Archive for January, 2014

Who He Is – Dr Scott Murray – Memorial Moments

January 23, 2014 Leave a comment

Who He Is

Christian people sometimes seem stumped when some sly person asserts that the Bible never directly calls Jesus God. Of course, this is a lie on the face of it (1Jn 5:20; Tit 2:13; 2Pt 1:1; Jude 25). However, there do seem to be too few direct references to the divinity of the Son in the Bible. But, even if it were true that the Bible does not directly call Jesus God, it almost doesn’t matter. The works the Savior does are none other than the works of God. What He does for us tells us who He is. Perhaps you know someone who has an advanced academic degree, such as a Ph.D., who continually insists on being called “Doctor.” He stands on the ceremony of his name or title. This strikes most people as more than a little pompous. Plenty of Ph.D.s never live up to their title, because, although Doctor means “teacher,” they couldn’t teach their way out of a paper bag. We would prefer a true teacher to a Ph.D. in our child’s classroom, especially if the Ph.D. cannot teach and is no true doctor.

Jesus will not stand on ceremony. The Bible spends little time crowing about divine titles. Jesus is the true teacher, who acts to save his people from their sins (Mk 10:45). The Bible, unlike modern praise choruses, spends little time praising God, instead it focuses almost exclusively on proclaiming the divine work of Christ for the salvation of the world. He is the Savior we need, who talks little about himself and does much. He seeks not his own honor and glory, but our good, our salvation, our righteousness before God, and our eternal life. Jesus spends no time saying, “Hey, look at me! I’m God.” In fact, during most of His ministry, He commands the people not go about trumpeting the fact that God has come into the world in His person (Mk 7:36). This is the very message that threatened the mission and ministry that God had planned to carry out. Jesus had no desire to be acclaimed God so that He could be carried off on the shoulders of the crowd like a footballer who has just scored the championship goal.

Jesus is about doing the works of the One who sent Him. If you look at what He has done for you, you will have no doubt who He is. Go where the Lord of glory offers Himself into crucifixion for you, you will see into the heart of God. Look into the sorrow streaming eyes of the Son of God hanging on the cross’s wood; you will see your salvation. The crown of thorns pressed upon Him by the weight of the world’s sin crush from His head now wounded delicate rivulets of blood upon His temples. Only God was crucified for you. Only God looked with sorrowing eyes upon you. Only God bore the weight of your sins. What He does tells you who He is.

Categories: Catechesis, Right Worship

That’s No Joke – Dr Scott Murray

January 9, 2014 Leave a comment

That’s No Joke

Sometimes I feel like a comic at a comedian’s convention when I consider the great gospel texts of the Bible. A comic who has heard all the jokes before no longer finds them funny. For him jokes are no longer worthy of humor; only of manipulation for the sake of his comedy act. He takes notes on the jokes, how to deliver them, timing, and bodily attitude, but he no longer thinks them funny. This is why listening to children tell old jokes is such joy; they tell them as though this was the first time they have been told, like the children in the AT&T commercials. In a similar way, I feel like I have heard all the texts before. The passion has gone from them. I am no longer moved to embrace them with joy and vigor. Of course, this is to my shame that I act as though I am too full of God’s message of mercy in Christ. I am a pitiable creature when I respond like a stump to this life giving proclamation that “there appeared the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Tit 2:13), taking apart the story from the outside as though it did not concern me personally any more.

That God has appeared among men as a Child should lead me to fall on my face in adoration and weep for joy that God has undertaken such an appearance for my sake. The story is told for me! The glorious appearance of God born of the little maid of Bethlehem should drive me to my knees in worship that such a light has come to rescue me out of my hard-hearted darkness. How remarkable that though I have often treated this message of my rescue as if it were yesterday’s news, still the Lord sends His messengers to deliver it to me in the comforting dulcet tones of a Father awakening sleepy headed children.

The Lord God has undergone the passion of the cross just to rescue me from my dispassionate consideration of His Word and work. He has covered my shame by filling up to the full the cup of God’s wrath. This cup He brought to His own split and bloodied lips and gulped down its dregs that I might be freed from that wrath. What He has drunk down will never be set before me. Instead, the cup of life overflows before me on the table, which He has set before me in the presence of my enemies. Out of the stump of my carelessness he has tended the little shoot of life, nurturing it on baptismal waters, and coaxing it into being. How thrilling the message sounds when I consider what it does for me. Considering our own inborn sinfulness is not a morbid or depressing thing for us Christians, but it puts us in the black box in which the glorious appearance of our God and Savior becomes brilliant. Our God and Savior has appeared! That’s no joke.

Categories: Right Worship