the scriptures testify Jesus

Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me
The Gospel writer, the Evangelist John, here records the words of Jesus to a gathering of Jews [John chapter 5, verse 39]. By scriptures, he refers to the Jewish Scriptures of the Old Testament.
But the entire chapter is the context – and context is vital.
Jesus  here flags up a very critical perspective. It goes to the heart of the distinction to be made between Judaism and Christianity. It goes to the heart of how the Christian is to interpret the sacred writings of the Jews. It goes to the heart of what Christianity is, and how it works.
A living trust – a new lifestyle – is required for the follower of Jesus Christ.  Going to heaven is about a person trusting their entire life to living out the teaching of Jesus Christ, doing so by the power of God’s very real grace.
To obey Jesus Christ is to know the power and protection of God in this life, and to know and be with God eternally hereafter.
Jesus is the fulfilment of the Old Testament Scriptures – the sacred writings of the Jews. Those Jewish writings are both prophetic of, and preparatory for, the coming of Christ.
They are like a dramatic stage, a background setting for the real drama – the life, the teaching, the ministry, the atoning death and the eternal divine power of the Resurrection of Christ, the Judgement to come and eternal life.
The Jewish writings not only foretold Christ in so many places and so many ways, but they demonstrated the critical truth about human beings which we all need to understand and accept.
Human beings are sinners incapable of saving themselves from the evil in their own hearts, and from the just Condemnation of a Holy and Righteous God.
We are just not good enough, and never can be !
The Jews manifestly failed time and again over the centuries to do what Jesus says earlier in John’s Gospel: OBEY GOD.
Even though they were chosen; even though God showed his remarkable favour to them, they still did not truly obey him. No matter which person or event recorded in the Old Testament we consider,  no-one and no event was perfect.
Sin always enters into the equation somewhere along the line. And we see time and again God having to turn evil to account.
All this was but the setting to prepare for Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ was the ultimate fulfilment of the Jewish religion in all its aspects. He is
  • the last and final Prophet of the Jewish faith – the bearer of a message from God
  • himself the Message – in what he teaches and in what he actually does, both in miracles and in dying & rising again
  • the ultimate sacrifice to God on behalf of mankind – the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, says John earlier in his gospel recording the words of John the Baptist
  • the Person for us to follow [obey] – a living example, a model, a friend who shows us the way we need to go because he has gone that way
It is emphatically not about outward obedience and show in forms of ritual, dates and events: it is about living a life in relationship with God, allowing God to be God in our lives, and dethroning deceitful self.
Jesus Christ and  his teaching [both verbal and example] go to the heart of the matter – the sin of mankind and how to eradicate it.
There is of course nothing which helpless sinners can do about their sin.
Which is why Christ dies and rises again.
There is nothing I can do to make it right with God. Nothing.
I cannot even realise that I am a sinner in need of God ‘s help – never mind take the step of turning to God or obeying God.
Jesus Christ alone has done it for me; and Jesus Christ alone can go on doing for me what needs to be done in my life in order for me to obey God.
It is all of God  and none of Me. “Me” must die, and I must learn to see my life from God’s perspective, not My perspective of this world; for my perspective is tainted by the sin I inherited from my forefathers.
God is first, and God is last, and God is everything in between.
The Bible says so, and we must learn to live on that basis. It is clearly what God intended from the very beginning but we, of ourselves, think we know better. We don’t ! To think that we know better is to make God a liar – and it is proof that sin deceives us.
%d bloggers like this: