- Biblical Theology (Geerhardus Vos)
- Far As The Curse Is Found: The Covenant Story of Redemption (Michael Williams)
- The Mystery of Christ, His Covenant, and His Kingdom (Samuel Renihan)
- Introduction To Covenant Theology (Theocast)
Justin Perdue: Hi, this is Justin. Let me ask you a question: why is it that Jesus had to die on a cross? Why is it that he didn’t die via execution in some other way? Why wasn’t he stoned? Why is it that he was hung on a cross to be killed? If you’re not sure how you would answer that question, today’s podcast is for you.
This is a good follow-up to last week’s episode where we thought about theological systems and frameworks that help us to understand and interpret the Bible. Today is a practical exercise in thinking about Scripture from a redemptive-historical perspective with Christ at the center.
In the members’ podcast, we consider why it is that we tend to interpret the Bible in so many other ways besides this way. We hope that this conversation is clarifying for you. We hope that it is encouraging for you and that you are edified in the Lord Jesus as you listen. Stay tuned.
Jon Moffitt: One of the things that we love here at Theocast is a redemptive-historical understanding of Scripture. Often when Justin, Jimmy, and I get together and we start talking about what shapes and forms Theocast, or even what has shaped and formed Reformed theology for hundreds of years now, that is often what all of you love. Recently in the Facebook group, someone said, “I’m so new to all of this. Where do I start? Where do I go?” They love what they’re hearing but they want to know the foundation behind it. They want to know what leads people to rest and what causes it.
One of the things that we want to do today is practically show you how it works from Scripture. Instead of talking about it in theory, we’re going to walk through the Bible to show you how a redemptive-historical understanding of Scripture unfolds and how types and shadows in the purpose of Scripture, as well as mystery in the New Testament, all play together. We’re going to do that through a question. I’m going to ask a question and then Justin and I are going to show you how the Bible answers this question.
Here’s the question: did Jesus have to die on a cross? Could he have died by hanging, being stoned, being burned at the stake, or being torn apart? There are all different ways that the Romans used to kill people back then. Did Jesus, according to the Bible, have to die on a cross?
In order to answer that we’re going to use biblical theology/redemptive-historical understanding of Scripture.
Justin Perdue: To be redundantly clear, in a very simple way, the question is why did Jesus die on a cross and not some other way? What is the significance of all that? We’re going to put the tools to work this morning and do a fly over through major themes in the Old Testament, and we’ll think about how God has been working from eternity past essentially—but God has been working throughout all of human history—to accomplish the redemption of His people through Jesus. We will see that very practically today in a way that we trust is going to be edifying and encouraging for us as we talk about it, and also we trust for listeners as they listen to it. We’re going to see how Christ was the point all along and how God has been purposefully working, even throughout redemptive history prior to Christ coming, He purposefully worked for Jesus to show up on the scene and do exactly what he did. Also, all of the providences and the circumstantial realities mean something. There’s nothing arbitrary in how God went about doing this.
Then as we see, hopefully today, one more facet of the plan of God in redemption, and the work of Christ in our place, we’re going to then consider what that means for us in the Christian life. Then we’re going to think about what it means for the church, and what it means for preaching. Hopefully that’s the kind of boots-on-the-ground takeaway that will be helpful for people too.
Let’s talk about the question. Jon, why don’t you get us started in thinking through some things from the Old Testament?
Jon Moffitt: Specifically in the Old Testament, Paul uses this reference of what’s called a mystery: that the things of Christ were hidden and seen in shadows and types, but they weren’t fully revealed to us until the New Testament. What Paul is telling us is that there’s a mystery behind it.
There are events that unfold and instructions given that, to their original context and to the original readers, had their purposes and meaning. But God through the Holy Spirit ends up using it to further explain redemption and expose to us the purposes of Jesus Christ. One of the things that we miss is the depth and the glory of the cross because we don’t understand how the Old Testament gives us the depth of our sin, the sovereignty of God, and what it really means to be cursed.
There are two things we’re going to look at this morning that the Bible uses constantly to push the story and answer this question of why Jesus had to die on a cross: a curse and a tree. We’re going to start in Genesis 3.
