Saturday, June 30, 2007

A Study In Contrasts, John's Gospel

Alright, business first:

I'm feeling as though I'm out here writing in the wilderness. I find myself calling out, "Anybody home?"

So. Are you?

I'm learning that I need to hear from you, my dear readers. Write On! Hit the comment button on the bottom of the blog, and let me know what you're thinking. Am I boring you to death? Were you interested at first and then gave up? Did you plan to read through and find yourself more and more behind? Let's talk!

(I have an idea to contrast the Muslim idea of changing the world with the Jewish taking of the Promised Land. I've heard so many talk about the Jews as being "just as bloody for God as the Muslims." Not true. Numbers clears that up. If you'd like to talk about that, I would. Let me know?)

Gotta confess. I don't know where the week went. I finished Numbers and last night, I started the Gospel of John. You can see the pattern, Old Testament book, New Testament book, OT, NT, all in order. Not too hard. The best part is that you don't have to carry around a little sheet telling you where you should be on this particular day. Works for me.

I've lost too many things in the last week (cell phone, keys, bike locks) to be worrying about a little piece of paper!

So. What do I get out of the first chapter of John?

Contrasts.

In Numbers, the priests had a start date and an end date. No work before age 20 or after age 50. In John, our next priest is ageless (He already existed, in John 1:1-5).

In Numbers the priests were honored. In John, the priest isn't even recognized, let alone accepted. (John1:10)

In Numbers, we get the law. In John, Jesus brings us "God's unfailing love and faithfulness." (John1:17)

In Numbers, there was no end to the sacrifice. Day after Day. Week after Week. Once a day. Twice a day. More on feast days. The lamb, the bull. The blood, spilling, pouring, gushing. But never enough.

In John, "Look, There is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world."

Jesus was ONE sacrifice, for all time. The HUMAN lamb. The sacrifice so perfect that no other sacrifice would ever be necessary.

A study in contrasts. Do you see how the New Testament is so much brighter when seen in the context of the Old Testament? It is as if the Old Testament is God in Sepia Tone. And the New Testament is God in the Land of Oz. Everything is in bright color. Clear. Visible. Unmistakable.

Tomorrow I turn 52. We're headed out on the boat for a day or two! My body wishes I were younger. But my soul longs to get old and be with the one whose perfect sacrifice gives me a future worth living. As Paul, to be here is good. To be with Him -- ah, that will be peace at last!

Bette

7 comments:

Christina Berry said...

I'm here, Bette! Checking in almost every day to see what's going on. I'm on a different reading schedule, but I'm still interested in your insight.

PS. If you want to know how many people are stopping by but not commenting, I can set you up. :-)

Sherrie Ashcraft said...

I'm here too, Bette! I check in a couple times a week and always enjoy reading what you have to say. I'm reading in four different books of the Bible, but none of them are where you are! Wouldn't you know. I'm sure there are many other people out there who, like me, are reading what you're writing, but just not making comments. I kind of scare myself off sometimes, by thinking I have to have some kind of "deep" response. Keep writing.

Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

Kathie said...

I'm enjoying your blog very much, Bette. It's like having an extra devotional to read.

Robin said...

Hi Bette... Happy Birthday a few days late! I've been reading each new blog as you post it and have enjoyed them immensely! You see things that I can't even begin to discover and I love it. That's why you're the writer and I'm the reader... keep it up!

Anonymous said...

You know how I love to read what you write. I am trying to keep up with you. It is great for me because it keeps me in the word everyday. It really is hard to NOT read it everyday now. PRAISE GOD!!I enjoy going back and forth between the new and old testiments. I tell everyone about this blog Love you Karen Motley

Bette Nordberg said...

Hey guys thanks for leaving the comments. I have no idea what Rodrigo said, and even accused one of my friends of "spoofing me." She denies it. Maybe we should all buy t-shirts and figure it out. I really appreciate that you're out there! Bette