Thomas Griffin 8/30/22 (For SpiritualDirection.com)
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Excerpt: Read the entire article HERE
“The rest of the Bible recounts how God draws near to Israel, forgives them mercifully, and highlights how the Israelites consistently reject, deny, and ignore God. Some of the major figures from the Old Testament history provide the details for Jesus’ birth, life and mission. Moses is sent to save Israel from slavery and death in Egypt (Exodus 3:10) as Christ is sent into the world to rescue us. David is chosen to be king and later promised that his kingdom and reign will have no end (2 Samuel 7:12-14) while we know that Joseph is of the house of David (Luke 2:4). Isaiah the prophet foretold that “a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and he will be called Emmanuel” (Isaiah 7:14) while we know that Mary conceived her son when she had no relations with a man (Luke 1:34).
The prophet Micah foretold that Bethlehem will be blessed because: “From you (the city) shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel; Whose origin is from of old, from ancient times” (Micah 5:1). “Origin of old” refers to the one having no beginning or end, and this is where Jesus will be born because of the census taken at the time of his birth (Luke 2:1-4). The prophet Isaiah tells the people that God is coming to them in power and glory. That the time of the God’s reign will be established by the one who gives sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf as well as the ability for the lame to walk and the mute to sing (Isaiah 35:4-6a).
Christ performs miracles in all these categories included in the oracle of Isaiah (John 9:1-12; Mark 7:31-37; Luke 5:17-26). Perhaps, the most important and striking example foretelling Jesus’ death and final victory is the Suffering Servant Song (Isaiah 52:13-53). The servant of the Lord was one who had a face like us who would be beaten, mocked, scourged, and killed for our sake. “He was pierced for our sins, crushed for our iniquity. He bore the punishment that makes us whole, by his wounds we were healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Despite the pain inflicted on him, he was found to be blameless and would see the light which death cannot quench. Jesus’ brutal suffering, mockery, death, and resurrection are undoubtedly being called to mind.
These passages, and countless others, spanning across the entirety of the Old Testament portray the logic of Christ’s work and entrance into time. They show the fact that he was born, the manner in which he lived, and the way in which he died and rose from the dead are not the result of random circumstances, but part of a plan that God was preparing the world to encounter in a particular time and place.”
Thomas Griffin is the chairperson of the religion department at a Catholic high school on Long Island where he lives with his wife and son. He has a masters degree in theology and is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Empty Tomb Project: The Magazine. He writes for several media outlets.
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