This year Ready for the Road Ahead is taking on a new direction. It is one that follows the grand theme of sight in all aspects which runs throughout Scripture. My weekly writings will be excerpts from a book of the same name which should be published (Lord willing) later this year.
My grandparents named the house “Pandy”. I thought it was one of the most magical places on earth. It was elegant, hidden behind a row of Boxwoods and Cedars, lushly green, refined and even mysterious. On one of our visits I found myself alone upstairs staring at the attic door. Did I dare go up the stairs? It was a dark passageway but I could see light at the top of the stairs from an attic window. I took a few tentative steps- just enough to get a glimpse of the room. I never forgot how intriguing it looked but I never tried to go up there again either. That little adventure always seemed to be indicative of my Hoster-Jones heritage. I didn’t know much about it other than the stories I was told and even then it was hard to verify if those stories were accurate. It wasn’t until my adulthood that I had a more concrete connection to my mother’s forbearers. My aunt called to ask if I could come help her close up the house. There was a massive amount of paperwork to sort through and years’ worth of “stuff” to send off to new homes. One day my aunt sent me up into the attic with the instructions, “Go through the pictures and whatever else is up there and take what you want. I don’t want any of it.” When I look through those pictures now, I’m struck by the fact that they record a lineage I know very little about.
When your family history is disjointed like mine, there are all kinds of unanswered questions. In the days of Ezra one’s genealogy was important in determining family lines. Although it may not seem important to us, the detailed genealogies in the beginning of Chronicles are tied into a promise that has eternal implications and it begins all the way back in the early chapters of Genesis. After the Fall of man God states that there will be one particular encounter where the offspring of Eve will be wounded by the serpent but that her descendant will crush the head of the serpent literally killing him (Gen. 3:15). The promise becomes more in focus with the words spoken by Jacob to Judah on his deathbed (Gen. 49:8-12, especially v. 10). Hidden among all those names in the second chapter of Chronicles is the descendant that fulfills Jacob’s prophecy and God’s promise- David (1 Chr. 2:13). But the promise goes further when Nathan the prophet tells David that God has said, “Your house and your kingdom will endure before Me; your throne will be established forever.” (2 Sam. 7:16). We all know that no person can live forever. We all experience the death of someone we love at some point in life. So how can this be? Is there really a descendant of David who has done this? We find the answer in a genealogy and specifically the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Both Matthew (Mt. 1:1-17) and Luke (Lk. 3:23-37) note Jesus’ genetic connections to Judah and David (Mt. 1:2, 6, 16; Lk. 3:23, 31, 33). But earthly lineage does not a fulfilled promise make. No instead it is something that must done and witnessed. It must be seen as clearly as a set of steps in the noon-day sun not like the black and dusty stairwell of Pandy. And it was!
The aftermath of the crucifixion was a terrible time for the disciples and those who loved and followed Jesus. While they had listened to His words and believed Him they did not fully comprehend what they meant (Mt. 12:38-41; 16:1-4; Lk. 29-32) so it was with heavy hearts they went to the tomb after the holy days had passed in order to complete Jesus’ burial (Lk. 24:1-12). But instead of seeing what they expected to see- a physical body needing its final preparations- they were greeted by “two men whose garments gleamed like lightning”. “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” they were questioned. “He is not here. He is risen!” Jesus had told Pilate His kingdom was not of this world (Jn. 18:36). His resurrection proved He was the descendant of David and Judah who had come to reign eternally (Heb. 1:1-12- see vv. 8, 12).
I do know some of my ancestry through my mother. Like those first lines of Chronicles I can recite my parentage- at least for a few generations. Judah’s ancestry was extremely accurate and thorough. My family line is probably only important to me but the names of Judah’s offspring were written down for all eternity because all eternity rested on a future descendant promised by God through Jacob to Judah within Jacob’s deathbed blessing. There are thousands of names written in the Bible. They stand as a testimony that the Bible is about real people in real places but as it is with human flesh most of their lines of ancestry will come to an end. When all is said and done only one lineage remains intact for all eternity and truly that is the only one that matters.
Ann H. LeFevre, M. Div.
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