For the sake of time, we’re not going to read all of it, but in Genesis 3, God says, “Do not eat of the tree.” If they do eat of the tree, He promises a curse upon them, and that curse is death. Do not eat or else you will die. Throughout the Bible, a curse signifies a separation from God and that the blessings and the protection of God are removed. If we go to Genesis 3, you will see that in its context, there’s the curse upon the serpent. You also are told that the death that’s promised to them is sustained: there’s a spiritual death and a physical death. Then He gives two smaller curses: one to Eve and one to Adam. One is pain in childbirth, and the other is thorns and thistles will grow out of the ground—which is a symbol of the curse—and we’ll have to work for our food. We’ll have to labor for it.
The pain and suffering that we are in today are to remind us not just the temporal curse, but also of the ultimate curse that we are under. This language of curse and the symbolism of the tree—it’s not the tree’s fault, of course, but the disobedience of Adam and Eve. These two themes are seen at the very beginning of the story, at the very beginning of creation.
Justin Perdue: As we progress from the garden of Eden throughout redemptive history, we see several other things that would point us in this direction. We don’t have time to survey all of them. Jon, do you want to make any comments about even the Passover before I reference Deuteronomy?
Jon Moffitt: I do. There are a couple of other things that the New Testament will use in reference and you will see curse and tree again. For instance, you’ve got the 10 plagues in the exodus in Egypt. In the last one, God says, “I’m going to come and kill the firstborn of every household.” Firstborn is an interesting reference. To Israel, He says, “I will do this to you unless you sacrifice a perfect lamb, take its blood, and paint it over the doorposts. If you do that, then I will pass over you.” Meaning that the curse of death will not fall off on your home.
Justin Perdue: It will not fall on you because it has fallen on that perfect substitute in your place.
Jon Moffitt: That’s right. You have curse, you have death, and you have the application of it upon the doorpost. This theme is used as they celebrate Passover. This theme is being used and referenced for the rest of Israel’s existence as a nation.
Justin Perdue: Numbers 21 is a great passage. Jesus references this in John 3 when he speaks to Nicodemus—and we’ll get to the New Testament understandings of these later. Many may know that the Israelites are grumbling yet again against the Lord and God, in judgment upon their sin and their grumbling, sends upon them a curse. He judges them. He sends what the writer, Moses, calls fiery serpents that are biting the people and people are dying as they’re being bitten by these snakes. The people cry out for deliverance effectively so God tells Moses to fashion a snake out of bronze and to lift it up on a pole. When this snake is lifted up and the people look to it, they are saved. We read it in Numbers 21:4 and following.
A very significant piece there. It had its immediate purpose that people would be delivered from that judgment and curse of those snakes coming and biting them so they’re dying, but obviously, it had more substantial meaning that would be coming. We’re trying to help people see that this is how Scripture works. This is how a redemptive-historical understanding of theology works. There is immediate fulfillment. There is something that happens in its immediate context, but it’s pointing to something that is different and greater.
Jon Moffitt: I don’t think there is a mistake when Jesus says in John 3, “As the serpent was raised in the wilderness so much the Son of Man.” Jesus references himself even later on in Matthew as the one who will be cursed and will be crucified. These symbols are being used in the Old Testament for their purposes. What they’re doing is they’re pointing out this road of helping you understand that when Jesus dies on a cross, it’s not just some random Jew who got in trouble with the Romans and ended up dying on a cross. The Old Testament is showing us that there’s this flow in helping us understand that there is a curse because of the tree. These two symbols are being constantly used because they’re the promise given to Eve that one will come and crush the head of the serpent. You’re constantly seeing this language going forward.
Justin Perdue: Even the language of being lifted up is something that Jesus picks up on not only in John 3 but also in John 12: “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” It’s the purpose of God that this is what Christ would do, this is how he would die, and this is how he would accomplish redemption.
As we come to Deuteronomy 21, there are not insignificant verses there. In verses 22 and 23, Moses tells the people of Israel that if you execute a man for breaking the Law, for committing a crime punishable by death, you execute him and then you hang him on a tree but you are not to leave him there overnight because anyone who is hanged on a tree is cursed. We have again those two big themes or motifs of a curse and a tree, and in particular, being hanged on a tree is representative of being cursed. This is a big deal theologically.
Jon Moffitt: Even at the last part of the verse there, it says not to leave him up there but to take him down before sunset. This is significant.
Justin Perdue: It would happen that the followers of Christ and Joseph of Arimathea in particular would remove Christ from the cross before sundown.
Jon Moffitt: Now, I will tell you that Justin and I have not made these conclusions just by being able to read the Old Testament and looking forward. What has helped us make these connections is reading the New Testament and noting when it points back and says, “See here…” Paul tells us in Ephesians, and even in Colossians, that the mystery of Christ was hidden in the Old Testament, but is now being revealed.
