Epiphany-Theophany-Feast of Lights

On January 6th the Church celebrates one of the great and wonderful events in the life of Jesus Christ, His Baptism. Jesus was baptized in the River Jordan by the Prophet and Saint, John the Baptist. In the New Testament we read how Jesus approached John who was preaching a life of repentance and spiritual purity in the wilderness and asked to be baptized. Saint John's famous response was simple and straightforward, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me" (Matthew 3.13)? While … [Read more...]

Typology

From the Orthodox Study Bible (Old Testament): Typology is the interpretation of certain historical events occurring in the Old Testament as “types” that prefigure events to be fulfilled through the Incarnation of the Son of God, and in His life and ministry as confirmed in the New Testament. In each case, the type – the first event – is linked to its corresponding future event, called the “antitype.” It is a relationship that begins with a promise and ends with a fulfillment of Christ. St. … [Read more...]

Theophanies of Christ

THREE THEOPHANIES OF CHRIST An often cited theophany of Christ occurs in the visit of the “three men” to Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 18:1-16: “Then God appeared to him at the oak of Mamre” (v. 1). Though three men are there, Abraham addresses them in the singular, “Lord.” He responds in the singular (vv. 9-15). As St. Ephraim the Syrian says, “Therefore the Lord . . . now appeared to Abraham clearly in one of the three.” The three are generally considered to be Christ the Lord, along with two … [Read more...]

The Tabernacle

From the Orthodox Study Bible (Old Testament): On Mt. Sinai Moses received not only the Ten Commandments, but also precise and detailed instructions for building the tabernacle – a moveable tent – where God met the assembly of the people Israel (Ex 25:1-27:21). Consequently, the tabernacle is built according to the divine blueprints (Ex 35:4-40:33). Here God’s Presence, His Glory, will be made manifest through the shining cloud filling the holy place (Ex 40:34-38). The importance of God’s … [Read more...]

The Holy Trinity

From the Orthodox Study Bible (Old Testament): The Holy Trinity is revealed both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, the trinity is revealed in subtle ways; in the New Testament, the Trinity is revealed fully and plainly, beginning at the Baptism of our Lord. The Holy Trinity is one God in three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These Persons are distinct, but not separate, and are not three gods. They are One God because They are one in essence or … [Read more...]

The Grace of Christ and the Law of Moses

From the Orthodox Study Bible (Old Testament): The Apostle John wrote, “The law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (Jn 1:17). The grace of Christ and the Law of Moses are complementary, not contradictory. The following helps explain both. FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN CHRIST AND MOSES Christ and Moses were friends and conversed as friends. The pre-incarnate Christ gave Moses the Law; in turn, Moses gave it to Israel (Ex 20:1-26). As the Lawgiver, Christ, not Moses, … [Read more...]

Sacrifice

From the Orthodox Study Bible (Old Testament): In the Book of Leviticus and detailed further in Deuteronomy 12-26, the Lord commands Moses to institute a comprehensive system of ritual sacrifices to be offered by the priests on behalf of the people of God, thus giving the Hebrews a means to be reconciled with God and to restore harmony amongst themselves, relationships disrupted by sin. The word “sacrifice” means to make holy or sacred. These sacrifices and offerings – offered first at the … [Read more...]