CHRIST and the Scriptures

What was His attitude toward them? What was His estimate of them? What use did He make of them? The answers to those questions are of supreme importance and must settle the matter once and for all, for what is the opinion of any man worth when placed over against the verdict of the Son of God! Give, then, your best attention while we seek to furnish a reply to those inquiries. Negatively, Christ never cast the slightest doubt upon their validity or called into question their authenticity. When His detractors reminded Him, “Moses wrote unto us” such and such a thing, He did not say that Moses was wrong, but told them they “erred, not knowing the Scriptures” (Mark 12:19-24). When a lawyer sought to ensnare Him, so far from brushing aside the authority of the Scriptures, He enforced the same, saying, “What is written in the Law?” (Luke 10:26). When engaged in any controversy, His invariable appeal was unto the Old Testament, and declared that what David said was “by the Spirit,” (Mark 12:36). Not once did He intimate that it was unreliable and untrustworthy. But let us turn to the positive side. Behold the Lord Jesus when He was assaulted by the Devil, and note well that the only weapon He made use of was the Sword of the Spirit. Each time He repulsed the Tempter with a sentence from the Old Testament (Matt. 4)! And observe that as soon as that mysterious conflict was over, God—to evince His approbation of Christ’s conduct—sent angels to “minister unto Him” (Mark 1:13). Mark how He commenced His public ministry, by entering the synagogue, reading from the Prophet Isaiah, and saying, “This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:16-21). Hear Him as He declared, “Think not that I am come to destroy the Law or the Prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till Heaven and earth pass, one jot or tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law till all be fulfilled” (Matt. 5:17, 18). He had come to enforce the teachings of the Old Testament in their minutest detail, to honour and magnify the same, by rendering a personal and perfect obedience to them. He owned the Scriptures as “the Word of God” (Mark 7:13) just as they stood—without any reservation or qualification—thereby authenticating all the books of the Old Testament. So far from regarding the Old Testament as being full of myths and fables, He taught that Abraham, Lot, Moses, Daniel, were real entities. He expressly ratified the very incidents at which the skeptics scoff: the Flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by fire from Heaven (Luke 17:28-29), Jonah being three days and nights in the whale’s belly (Matt. 12:40), thereby denying they were but “folk lore,” and establishing their historicity. Christ placed the words of Moses on a par with His own—(John 5:46, 47). Jesus said, “If they hear not Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead” (Luke 16:31), which again evinces our Lord’s estimate of the Old Testament. It was of supreme authority to Him. When vindicating Himself for affirming His Deity, after quoting from the Psalms He added, “and the Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35)—it is infallible, inviolable. When engaged in prayer to the Father He solemnly de1ared, “Thy Word is Truth” (John 17:17): not simply contains the Truth, or even is true, but “is Truth”—without the least tincture of error, the word of Him “that cannot lie” (Titus 1:2). When His enemies came to arrest Him in the Garden and Peter drew his sword, the Saviour rebuked him, saving, “Thinkest thou that I cannot pray to My Father, and that He shall at once give Me more than twelve legions of angels,” yet note well how He at once added, “But how then shall the Scripture be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” (Matt. 26:53, 54). Very blessed is that: showing that the written Word was what regulated His every action, and that it was His strong consolation in His darkest hour. Reverently behold Him on the Cross, and observe Him placing homage upon the sacred Psalter by using its words when undergoing the extreme anguish of Divine desertion (Psa. 22:1; Matt. 27:46). But more—“Jesus . . . that the Scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst” (John 19:28). There was yet one detail predicted of His dying sufferings which had not been accomplished, namely, that, “in My thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink” (Psa. 69:21), and therefore in subjection to the Divine authority of the Old Testament, He cried “I thirst”! After rising in triumph from the grave, we find our blessed Lord again magnifying the Scriptures: “Beginning at Moses and the Prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27). Thus we are left in no doubt whatever of Christ’s attitude toward, estimate of, and the use which He made of the Scriptures. He ever treated them with the utmost reverence, affirmed their Divine authority, and considered that one word of theirs put an end to all controversy. He averred the Old testament was “the Word of God,” entirely inerrent, verbally inspired, as a whole and in all its parts. He affirmed that the Scriptures are the final court of appeal, and asserted their perpetuity. For the Christian, the testimony of Christ is final: he requires no further evidence or argument. Nor should the non-Christian. It is the height of absurdity to suppose that One who was endowed with infinitely superior wisdom to Solomon should have been imposed upon by a fraud; as it would be horrible blasphemy to say that He knowingly set His imprimatur upon what He knew to be false. Whose judgment, my friend, do you prefer: that of the so-called “advanced thinkers” or the verdict of the Son of God? Which deem you the more trustworthy?

A.W.PINK

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