Even in the New Testament, the New Testament believers struggled with the revelation of Jesus Christ. Jesus himself is standing before the disciples and they don’t even understand what he’s about to do, being lifted up on the cross.
Justin Perdue: Absolutely not. It’s very clear throughout the earthly ministry of Christ that the disciples understand some things, but there are so many things that they don’t yet understand. Even after Jesus is crucified and resurrected, the Emmaus Road account in Luke 24 is epic where he’s telling the disciples about the Scripture and what was written about him because they were so confused by what had happened. They thought this man was something and now he’s dead. Everybody is talking about these events and Jesus goes, “What are you talking about?” They respond by asking if he has not heard what has happened in recent days and all that. Then Jesus begins to tell them, beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, all the things that were written concerning himself. Was it not written that the Christ would have to suffer and die, and that he would rise?
We’re taking our cue from Jesus and the apostles. We are interpreting the Old Testament in light of the New Testament, and as has been said by many people before us, the best interpreter of the Old Testament is the Holy Spirit speaking to us in the New Testament. That is how we do redemptive-historical theology. That is how we appropriately and responsibly interpret all of the Bible in light of its main point and in light of what God intends it to reveal.
Jon Moffitt: Now what we need to do is go through and show in the New Testament where Paul puts the stamp on why Jesus is on the cross. Galatians 3: what is Paul dealing with? He’s dealing with those who want to go back underneath the Law. He even says earlier, “Cursed be everyone who does not keep the whole Law.” We can all say that every single human being from the beginning of the world, Romans 5, because death has passed to all men because all sinned, Galatians 3:10 tells us that if you do not keep the whole Law, you are under this curse. There is this language of curse being used: you are the cursed person; we are all cursed.
Justin Perdue: He cites Deuteronomy 27 and says, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”
Jon Moffitt: That’s right. Then he gets to verse 13, which is where we took all of that time to explain to you what’s going on. He says, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.” Then he quotes Deuteronomy, “For it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.'” So the reason Jesus had to die by death and be hung on a tree is because he was taking the place that we deserved, the curse in the garden that was put on Adam and Eve because of their disobedience of eating of the tree. Jesus is now suffering on a tree. Deuteronomy even says it. God has instituted this for the people of Israel to say the worst sinners are those who hang on the tree, and he’s saying he is taking our place in shame and in separation under the curse.
Justin Perdue: He was forsaken by God for us. In one sense, he was forsaken by God so that we never would be. What does he say on the cross as he is hanging there? “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus has become the cursed one. He has become the forsaken one. To speak even in the language of Proverbs, he has become the foolish one in the place of fools such as we. We see how Christ is accomplishing everything that God had set up for him to accomplish. Everything that we lost in Adam is now ours in Christ.
Another verse that is also very helpful is 1 Peter 2:24 where Peter, again to make this explicit connection, says, “He himself,” speaking of Jesus, “bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds, you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” So there again, he bore our sins in his body on the tree. We get the major themes, not only of the curse and the tree, and how Jesus became a curse for us because of our sins, but we get that clear language and implication of substitution. He took what wasn’t his, namely our sin, and bore it and became a curse for us so that we might—to use the language of Paul—become the righteousness of God, and—to use the language of Peter—so that we might die to sin and live the righteousness.
Jon Moffitt: Just to quote a couple of other passages where Peter does, I think, make the same conclusion as we. Acts 2:23: “This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.” Here you see God’s plan for Christ to be the cursed one. Remember that the whole phrase of Jesus saying, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” means being cursed of God is to be separated from him, to be completely away. This is what happened in the garden; Adam and Eve became separated from the presence of God. Through the story of the Old Testament, God is formulating and shaping, He is going to make happen this plan that Jesus becomes the cursed one on the tree. Acts 5:30, “The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree.” This is the language that Peter is using to describe what is going on. By God’s will, Jesus became the cursed one on the tree.
Justin Perdue: So this is Acts 13:27; this is the apostle Paul in Antioch speaking. He is talking about what’s happened with respect to Jesus: “For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him Christ nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him. And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed.” They end up having to use Rome in order to accomplish the execution of Christ. Paul goes on, “And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead . . .” He continues to go on to talk about what has been accomplished and how Jesus has accomplished for us what could never be accomplished through Moses. He concludes this kind of message with, “Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.” Again, it’s like we have been set free from the curse of the Law because Christ became a curse for us, because he died on a tree and then he triumphantly rose from the grave, vindicating everything that he had done, securing our redemption and our resurrection.
