Wednesday, December 13, 2006

JESUS AS A JEW

Newsweek has just broken the story that Jesus is a Jew, and that Judaism and Christianity share much in way of worldview. Breaking news, indeed.

During this time of the year it was nice to see them bring some perspective to the nativity story:
[I]t is important to note that Christianity's origins lie more in the image of the empty tomb on the Sunday after the crucifixion than they do at the crèche. It was their fervent belief in the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth that convinced his followers he was, as Peter put it, "the Christ, the son of the living God" who had told them of a new way of salvation: that he would die and rise again, thus effecting the forgiveness of sins and offering a portal to eternal life.

Just so.

I recently saw the virgin birth referred to as the 'greatest miracle'. While great enough to be trumpeted by angels and declared by a star, the greatest miracle is not the baby in the manger but rather the empty tomb. Everything hinges on the latter.

1 comment:

Wild Bill said...

Not to pick nits, but, as Hebrews 10 shows, he first had to take up the body ("became flesh" as John put it) in order to then "do your will, O God", by taking that body to the cross. Certainly, it was the resurrection that was "foolishness" to the Greeks and a "stumblingblock" to Jews, but the incarnation is a seminal event in the history of man (hence, our time is measured by it) in which "Immanuel" came to us in order to save his people from their sins ("Jesus"). But the incarnation of God in Christ is both an essential truth of the faith (indeed, to deny it is the definition of an antiChrist 2 John 7) and a distinct belief of Christianity (setting it apart from all other "faiths", so-called, of the world). We believe God came in the flesh (the great mystery of Godliness, 1 Tim 3:16). Wonderful, indeed!

The incarnation and the resurrection are inextricably linked (as illustrated by Hebrews 10) and both are memorialized and celebrated in the communion supper. But we ought not discount the incarnation (an event so great that angels celebrated it, kings of the earth commemorated it and simple shepherds proclaimed it--the heavenly, the mighty and the meek).