Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 239

The scriptures read are Isaiah 61-63, Psalm 45 and Hebrews 1.

Isaiah 61. Starts out with the verses Jesus read in his home synagogue to inaugurate his ministry. In the original context, these verses are about the end of the Babylonian exile. God sends his people home to rebuild what was destroyed.

Isaiah 62. A rebuilt Jerusalem. God's love for his people compared to the love of a husband for his wife. People should prepare for the coming of their divine savior.

Isaiah 63. Crushing grapes becomes a rather grisly metaphor for God's anger. Can't be sure if the people he's mad at are his people or their oppressors. This is immediately contrasted with how good God has been to his people. Until they turned from him and grieved his Holy Spirit. Now it's like he has forgotten them. And the people actually talk as if God made them stray from him.

Psalm 45. An unusual setting that captures the whole of the piece, makes it rhyme and underscores the royal wedding aspect of this psalm. Very catchy after you get into it.

Hebrews 1. We've finished all of Paul (and finished 40 books so far). Hebrews used to be thought to be Paul's but is really a sermon aimed at showing how Jesus and his new covenant supersede the old covenant. Who wrote it is anyone's guess: Barnabas, Apollos and Priscilla are all candidates.

We begin with a pretty strong statement about how Christ participated in creation with his Father and how he is the exact image of the invisible God. Then the writer compares Christ to the angels and guess who comes out on top?    

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