I had a lot of time to casually think today, which was good. My mind was able to just lie fallow.
I also had the chance to read through Matthew. It was amazing. I have been reading through the Bible, straight from Genesis, since I have been here, following the growth of the "Kingdom of God" theme all along the way. After all this time in the Old Testament, reading about the Kingdom, tracing its development, looking at its different facets, and letting the expectation build for when this Davidic King-Priest would come to redeem Israel, restore her from exile, institute true righteous rule, and bring all the world under the glory of God---Matthew reads like a peal of thunder. All my time in the Old Testament has been like sitting on a porch watching the clouds slowly begin to shift and form and darken, creeping into prophetic blobs on the horizon as the air begins the change and a sense of expectation trickles into every little tree branch, grass blade, and wind chime. Now as I read Matthew it is as if I can hear the CRACK as the lightning strikes blast from the sky and flashes of light fill the horizon. Thunder rich and deep ans startling and glorious rolls through the earth, and you know a thunderstorm has come.
>Jesus leaps off the page. He towers over history and stands in conscious fulfillment as the King who was to come. It as if I now speak Matthew's kingdom language, and all his artful twists and flourishes to show Jesus as the Kingdom prophet, priest and King strike me and hold me and make sense to me in ways they never did before. And I begin to feel some of the shock his Jewish readers must have felt when they read it: Messiah has come! Messiah gets crucified? Messiah is resurrected! Now, what?
This is exactly what I hoped would happen when I set off to read through the Bible cover to cover, and studying a key theme as I went: fresh perspective. I look forward to more in the coming days.