You mentioned Galatians 3 but even in Galatians 4, Paul begins again in verses 4-5 of Galatians to talk about how Christ was born under the Law to redeem those who are under the Law. What is that about? It’s the redeeming us from the curse of the Law and fulfilling the Law in our place. The message of Scripture that unfolds throughout redemptive history makes Christ’s role and work increasingly clear and specific. By the time he shows up on the scene and accomplishes it, and the apostles now have the Holy Spirit to interpret it and write it down, one can only be amazed to realize that this is what God has been doing from the jump. It has been accomplished now and what’s left to us is to trust and receive it.
Jon Moffitt: The Passover had its original purposes and meanings and it was accomplished. Deuteronomy 21 was designed to shame Israel: do not do this because if you do, this is what we’ll end up as because of the context of the unrepentant son.
Justin Perdue: It was a second use of the Law reality. It was a deterrent against their corruption and evil.
Jon Moffitt: But these were types or pictures being used to illustrate what is coming.
I’ve used this illustration in the past: if you’ve ever been to an authentic Mexican restaurant where everything is in Spanish and you can’t understand what’s there, they are very kind to provide pictures for you. So these pictures show you that’s a taquito, and that’s a burrito, etc. You start to see what you’re expecting. When the food shows up, that’s the actual substance. There’s a mystery in the language and then there’s a picture next to it that gives it clarity. When the food shows up, you finally get it. Now I can taste and see; there is no longer confusion. This is what the Old Testament is doing is that there are these events that are happening, but these events are designed to broaden, deepen, and help us fully understand what it means for Christ to be our substitute.
Another example of this is Isaiah 53:5 when Isaiah writes, “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds, we are healed.” Jesus then is on his way to Jerusalem in Matthew chapter 20, and he pulls his disciples aside in verse 18. He says, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes,” by the way, Jesus here is saying that he is about to go on trial, “and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” Jesus is telling them he is about to be crucified, and they should have understood that meant the cross or the tree. But of course, they didn’t understand. They didn’t make the connection. It’s not until later that we see that the Holy Spirit unfolds these truths to Peter because Peter is the one who says, “cursed on a tree.”
Justin Perdue: It’s incredible how viewing Scripture, in particular the Old Testament, through these lenses just brings it to life. Light bulbs start going off everywhere, connections start being made everywhere—and it’s entirely legitimate that we do that. This is how the apostles understood the Bible and how they understood the Hebrew Scriptures as they look back on it through the inspiration of the Spirit and wrote these things down for us. As the Old Testament unfolds, Christ, that mystery, is being slowly unfolded before our eyes. There is increasing clarity as you work through.
For example, we realize that the gospel was preached to Abraham in Genesis 12, and that the promised seed through which all of these promises would be realized is none other than Jesus himself. Paul makes that connection in Galatians three for us, especially in verse 16. As we progress through Moses the Law and the sacrificial system, the Passover, and all of these things, they continue to clarify the work of Christ. They had their purpose and immediate context, but there was an ultimate purpose that was coming that was different and greater—and that is Christ.
As we get to the covenant made with David, the same thing happens. There would be a King who would represent the people, accomplish righteousness, and would keep the Law for them. Ending even with the prophet Malachi and the things that he says about the forerunner who is going to come, the great and awesome day of the Lord, and all these things.
By the time you get to the end of the Old Testament, you’re wondering when this promised seed comes in and who he is going to be. Then we get Jesus showing up on the scene 400 years after Malachi. Here’s the one. Then John the Baptist is crying out, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” He’s here.
This is how we at Theocast understand this. Jon, Jimmy, and I talk about this stuff all the time. Every time we do, we get excited and stirred up as we think about the plan of God and the sufficiency of Christ to accomplish our salvation. This maybe is a nice transition to think about what this means for the Christian life, for our churches, and for preaching. I trust some of that has become clear already as you’ve listened to the tone of our voices and you’ve heard us speak about what Jesus has done in our place.
