Archive for October, 2010

I recently finished reading the final OT book of Malachi, which I love to pronounce as “Muh-la-chee,” because I’m 50% Italian.  Great book (aren’t they all?).  I’ve distilled the 4 chapters down to 4 words.

But first … you know the symbol that’s used on signs to say NO?   It’s a circle with a line through it, that looks like this:

No smoking, No dogs allowed, No bikes allowed, No Yankee fans (just kidding).

Well, Malachi can be reduced to 4 NO signs:

No Leftovers (Give God your BEST, not your LEFTOVERS.  Afterall, He gave you His Best in His Son Jesus).

No Divorce (God has been unilaterally faithful to us, as our loving Husband.  Don’t ruin that picture by divorcing your spouse.  By the way, this single violation has done more to ruin the spiritual fabric of our society than anything else … how much worse that it happens among those who ‘call’ themselves true followers of Jesus?)

No Hoarding (Got money?  If you’re an American and make $50,000/year, you make more than 99% of the rest of the world.  Stop hoarding it.  Give it away.  This is the ONLY PLACE IN THE BIBLE where God recommends you test Him, by giving your money to His Global Cause, and “see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” Malachi 3:10.    After all, where is your security?  Where is your real home?)

⦸  No Today (Give God your FUTURE.  In the short 6 verses of chapter 4, I count 12 future tense verbs.  God controls the future and writes about it with certainty.  He knows my future and yours.  So, why not live like you believe He’s in control of tomorrow?)

Well, there’s some great Spiritual Pasta to chew on, from our Italian Chef, Malachi.  Digest it well.


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If you’ve read enough of the Bible, you’ve probably noticed that Jesus shows up almost everywhere in the Old Testament.  In fact, I have an admission to make: I think my favorite reading is the Old Testament (which may seem odd to you).  But in it, I see every genre of literature pointing me to a Beautiful Messiah.

Today I finished reading the small book of Zechariah, the 2nd last book of the Old Testament.  Wow, it is filled with “nearly obvious” references to Jesus.  Here are a few:

  • 9:9  “See, your King comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” This is an obvious reference to Jesus the King, who is Righteousness Himself, who brought Salvation, and who entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday saddled on a donkey’s colt.  (see Matthew 21:1-11)
  • 11:12-13  “…so they paid me 30 pieces of silver.  And the Lord said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter.’ — the handsome price at which they priced me!  So I took the 30 pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord to the potter.” This is stunning!  Read Matthew 27:1-10 to see how Judas fulfilled these words perfectly.  He got 30 pieces of silver for betraying the Shepherd, and then in remorse, threw the silver into the house of the Lord, where the leaders used it to purchase the “Potter’s Field.”
  • 12:10  “…they will look on Me, the One they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for Him as one grieves for a Firstborn Son.” Get it?  This takes my breath away.  Jesus, pierced and looked upon, mourned as the One and Only Firstborn of the Father.  Oh, my.  How obvious.
  • 13:1  “On that day a Fountain will be opened to the house of David… to cleanse them from sin and impurity.” What day?  Good Friday.   This may seem more veiled that the other references, but it’s beautiful to me.  In John 19:34, the centurion speared Jesus’ side, and a veritable fountain of blood and water gushed from His opened chest.  The blood of the Lamb was poured out, a substitution for my blood which should have been poured out for my own sin penalty.  Beautiful.  The old hymn says it best:

There is a Fountain filled with blood,

Drawn from Emmanual’s veins,

And sinners plunged beneath that flood,

Lose all their guilty stains.

These semi-veiled allusions to Messiah Jesus are clear-enough evidence for the one who has eyes to see; but always insufficient in persuasive power for the one who is unwilling to consider Jesus (unwilling for fear of the implications of following Him).  What a Genius that God is, in presenting these pictures of Jesus to us!  I’m convinced, with great joy!

Zechariah made other allusions to Messiah Jesus, (13:7 and 10:4), which are equally beautiful.  But I share these few with you, so that you would pause to worship the God who cares so much for His Creation that He would “sound a bell in advance” via Zechariah, to awaken the hearts of those waiting to receive the Coming One.  Ought we not worship such a generous Savior?

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