Gospel Glimpses in Ezra: Christ & Faithfulness

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In 1 Corinthians 10:11, Paul says this about the generation that left Egypt in the exodus: “Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.” Making up over a quarter of our Bibles, today the Old Testament is sadly neglected or—even worse—mined and misused by preachers of other gospels. But Paul’s point is that the Old Testament people of God provide us with examples and instruction. Sometimes they’re models to avoid (Hebrews 4:11). At other times, of course, they are examples of great faithfulness to God. Ezra is one of those.

Ezra’s Faithfulness Anticipates Christ’s

In this video, the second of three sessions exploring Ezra with a gospel lens, Kwasi highlights some of the many ways Ezra’s devotion to God points us to Christ. He says, “Because Ezra was a faithful scribe, he studied the word of God, he applied it to his own life, and he taught others to do the same. This is a picture of Christ, the ultimate scribe who is himself the living word of God.”

Ezra is a picture of Christ.

Therefore, the priest Ezra could be said to function in two ways, ignoring his historical significance for the rebuilding of Jerusalem. Firstly, he embodies devoted faithfulness to God, which we should imitate. But, secondly, he also emphasises our need for Christ, “our greater and more faithful high priest in heaven.” Bearing both of those things in mind will prevent us from merely thinking that the Old Testament exhorts us to ‘be like Ezra,” or to ‘be like Daniel.’ Yes, the Old Testament believers teach faithfulness to God. However, all of them were also imperfect and sinful, in some or other way. Thus we need Jesus.

So as God speaks to us in the book of Ezra, we meet a priest worthy of imitation. Simultaneously, we learn that a greater priest was to come. His name is Jesus.

Other Content On This Topic

Unless God is Faithful, There’s No Saving Faith
We Have a Faithful, Covenant Keeping God: Trust Him
Why Covenant Theology Matters

Unfamiliar with the Old Testament books of Ezra and Nehemiah? Watch an excellent video overview by the BibleProject in Kiswahili here, or in English here

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