From covenant to crucifixion to revelation
November 20, 2020
The final hurdle I had to face in becoming a full-fledged Christian was accepting that Jesus is God, because I’d been taught for a time by well-trained, committed Jehovah’s Witnesses using their own Bible version. Wanting to evaluate their claims, I invited a pastor to explain the Trinity to me, but he dismissed my concern as trifling. My cousin got her prayer group praying for me and then asked if I’d be willing to read something about the error in JW understanding. I agreed – if it was respectful, because I admired their commitment to what they believed. She sent me a photocopy of a chapter on the Trinity, and I read it. While reading one particular paragraph, I was released from that deception and KNEW that Jesus is God.
Muslims are taught from birth that Allah is unitary and that to associate “partners” or equals with him is the worst of all sins. Acceptance of God’s triune nature is a formidable hurdle for them. One often hears them challenge, “Where did Jesus ever say He is God?” Years ago I made a list of “Bible References to Jesus as the Son of God”, including the Gospels, the Letters and Revelation, with a separate category for single verses in which all three members of the Trinity are mentioned – just so I would have a ready answer to this heartfelt need to KNOW.
More recently, I’ve been challenged to worship God for His consistent self-revelation throughout Scripture. In Genesis 15, we read that God “cut a covenant” with Abraham. This concept is foreign to Western thinking. In Abraham’s day, it was a deeply serious matter that involved sealing an agreement with someone by walking together through the blood pooling between two halves of an animal laid on the ground opposite each other. In effect, you were calling a curse on yourself if you failed to keep the agreement. The curse was to be cut apart, bled out and exposed (see Jer 34:18-20).
The covenant of Genesis 15 was importantly different. God initiated the covenant by instructing Abraham to bring the animals, cut them and lay them out. Then He put Abraham into a trance-like sleep that disabled him from walking between the animals. God alone walked through them as smoke and fire, taking the curse on Himself if He broke it (which was impossible for him to do) and if Abraham and his descendants broke it (which they couldn’t avoid doing).
Faithful to His covenant, and by His own determination, sinless Jesus died on a cross, redeeming us “from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree…” This is why all of heaven worships the Lamb, who is standing in the centre of the throne “looking as if it had been slain” by singing, “Worthy are You to take the scroll and to open its seals, for You were slain, and by Your blood You ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Dt 21:22-23, Jn 10:15-18, Ac 2:23, 2 Co 5:21, Gal 3:10-14, Rev 5:6-10).
God’s word is so rich. A banquet of revelation awaits in His word for Muslims who are hungering and thirsting for the righteousness that comes by faith in Jesus’ shed blood.
Praise “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29). If you like, worship with the YouTube video, “Is He Worthy?” (Andrew Peterson).
Thank the Father for His enduring, eternal Word – Jesus, and for the availability of His written word.
Ask the Spirit to…
- stir up in Muslims a hunger to search God’s word in the Bible to find the truth about who Jesus is,
- direct them to Christians who will help them search and answer their questions about Jesus with divine wisdom and Holy Spirit guidance,
- guide them to internet sites and TV programs that explain Bible truths clearly, and
- deliver seeking Muslims from Islam’s lies about Jesus and reveal Jesus to them as God.