Blessed is the Kingdom

The Divine Liturgy of the Orthodox Church begins with the following proclamation: “Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit!” In recognizing and calling this kingdom blessed, we acknowledge the reality of the King and of His reign. The beliefs of the Orthodox Church are firmly rooted in the confession that Jesus Christ is the King, the Messiah, the Anointed One of Israel. It is this King who is testified to in the Law of Moses, expected in the kingship of Israel, foreshadowed by the Temple built by Solomon, and foretold by the prophets. The original vocation of the first man Adam is fulfilled. The calling of Abraham to be the father of many nations and through whom the blessing of humanity is accomplished. Israel is elected to be a people chosen by God. And finally, the entirety of the Old Testament is fulfilled in the coming of the foretold Messiah. This confession of Jesus Christ as Lord and King is the foundation stone upon which the gates of Hades (Matt 16:18) will not prevail.

We seek here to sketch the high points of the Old Testament and how the Church sees its fulfillment in Jesus Christ. First, we will outline the importance of knowing and studying the Old Testament for a true understanding of Jesus Christ. Second, we will do a deep dive into the first few chapters of Genesis in order to grasp the problem facing mankind and the solution the Father sets forth. Following that deep dive, we will outline the development of some of these themes throughout the rest of the Old Testament. Finally, we will explore these themes by exploring the experience of Orthodox worship as exemplified in the divine services of the Church and the architecture and ornamentation of Orthodox temples.

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