Michael Bird: Consider Preaching the Psalms at Easter

One of my favorite theologians writing at the present is Australian Michael Bird. His Evangelical Theology is one of the best out there and certainly one of the best systematic Theologies to come along recently.

Over on his blog Euangelion, Bird suggests preaching the Psalms this Easter, as the early church would have done. Before giving three specific examples from the psalms (with quite detailed explanations as to why and when) he explains the basis for this suggestion:

How did the early preach about Jesus if they did not have a New Testament? The obvious answer is that they must have preached from the Old Testament! Of course, it wasn’t ‘old’ to them, it was the only Scripture they knew, the Law, the Prophets, and Writings were God’s Word to Israel. Even so, how do you preach Jesus’ cross and resurrection if you don’t have the Gospel of St. Mark, St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans, the epistle to the Hebrews, of the Revelation of St. John the Divine? Well, they did it, by and large, by going through the Psalms!

As one reads through the New Testament, it becomes clear that the authors detected in the Psalms various pattern and images which reminded them of Jesus, specifically, who he was and what he achieved in his death, resurrection, and exaltation. It is hardly surprising then that the three Old Testament texts most often quoted in the New Testament are all Psalms. To be precise, Psalms 2, 110, and 118 provided the scriptural foundation for early Christian preaching about Jesus. I challenge my students that if they want to preach like the apostles then they should immerse themselves in the imagery, language, stories, and hopes of the Psalter.

Here’s the link to the full article: Consider Preaching the Psalms at Easter!



About Michael R. Jones

Pastor and PhD candidate writing on Paul's theology of suffering.
This entry was posted in preaching, Theology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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