many would refuse to go to the polls or vote third party. And, it would only be a matter of time before Hillary’s campaign digs up something from Moses’ past to make him look especially bad.

We need to find a better candidate; perhaps someone who could bring down the house at a debate.

Samson

I wonder if Samson might appeal to the younger generation today. His long hair and strength might persuade many of the Millennials to vote for him.

Oh, but he has a big negative. He was a womanizer and unlike Joseph, it’s an issue we cannot deny. He has a poor track record. Despite his early victories against the Philistines, he will never amount to anything. How could the Lord possibly use someone like Samson to further His purposes?

David

David! Why didn’t I consider him earlier? With his fantastic military career and outstanding record as king, who wouldn’t vote for David, the giant killer? Many regard David as one of the great kings of all times. He established Israel as a great nation paving the way for the peaceful and prosperous reign of Solomon.

Perhaps no other king in history can boast of such great military achievements to go along with such a stellar economic record that led to forty years of prosperity for Israel following his death.

Oh, but he would lose the Evangelical vote for sure. Once Hillary began harping on that sticky matter with Bathsheba, we would never hear the end of it. Her campaign allies in the media would quickly join her in denouncing David.

We could bring out Psalm 51 as evidence of his repentance, but that would not suffice against the constant media attacks regarding the incident, which would no doubt highlight David’s multiple wives. No, regardless of his moving confession, Christians would never look past his adultery and collection of wives. How could an apology for that ever be genuine? David would never receive enough votes to win.

Peter

Then there is Peter. Although impetuous at times, the Lord Himself recognized his leadership abilities; what better recommendation than that? His diverse career as a fisherman, disciple of Jesus, and then as an apostle leading the early church would no doubt appeal to many voters.

On the other hand, we do have to consider his propensity to say stupid things at times. With his impulsive nature, he certainly would stick his foot in his mouth more times than not during the campaign. With his tendency to overreact, we could never trust him with a twitter account.

We need someone with a spotless record despite years of experience in government.

Daniel

I think Daniel might be the perfect candidate. Despite the best efforts of his enemies, even they could not find anything in his record of government service to use against him.

Sure he would be dragged through the mud by Hillary and the media; it’s what they do. I’m confident; however, Daniel would be able to resist all accusations that would surely come against him.

Many of the Republicans, however, would detest Daniel. The Republicans in leadership, who have willingly compromised on so many issues in the past just to keep their power, would certainly reject him.

While the Republican leaders might go along with him in public, perhaps remembering what happened to Daniel’s last political opponents, they would certainly seek to undercut his election every step of the way at the same time trying to avoid being eaten alive.

I guess there’s really no perfect candidate to put up against Hillary. They all have flaws; Hillary and the mainstream press would make them all, with the possible exception of Daniel, look like womanizers and misogynists.

Even the best of leaders in the Bible had serious flaws that under the constant exaggeration of the media would make them look bad.

It’s a wonder the Lord could accomplish such great things with such flawed people.

Oh, wait a minute, that’s what the Lord always does!  He used people like us to do great things.

So maybe Trump isn’t so bad after all. Maybe the Lord can greatly use him as well to accomplish great things. Only time will tell.