Episode 136: Discerning Christ in the Old Testament with Chris Green (Part 1)

In this episode we sit down with our friend Dr. Chris Green to talk with him about what it means (and how!) to discern Christ in the Old Testament. This is part 1 of 2. Be sure to catch part 2 next week!

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One of the real tragedies of the American culture wars is that the Bible is divided as we have been divided… there are texts that are too “progressive” for some and too “conservative” for others…

You can often tell where we are aligned politically and socially in the culture wars by which texts of the Bible trouble us… which do we find difficult to handle or tough to swallow?

We’ve all been conditioned to believe that the truer something is, the simpler it is… but when you read the church fathers, you start realizing that we have an allergy to difficulty… traditionally, Christians have embraced the difficulty of the text…

When we’re teaching people the faith, we often say, “Jesus was a simple teacher…” but when you read the Gospels, you realize that isn’t true… we need to realize that God teaches us the way we need to be taught, not the way we want to learn… 

The demand of the Old Testament is that God is riddling us… we’re not used to that… 

Our relationship to Jesus as our rabbi requires that we search for him in the Old Testament, because he is using these texts to teach us… he is giving himself to us in these texts… 

Not only was Jesus raised in and trained in these texts… but these are always his… he is the one who inspired them in the first place… that’s where you have to begin… these are his words… 

The right reading of Scripture always has “salt” in it… often the plain reading will meet the “rules” of interpretation… but that’s not yet Jesus… and when Jesus speaks, he’s never “plain”, it’s “salty”, it has an edge or a burn to it… that’s how we discern if we’re reading in the right spirit or not…

There are lots of readings of the Old Testament (and the Bible in general) that we can justify but don’t actually sanctify us… if our reading of the OT doesn’t cripple our self-righteousness, we haven’t yet touched the Spirit of Christ…

We need to acknowledge that we come to these texts as guests… these are Israel’s texts that God has invited us to read… if I ever lose that sense of having been shown hospitality, I will go wrong… 

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