The Closing Argument
By Jane Watson, St Mary’s
I love watching legal dramas on TV. The courtroom is full of people, the Judge and Jury are listening intently and my favourite part is the climax with the closing arguments. Each side stands to present its final summary of what has happened and how it should affect the future. I once heard the book of Hebrews described as the closing argument in defence of Christianity.
The writer is outlining the revelation of the Gospel. How Jesus Christ fulfilled the promises God had made to his people in the Old Testament. It’s as if they are beginning by running a highlighter over the passages that spoke of Jesus and proclaiming Jesus as the climax of all of the Old Testament history. That Jesus Christ is the Son of God and he has ascended into heaven and is at his Father’s right hand (v13). As we read the rest of Hebrews in the coming days we can see and learn more about the sacrifice Jesus made for us.
In Lamentations today we continue to read their grieving for what has happened to the people of Jerusalem. Today however, they are looking and weighing up what has happened for themselves no longer simply surveying the scene. Essentially the conclusion they’ve reached is, we are guilty! We did wrong (v40-42).
What an incredibly honest evaluation of the situation. Yes what they have experienced is horrible and the scenes of destruction are painful to even read about but, what a truthful reflection about the part they have played in it. “Woe to us, for we have sinned! Because of this our hearts are faint.” (v16-17) and it is in this realisation they stretch out to God at the end of chapter asking to be restored to him, unless they have been utterly rejected.
The history and the promises of Jesus drawn out in Hebrews from the Old Testament (from Psalms, Deuteronomy and 2 Samuel) shout of a God who had not forgotten them and given up. With hindsight we can see what or more accurately who these verses are speaking of.
Where in our lives do we need to take responsibility for the decisions we’ve made and be willing to take them with honesty to God in the light of Jesus Christ and all he has already done for us?
Today’s picture was taken by…
Helen Wade, taken on holiday in Dordogne. Thanks Helen!
If you’d like to take your own picture to potentially be featured on the blog, then get your Soul Survivor Bible in One Year, and take a picture of yourself – and your Bible – at some interesting or colourful location. Then email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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