Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Jesus Christ, the sufficient refuge in adversity
Hebrews 4:14-16 "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
In Job 7-9 we see Job crying out what represents the cry of the Old Testament - namely the need for a Mediator. In Job 7:17 we see Job asking the question: "what is man that you magnify him and are concerned about him?" This question is very similar to the one raised by David in Psalm 8:4 "what is man that you take thought of him and the son of man that you care for him?" For both of these Old Testament saints, the Answer could only be found in the Person to Whom all of God's promises and prophecies pointed - Jesus Christ. Consider Hebrews 2:5 - "what is man that you take thought of him and the son of man that you care for him?" The same question raised in Hebrews 2:5 was also stated in Psalm 8:4 and Job 7:17. With the question stated, the answer is found in Hebrews 2:9 "but we see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely Jesus…" Job lived 1,000 years before David, and David lived 1,000 years before the writing of Hebrews, yet they all asked the same question. To such a grand question, God answered the greatest and only answer - Jesus Christ.
As we turn to Acts 7, we see Stephen concluding his sweeping coverage of redemptive history. Triumphantly Stephen gives his life for the Faith. How is Stephen's death a triumph? Plainly put - Stephen's martyrdom was God's Upper Story plan of moving His mission forward. We know that the cloaks of those who were stoning Stephen were laid at the feet of Saul of Tarsus - who would be converted by grace through faith to become the mighty Apostle Paul. Stephen's answer to his opponents about the purpose of God in history and redemption is identical the questions raised by Job, David and the writer of Hebrews - namely Jesus Christ.