Scripture and Jesus. Ump. That should be pretty easy. I mean, Jesus quoted lots of Scripture and helped to write the New Testament. The King James one, not the filthy modern versions. Oh, and Jesus was also a Creationist. And a very masculine European male. And a carpenter. Anything else?
Of course, Wright starts off with this nifty idea of understanding Jesus in “historical context.” If we were to do that, how long could we hold to our exclusive theology, whereby we judge others for not believing the same way which we do about things? What if the plain reading of scripture was wrong? This is why I like Write, because he seeks to ground Jesus in history and gives full authority to what Scripture means, not to how we hear it. I think that this is what Wright intends, to get us to the heart of Jesus’ story in Scripture, which is a use of Scripture, and the climax of Scripture. Here, I think that Wright would agree with Enns, in seeing that Jesus makes Scripture incarnate through Himself.
He pens, “Jesus thus does, climatically and decisively, what scripture had in a sense been trying to do: bring God’s fresh Kingdom-order to God’s people and thence to the world” (42). This is interesting to me, this take. Wright seems to imply that the written word wasn’t enough to accomplish God’s actions. After all, the Israelites had Leviticus and Deuteronomy, as well as the prophets circulating amongst them and no real good had come of it. We know that they had turned against others in their nationalistic pride and on themselves with economic imperialism. So, if I am understanding Wright then, when Christ came to ‘fulfill’ the Law, Jesus then does what the Law could not, not in just breaking the hold of sin, but in creating a Kingdom. Why then, if this is true, do we insist in continuously putting Scripture between us and God, us and Christ, us and others?
This is obviously a stepping-stone chapter as Wright moves quickly though Jesus’ use of Scripture. Christ used Scripture, as an authority, but as Wright notes, he did so while also changing Scripture. What are we to do then? I’m not going to skip ahead, but my view here is tempered by Jason Staples and his words to me a few years ago in New Orleans.
But, the image of Jesus fulfilling Scripture, doing what it could not, is something that I am going to dwell on.