Jon Moffitt: It seems obvious to say, but the Old Testament is the foundation to the New Testament. It is also not only the foundation, but it becomes this massive undergirding that when you walk to the Old Testament, you realize there’s greatness going on: that God is powerful and big, men clearly are not able to live up to any kind of righteous standard at all, and that God is merciful and kind. But there’s just a lot of mystery that’s going on. As the story unfolds, it gets wild. There is a lot of murder, blood, cursing, and damning. God is using wicked men and sorcerers to prophesy good and bless. There are also witches. It sounds like a Lord of the Rings novel at some points where you think, “This is gnarly.”
Then you get to the New Testament and the keys are handed to you. And in these, you see what’s going on in the Old Testament. To unlock your Bible, you use the New Testament as you read it. Then you go back and read your Old Testament and you realize this is what’s going on: the seed of Eve is Jesus. It makes sense now because the seed of man is always “the son of…” When the Spirit shows up to Mary and says He will put Jesus, basically the Messiah, in her, that’s the seed of Eve. It’s coming from Eve through the Holy Spirit. All of these connections start happening.
In my opinion, the application is this: the Bible becomes the way in which you learn about this covenant God that you’re with. How incredible He is. It’s not moralism in the sense of how I can impress and keep God happy, rather it is the Bible becoming the way in which you engage with Him. You’re awestruck and your heart is drawn towards love and affection because of this beautiful story of how God has redeemed you. It’s long and it takes years to unfold it for you to understand it.
Justin Perdue: This matters certainly for preaching. Jon and I are the primary preachers in our respective churches. This certainly informs how we go about preaching every passage of Scripture, but it also it’s inextricably linked to how we understand and are sustained in the Christian life, and how we are grown, sanctified, and transformed. It is through beholding the Lord Jesus Christ and being driven more deeply and completely into trust, reliance, and faith in him that we are changed. It’s a 2 Corinthians 3 reality were beholding the Lord, we are transformed from one degree of glory to another.
Of course, we talk about the things that are in Scripture written to churches in terms of how we live together. We talk about those things and we exhort one another to love and good works. But that is motivated, sustained, and made possible only through the proclamation and heralding of Jesus Christ week in and week out in our local congregations.
To paraphrase John Calvin and add some language to what he says about 1 John 5:13 in his commentary, it is the duty of any godly preacher or any godly minister to extol as much as possible the mercy, grace, power, and sufficiency of Christ, so that we might be satisfied in him, that we might rest in him, and look for nothing else in terms of our salvation and our redemption. That’s the project of the Christian life at its most basic primary level. This is what drives, propels, motivates, sustains, strengthens, and confirms everything else that happens in the church and in our lives as Christians.
Jon Moffitt: Hopefully, what we’re demonstrating is that as you learn the structure of your Bible, how the Bible is designed and how it’s unfolding, and I would even say how the New Testament preachers and teachers used the Old Testament, when we read this verse by Paul to Timothy in 2 Timothy that all Scripture is profitable, we understand that he’s not talking about the majority of the New Testament. Paul is writing the New Testament as he is saying that all Scripture is profitable; he’s talking about the Old Testament. The Old Testament is profitable to us in helping us digest the things of God that it affects the way in which we love and care, and the way that we defend the faith. Often, we assume he means the New Testament epistles when he said that. I just don’t think that’s fair.
Justin Perdue: Even in 1 Timothy 4, he tells Timothy to give attention to the public reading and teaching of Scripture. I think Paul understands because there are references where he’ll refer to Pauline letters as Scripture. There may be some understanding of that reality in Paul’s mind when he’s writing Timothy, but he also certainly means the Hebrew Scriptures. You give attention to the reading and teaching of these. Of course, Paul is thinking you’re going to give attention to the reading and teaching of these in alignment with what the Holy Spirit is revealing through us.
This is a minor exhortation, but just a brief plug for preachers, churches, and elders out there to preach the whole counsel of God. Don’t just preach the New Testament, preach the Old Testament as it should be preached and understood and help your people see these things. Open up the treasures of God’s word for your people and help them make these connections. Give them this robust undergirding for their faith in Christ to understand what’s been done for them.
Jon Moffitt: All scripture is Christian Scripture, meaning that all of Scripture is about Christ therefore it’s applicable for Christians. We often think the Old Testament is Hebrew for the Hebrew people, the nation of Israel, and that’s Law, which is already done and we can already do away with. I went to a seminary that promoted this: we are New Testament Christians so therefore, we will primarily teach the New Testament.
Justin Perdue: In some cases, if not exclusively.
