Old Testament Prophecy – More than Foretelling of the Coming of the Christ

It is very common that to refer Old Testament prophecies to the foretelling of the coming of the Christ in the person of Jesus. Though it is a very important message in the Old Testament Scriptures but it is not limited to foretelling. The message is watered down to a mere credential of Jesus and missed out what is the whole mission of the Christ. Though New Testament Scripture emphasize very much on the fulfillment of the prophecy in Jesus because of the necessity to prove that Jesus was the Christ. But Old Testament prophecy does not only about who will be this coming Christ but what will be the picture of the coming of this Christ. The New Testament text may provide concrete imagery of this coming of the Christ but one must not be lost in looking it from the perspective of the Old Testament message. As Jesus himself said, “I do not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it”.

The gospel of Christ has been limited to church membership and religious personal experience. Inspite of continues educational and preaching efforts of religious or church leaders the gospel sometimes confined to religious affiliation. Also because of pressure from secularism, the church is limited to its own boundary. Unfortunately some church leaders have contributed to it.

It is not wrong to emphasize personal experiennce of the gospel for this is the starting point of God’s plan even as told by Old Testament through the prophet Jeremiah when it was said that God will have a new covenant with his people through the Law but through the heart. But personal experience sometimes becomes blind if it is not seen in the community or social context. Though Paul consistently teach on social implication of the gospel in ones life but should be also seen in the context of the community.

One must be careful to dispose Old Testament when it was said the old covenant has gone. The old Testament provides a rich picture of what God intent to fulfill by Jesus Christ. One of which is its picture of the community. The Old Testament set up is that God had created a people to himself and not just a people but a nation. The intent was to create a nation or a community that reflects God’s reign of righteousness, justice and love. And this covenant though originally should be a personal experience with God and the Law should be the sign and terms of that covenant the people fail to obey. His people are drawn too much by the world they lived in rather that the life God has designed for them. They view the Law as mere law to obey rather than a relationship to experience. They fall from the grace God has placed them in the place of his favor.

Now the proposal is not based through the covenant of the Law as a nation which usually seen as political affiliation but through personal experience to bring social transformation that goes beyond political and social aspects. It means that to be part of the covenant is not through affiliation with the nation or country but with personal experience and one must not forget become part of the new community.

Now the new community is reflected in the Church. But the problem as the problem of the old covenant the church becomes territorial. The Church is an open community and should not operate as some institution. Christian experience is not an affiliation or more of an organization but an experience especially with God’s grace in Christ. The challenge of the church is to transform not just the individual but societies and communities as set out by Jesus’ commission or mandate which says “Make disciple of nations”. It refers gives more light to social context of individuals. The gospel points that personal experience would result to social transformation not just bin moral sense but also and should be in terms of economics, politics as has been disintergrated by secularism. The gospel does not divide social structures but integrated them into a whole personal and social experience.

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