Why Was the Bible Written + Who is the Bride of Jesus? #369
Happy Wednesday, dear friends! We are in the Final Countdown for 2021 – Only ONE more episode after today…and then Season Three launches. Same podcast feed, new title, slightly new format. Same host. Same focus, so keep that podcast dial right here, because Lord-willing, we’re going to be daily in 2021 as well. Welcome aboard to new listeners from Maharashtra, India, West Bengal, India, Ontario, Canada, Morocco, and Kansas city, Missouri.
For this penultimate day of the year, our readings are in 2nd Chronicles 35, Malachi 3, John 20 and Revelation 21. There is literally something awesome for us to learn in every passage, so we will focus in on every one of them today, but first a great comment on episode #367 from our old friend WhereWhatHuh:
Frank Morison, in his Who Moved The Stone makes an interesting point about the last passage: The given accounts harmonize best when we assume that Caiaphas had a midnight meeting with Pilate on the night before, during the time between Judas’ departure from the Last Supper and his arrival at the Garden of Gethsemane. In this meeting, it might be supposed that Caiaphas and Pilate reached an agreement about the judgment, which was upset by Pilate’s wife’s dream. This explains the long delay between Judas’ departure and Jesus’ arrest (especially odd since Jesus admonished him to “go and do quickly”). It also explains why Pilate’s wife dreamed of Jesus and sent her alarming note to Pilate, along with Caiaphas’ curt remark that “If He were not a sinner …” (as though he were expecting Pilate to simply rubber stamp the judgment of the SanHedrin).
Great comment as always, WWH!
There are so many great passages in today’s readings that we have to focus on them ALL…and we might face a similar situation tomorrow. Let’s start with our John passage, since it is on the resurrection of Jesus, and then work our way through the other chapters.
In John 20, Jesus is gloriously resurrected and appears to the disciples. I’ve often thought that one bit of evidence that the resurrection was factual and historical is found in the way the Bible treats the accounts of Jesus rising from the dead. The Bible is just so…matter of fact about it all. It is not written like fiction with a big flourish when Jesus returns. That’s not to say the gospels downplay the resurrection – its just that they don’t write it as dramatically as they could have. Mary hangs around the garden tomb, and Jesus speaks to her, and she doesn’t even look at Him, thinking He’s the gardner, and then He says her name, she turns around, sees Him and says, “Teacher!” And He basically says, “don’t hug me yet, because I haven’t yet returned to my Father, and then Mary goes to the disciples and says, “I have seen the Lord.” The Gospel writers take a ‘just the facts, ma’am’ approach to the narrative, and that seems to carry with it quite a bit of genuineness. Let’s read the passage, and maybe you can see what I’m referring to.
We can certainly imagine the drama and the feelings of the disciples, upon seeing Jesus raised from the dead, but it seems really clear that John doesn’t embellish anything, nor play it out for drama and feels – He just tells us what happened.
To our first big Bible question: Why was the Bible written? I think the end of John 20 gives us an excellent answer to the question of why the gospel of John was written, and I don’t think it is stretching things too much to apply this answer to the entire Bible:
30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Can you get saved by just reading the Bible? I believe the answer is yes, because the Word of God is LIVING and ACTIVE and is not just ink on a page, but is God-breathed good news that points us to Jesus…and if you believe in the good news about Jesus, by believing, you will have life in His name…and that, my friends is why we have the Word of God!
What will we learn from our Chronicles passage? Let’s read and find out.
It turns out that today’s Chronicles listen is pretty easy and succinct to remember, and it is shocking that a king so good and seemingly wise as Josiah is the one that we learn this message from.
22 But Josiah did not turn away from him; instead, in order to fight with him he disguised himself. He did not listen to Neco’s words from the mouth of God, but went to the Valley of Megiddo to fight.
2 Chronicles 35:22
Here’s our lesson: Don’t pick fights that aren’t yours and that God hasn’t called you to. I think this probably applies to online fights too. We aren’t called to be the great correctors online, but we are called to point to a Great Savior!
Next up, Malachi 3 – let’s read it, and I’ll reveal to you one of my top 5 favorite Old Testament passages.
Here is is:
16 At that time those who feared the Lord spoke to one another. The Lord took notice and listened. So a book of remembrance was written before him for those who feared the Lord and had high regard for his name. 17 “They will be mine,” says the Lord of Armies, “my own possession on the day I am preparing. I will have compassion on them as a man has compassion on his son who serves him.
This passage shows that God pays attention to our conversations, and He knows those who’s hearts are His. I believe this passage gives us great encouragement to have Godly friends who talk about Godly things, rather than all our conversations rotate around banal pop-culture things.
Next up: Revelation 21, one of the most hopeful passages in the Word of God. Our question for today is: Who is the bride of Jesus? No, I’m not talking about His wife when He was on earth. People for centuries have speculated that Jesus had a relationship of some sort with Mary Magdalene, but there is absolutely no evidence of such a thing in the Bible. Instead, it turns out that the Bride of Christ is something a little different than what we might expect. Let’s read Revelation 21.
Before we get back to the Bride, I do need to point out vs. 4, which is absolutely filled to the brim with HOPE:
4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away.
Lord, haste the day! So – who is the bride of Christ? The New Jerusalem:
9 Then one of the seven angels, who had held the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues, came and spoke with me: “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 He then carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 arrayed with God’s glory. Her radiance was like a precious jewel, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. 12 The city had a massive high wall, with twelve gates. Twelve angels
I am greatly looking forward to the wedding feast of the lamb, and the city without temples, nor lamps. Maranatha!
22 I did not see a temple in it, because the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because the glory of God illuminates it, and its lamp is the Lamb.