Thursday, April 18, 2019

Appearances of the Creator in the Old Testament

On Resurrection Sunday, most Christians celebrate the bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the Dead. While the man Jesus began his earthly life in Bethlehem, God the Son has always existed. He made himself known in several places in the Old Testament. These are called theophanies.


While we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead, we can also remember that he is our Creator. He also appeared in the Old Testament.
Abraham Receiving the Three Angels by Bartolome Esteban Murillo, 1667
There is disagreement among scholars about the nature of theophanies. In the broadest sense, they were encounters with God. There is some debate about the identity of the angel of the Lord (although the text indicates that this was the preincarnate Christ). God was active in human history before he (our Creator) took the form of a man, lived a sinless life, died on the cross, was buried, and rose again the third day. This is one of many reasons to humble ourselves and rejoice.
As Easter approaches, we tend to focus our reflections on the life, death, and glorious resurrection of Christ. We even mark the timeline of history by whether events happened before (BC) or after (AD) Christ’s birth. But Christ’s existence didn’t begin with His time on Earth.

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The Lord Jesus Christ was present at the beginning of creation—He was and is our Creator. His pre-existence is further affirmed by His many appearances documented throughout the Old Testament. Theophany is a theological term that refers to an encounter with God prior to Christ’s incarnation. There are over 50 possible theophanies recorded throughout the Old Testament, primarily concentrated in Genesis, in the Exodus and conquest events, in Judges, and in the prophets.
To read the entire article, click on "Theophanies in the Old Testament: The Creator at Work in His World".


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