Jon Moffitt: What you’re doing is you’re completely ripping out the foundation that created the New Testament, the one that prophesied and set up the need, purpose, and the design of the New Testament. You’re going to end up changing the New Testament purposes and meaning because you don’t have the types and shadows. You don’t have language like the tree and curse, the language that helps you to structure the weight of the gospel. It’s lost.
I’m not saying someone is a heretic or they’re not going to be able to teach the word of God. I just think that you’re going to miss a lot that can encourage and build up the believer by ignoring 75% of your Bible.
Justin Perdue: No doubt, Jon. I completely agree.
Before we transitioned to the members’ area, I do want to do something that we end up doing inevitably every few months or so, but it’s fine that it comes up again. Sometimes a critique is levied against our understanding of Scripture and even our understanding of how to interpret it in this redemptive-historic, Christ-centered way. People will say that we are reading things into the text. In particular, we are charged with trying to find Jesus on every page of Scripture, trying to read him into every verse or find him under every rock. That is not what we’re trying to do. We do not read the Bible like it’s a Where’s Waldo book and Jesus is Waldo. That’s not what we’re doing. That’s not what we’re saying. What we’re saying is that we are trying to understand every passage of Scripture in light of its main point. When we come to any passage, we are asking the question, “Where does this text stand in relation to the main point?” More pointedly because the main point, we understand, is redemption through Christ which is God’s plan. Where does this passage stand in relation to Jesus? That’s what we’re asking. We’re asking that question and then we are interpreting Scripture with Scripture. We’re understanding the Old Testament in light of the Holy Spirit’s revelation to us in the New Testament.
Our response, in addition to what I’ve already said, is that to not understand and think about the Old Testament that way—in light of the fact that we have the New Testament and what the apostles wrote and what Jesus said—would be irresponsible. It would be an approach almost like sticking our heads in the sand. To only think about what this could have meant in its original context is not an appropriate biblical reading of a passage when we have the entire canon and this revelation from Christ and the apostles.
That’s just a brief anticipation to objections that could be welling up within the minds of people who are listening. Especially if they’re newer.
Jon Moffitt: We’re definitely going to unfold that in the New Testament.
One parting thought. I would say the reason why we think that the Bible is Christ-centered, meaning that it’s about Jesus, is that it starts with Jesus in the garden. The Trinity is there. Adam and Eve are separated from God. What is the first thing that God does? He promises Jesus, the seed. Then you have Jesus in the New Testament saying if you want to come back to the Father and the garden, you come through Jesus. The whole Bible is about this restoration. I don’t know how you would interpret it any other way.
Justin Perdue: When Jesus says, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me.” He talks about everything written about him and the Law and the Prophets. He even says to a Jewish audience in John 5 that they search the Scriptures thinking they can find eternal life in them, but the Scriptures actually bear witness about Jesus. That’s where we’re getting this from. It’s not something that we’ve made up at all.
As I transition us out of the regular podcast and into the members’ session, you mentioned Genesis in the garden. In Ephesians 1, we get the flashback to before the world was created. What do we have going on there? We have God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit covenanting together and formulating a plan to save people. It would be accomplished very clearly through the redemptive work of the Son. He would redeem us, Ephesians 1:7, by his blood that would be shed for us. So we are understanding all of Scripture in light of that flashback. Then it begins in time and space in the garden and from there, the rest of the Bible is the unfolding of redemption and restoration, all accomplished by the work of the Son, planned by the Father and applied by the Holy Spirit. It’s great.
This should be the real meat and potatoes and, to use an old term. The warp and weft of preaching and life in the church is this.
We’re going to continue having this conversation about some of the boots-on-the-ground realities. We always get a little bit more punchy in the members’ area because it’s a safe space for us to do that. I’m sure we’re going to talk about objections to this kind of understanding of Scripture and things that are sometimes raised and critiques that are thrown. We’ll deal with some of that and more. I’m sure Jon will have a bomb to drop because he usually does and he does that often in the members’ area
We thank you for listening and we hope that this conversation was encouraging and clarifying to you. If you’re newer to Theocast and you want to find out more about our ministry and the content that we offer, you can make your way over to our website at theocast.org. One of the things that you can learn about over there on the website is our total access membership that will give you access to a number of different things. It’s also a way for you to partner with us to see this message of rest in Christ and the sufficiency of Jesus spread as far and wide as possible.
We’re grateful that you’ve taken time to listen with us today. We look forward to talking with you in the regular podcast again next week.
Jon and I are headed over to the members’ area. We’ll talk with many of you there.