Friday, 14 December 2018
The Two Greatest Miracle Books
One morning recently I was doing some reflective thinking before the Lord. The idea came to me that the two greatest books in the history of world literature recounting miraculous events are the book of Exodus and the books of Luke-Acts. I am using Luke-Acts as a continuous narrative (part one and two). The two events are amazingly parallel. They are the greatest interventions of God.
The book of Exodus tells the story of the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian slavery. The plagues on Egypt, the escape through the sea, the drowning of the Egyptian Army and the giving of the Covenant and Tablets at Mt. Sinai is a most astonishing national story. The Torah recounts this last event in Deuteronomy 4:11-15, and in Deuteronomy 5:23, stating that no other nation ever heard God speaking from the midst of the fire. This event shaped the rest of Israel’s history and permeates the rest of the biblical books, the Prophets, the worship of the Psalms and later Israel’s historic liturgies for Sabbath, Passover and the other Feasts. It is an astonishing succession of events that we can call the Exodus narrative miracles. The fact that this really happened explains Jewish history; without this context of meaning, Israel would not be a nation in its Land today, for the return to the Land is rooted in Passover-Exodus itself. Indeed, as a public national event, the Rabbis do not tire of telling us of the unique and powerful supernatural evidence of this historical narrative. Without it, we cannot make sense of the New Covenant Scriptures.
The Resurrection and Pentecost
Among all the Gospels, I chose the book of Luke-Acts because again, the astonishing succession of events launches us into the New Covenant era as the Exodus events launched the Mosaic era. Luke tells us that he carefully researched his information, and that it is based on the statements of eyewitnesses! The life, but then the unique death and resurrection of Yeshua are astonishing and witnessed by the apostles along with hundreds of others (I Corinthians 15). Yeshua’s death and resurrection is parallel to the Exodus. However, Luke alone went on to recount the day of Shavuot (Pentecost) ten days after Yeshua’s ascension and the pouring out of the Spirit on the 120 disciples gathered in the Temple (Acts 2). This was a public event. Just as God spoke the Covenant of the Ten “Words” on Sinai publicly to the nation (Jewish tradition says that this was the day of Shavuot) God now publicly spoke to Israel gathered for the pilgrim Feast in the Temple, and they heard the Gospel spoken supernaturally in multiple languages that the 120 had not learned. This public miracle led to thousands being immersed in the name of Yeshua and it launched the Messianic Jewish community in great power. That two billion people identify with Christianity today is only explicable by these events.
These two events are the foundations of our faith, a faith based on God’s amazing and miraculous interventions in history.
This was originally posted on tikkun.tv.