Friday, April 11, 2014

The Crown and the Fire (N.T. Wright) - This Man is Calling Elijah

I am reading "The Crown and the Fire: Meditations on the Cross and the Life of the Spirit" by N.T. Wright for this year's Lent period. Will try to post few sentences which impressed me the most from each chapter.

Chapter 6: "This Man is Calling Elijah"
Elijah was the man of fire. He called down fire to burn up the troops sent by king Ahaziah. He poured water on the sacrifice prepared as a contest between Yahweh and Baal, and then prayed for fire to come and burn up the sacrifice. He went up to heaven with horses and a chariot of fire. When the people were drawing near for the great contest with the prophets of Baal, Elijah said: "The god who answers by fire, let him be God." Israel wanted this man, someone who would purify and purge Israel, but who more especially would call down the divine fire upon the enemies of God's people. They are hoping for Elijah to come. On Passover night, they leave the door open for Elijah to come in, put a special cup of wine for Elijah to drink in case he should come.

Jesus indicated clearly enough that it was John the Baptist who must be thought of as Elijah, the forerunner. On the night He was betrayed, Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples: "This cup is the new covenant in my blood." Elijah's work is done. We come now to the new age, the age of the new covenant, the age of the forgiveness of sins.

Just as Elijah challenged the power of darkness to that great contest, in which the god who answered by fire was to be God, so now Jesus challenges the rulers of the world and Satan behind them. And this time the rules of the contest are: the god who answers by love, let him be God.

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