Jesus: A Theography is one of those rare books that I gave a “must read” designation (you can read my full review by clicking here). It’s impossible to share with you all of the incredible thoughts that are in this book, but here are 17 of my favorite quotes from Jesus.
Unless otherwise designated, all the quotes are from Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola.
“In Jesus the promise is confirmed, the covenant is renewed, the prophesies are fulfilled, the law is vindicated, salvation is brought near, sacred history has reached its climax, the perfect sacrifice has been offered and accepted, the high priest over the household of God has taken His seat at God’s right hand, the Prophet like Moses has been raised up, the Son of David reigns, the kingdom of God has been inaugurated, the Son of Man has received dominion from the Ancient of Days, the Servant of the Lord has been smitten to death for His people’s transgressions and borne the sins of many, has accomplished the divine purpose, has seen the light after the travail of His soul, and is now exalted and made very high.” —F.F. Bruce
“Jesus is the Logos. He is the Word, or the self-utterance, of God. So when God speaks, it is Christ who is being spoken about. When God breathes, it is Christ who is being imparted. The Spirit of God’s breath (the words ‘Spirit’ and ‘breath’ are the same in both Hebrew and Greek). The Second Testament tells us clearly that the Holy Spirit’s job is to reveal, magnify, and glorify Christ, Thus, because the Bible is inspired, it all speaks of Jesus. Again, Jesus Christ is the subject of all Scripture.” [The authors refer to the two sections of the Bible as the First and Second Testaments, in place of the usual designations of Old and New Testaments]
“Every word of the God-breathed character of Scripture is meaningless if Holy Scripture is not understood as the witness concerning Christ.” —G.C. Berkouwer
“Your salvation was established, completed, and sealed before creation itself. Your Lord wrapped it up, won it, and came out victorious before anything ever went wrong.”
“What did He finish? He finished the old creation and the Fall. He finished sin. He finished a fallen world system. He finished the enmity of the Law. He finished satan. He finished the flesh. He put you to death and finished you completely. The person you were in Adam was terminated, swallowed up in death. And then He finished His greatest enemy, the child of sin itself, death. If that isn’t enough, He did something else beyond the rest: He raised you up in resurrection and glorified you.”
“In Genesis 2:15, God commanded Adam to cultivate and keep the garden. The Hebrew word for cultivate is abad, and the Hebrew word for keep is shamar. These same Hebrew words are used to describe how the priests cared for the tabernacle of Moses. (The tabernacle was a precursor to the temple of Solomon.) The priests were to cultivate (abad) and keep (shamar) the tabernacle. In addition, we are told that God walked in the garden (Hebrew, hawlak) during the cool of the day. God also walked (hawlak) in the midst of the temple. The meaning is clear. The garden was a temple for God. Like the temple, the garden was the joining together of God’s space and man’s space—the intersection of the heavenly realm and the earthly realm. For this reason, Isaiah called it ‘the garden of the Lord,’ and Ezekiel called it ‘the garden of God.’ …Jesus Christ is the reality of the temple. (In the Greek, John 1:14 says Jesus ‘tabernacled among us.’) He is also the reality of the garden. He is the real Tree of Life and a flowing river. In Christ, God’s space and man’s space are joined together.”
“There are 184 verses in the birth narratives of the Second Testament. These 184 verses presuppose or repeat the words of 170 verses from eighteen verses of the First Testament.”
“Jesus is the three shepherds: the good shepherd, the great shepherd, and the Chief Shepherd. Jesus presented Himself as both sheep and shepherd, the good shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep. …Jesus died on the cross at the ninth hour (about three o’clock in the afternoon) when the Passover lamb would be sacrificed in the temple. Christ, the Paschal Lamb, was slain to atone for the sins of humanity and to open the gate of the true temple that promises God’s salvation for all people.”
“In the Second Testament, as the sacrificial sign of the new covenant, Jesus Himself becomes the sin offering of humanity. In fact, Jesus’ very words on the cross, ‘It is finished!’ (‘Kalah’), are the words used by a priest at the conclusion of the sacrificial offering in the temple. In the ancient days, when the Jewish priest had killed the last lamb of the Passover, he uttered the Hebrew word Kalah, ‘It is finished.’”
“At His birth, Jesus received the myrrh. At His death, He rejected it. Jesus’ earthly ministry centered on alleviating human suffering. He was the personification of myrrh. In His crucifixion, however, He was bearing the full brunt of human pain, suffering, and agony on the cross. He bore our shame and sorrows. So He rejected the myrrh and the wine that came with it. Jesus took the full dose of suffering for sin on the cross so we wouldn’t have to. And He rejected the myrrh so we would be able to receive it.”
“When in a garden relationship with God, humanity had no need of the Torah, for we had the Tree of Life. The Torah was the Tree of Life reborn, and Jesus was the Torah reborn.”
“We need the whole Jesus. The complete Jesus. Everything He said. Every detail of what He did.” —Eugene Peterson
“The temptation of Jesus was a playback of two episodes in the First Testament. First, it’s a replay of the first temptation in the garden of Eden. John tells us that the three enemies of the Christian are ‘the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.’ Each of these temptations was in play in the temptation of Adam and Eve in the garden:
- The fruit was ‘good for food’ = the lust of the flesh.
- The fruit was ‘pleasant to the eyes’ = the lust of the eyes.
- The fruit was ‘desirable to make one wise’ = the pride of life.
“…The temptations that satan leveled at Jesus in the wilderness struck the same three chords. Here is the ordered presented in Luke 4 (paraphrased):
- ‘Turn these stones to bread’ = the lust of the flesh.
- ‘I will give you the kingdom of the world and their glory’ = the lust of the eyes.
- ‘Cast yourself down from here and angels will protect you’ = the pride of life.”
“The Second Covenant knows the First Covenant: the Second Testament quotes from the First Testament more than 320 times, and that does not include times when biblical writers, searching for the scriptural reference, were reduced to admitting that ‘somewhere’ it reads thus and so.”
“Theology is nothing more than the Holy Spirit making His way through our brains, as the Scriptures make their way through our hearts.”
“In biblical prophesy, the coming of Jesus is viewed as one event separated by parentheses that stretch from the ascension to His royal appearing at the end of the age. We are now living in the parentheses, wherein we look back to His first coming and anticipate His second coming. Put another way, the kingdom has come and will come. Jesus’ first coming inaugurated the kingdom of God; His second coming will consummate it. So the coming of the Messiah is one event separated by two moments: Bethlehem and the end of the age.”
“As followers of Jesus, we have a task before us. That task is to work for the kingdom. To continue the ministry of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit… to bear witness to the sovereign lordship of Christ… to embody the message that Jesus is both Lord and Savior, not just of our personal lives but of the entire world. And to find creative ways to manifest that kingdom where we live and travel.”