Then they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”
and to the hills, “Cover us!” (Luke 23:30)
What we see
and what we seem
are but a dream…
a dream within a dream.
These lines by Edgar Allan Poe, slightly reshaped, are the first spoken words in the classic Australian film, Peter Weir’s Picnic At Hanging Rock (1975). Based on a novel by the enigmatic Joan Lindsay, it is an experience that clings to you, not merely because it is so carefully and beautifully made, but also because it is a film with secret blades: it is a mystery without a solution, a horror story without savagery, a nightmare in which all the watches stop at noonday.
On Saturday 14th February 1900, a party of schoolgirls from Appleyard College picnicked at Hanging Rock near Mount Macedon in the state of Victoria. During the afternoon several members of the party disappeared without trace…
(Spoilers follow, but feel free to read on…)
“As always, the beauty of the arrangement is breathtaking. It is historical narrative, poetry, legal Covenant and high symbolism all at once… It consists of three Cycles which recapitulate the triune ‘Garden, Land, World’ architecture of the Creation and the Tabernacle.”
Matthew 28: SUCCESSION
The fifth major cycle takes us to the end of the Covenant pattern, from the Covenant Sanctions to Covenant Succession. In the Old Testament, this concerned handing Covenant authority to the faithful of the next generation. It was the blessings of Jacob upon his sons (Garden), and Moses passing the baton of headship of Israel to Joshua (Land). This time, the inheritance was not the Garden Sanctuary of Moses  nor the Land of Canaan, but the entire World. Thus, it is no accident that in both cases, in that of Joshua and that of the disciples, He said, “I am with you.” A battle lay ahead.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6).
A Picture for Doug Wilson’s 1000 Words
Doug Wilson writes:
We honestly have very little idea what Jesus Christ looked like. We worship Him as the visible image of the invisible Father, and yet we do not know what that visible image looks like. What kind of visible image is that? We know what the paintings of Him look like, and they generally all have something in common with one another, but the fact remains that if you ever passed Jesus Christ on a crowded city street, you would have no idea that you had done so.
Nevertheless, we all still think of Him as a recognizable figure. But He is only “recognizable” because of the various forms of shorthand shifts we have come up with that prevent us from recognizing Him properly. And so what do I mean by “properly?”
I mean the way God intended for us to recognize Him—in and through the proclamation of the gospel. We are supposed to see the face of Jesus Christ in and through the declaration of what Scripture describes as good news—gospel truth. This is where we are supposed to find the only authorized portrait of Jesus.
This is a profound truth, and Doug illustrates it with a long list of other profound truths (in over 5000 words). For me, however, he has failed to tie it all together. What is the significance of the face of Jesus Christ? Could the reason we have no description of his looks be the fact that He has more than one face?
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him… (Matthew 2:1-2)
An atheist recently declared to me that a cumulative reading of the Bible makes no sense, since the Bible is not a single book but an anthology. I agree, but this “anthology” is indeed a single work because it was compiled by God. Without that foundation, the significance of much of its detail appears redundant. A good example is the wise men from the east in Matthew 2.
Busts of Vespasian and Titus in the British Museum
or The Coming of the Father and the Son
The chief priests answered,
“We have no king but Caesar.”
So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.
Is there any significance in the fact that apostate Jerusalem was destroyed by two generals, a father and a son, founders of a new Roman dynasty?
In John 16:7-11, we read:
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
What does it mean for the Spirit to “convict the world in regard to righteousness?” And what is the causal connection with Jesus going to the Father?
“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war… From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron.” (Revelation 19:11-15)
The Bible is big on fruit. The first “Covenant Ethic” was a prohibition on fruit from a particular tree. The transgression of Adam resulted in curses upon the fruit of the Land and the fruit of the womb. The book which describes the end of the Old Covenant, the Revelation, shows the dragon attempting to eat the son of Adam, the fruit of the womb, and then to devour the fruit of the Land, the apostolic “firstfruits” Church.  But where is the forbidden tree?
What does “Under the Sun” mean in Ecclesiastes?
Genesis 1 tells us that the purpose of the sun, moon and stars is to act as kingly governors of the physical realm. They were created at the centre of the Creation Week (Day 4), before Man, yet Man was not to bow down to them.
And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven. (Deuteronomy 4:19)
The reason for this is that although Genesis 1 presents Man as part of the physical order, Genesis 2 moves him beyond this to a social order. When Adam perceives that he is without a mate, he is “bowed down,” physically humbled, that Woman might be constructed. Adam’s order would not be like that of the animals. His rule from its very beginning would be “sacrificial.” Men would not bow to the stars (or to idols) but to each other, because all men are images, reflections, of God. Adam was to subdue the physical order and bring it into submission, and yet submit to other men. The sinful reverse of this is the worship of the physical order (which is yet inherent in the scientism of our own age) and the tyrannical subjugation of our fellow men, which is exactly what happened in Genesis 3. Physical, Social, Ethical.
Is the book of Revelation a “Covenant lawsuit”? It certainly follows the fivefold legal Covenant pattern. However, its prophetic warnings are not addressed to the Jewish leaders. It was too late for them. The book does describe the destruction of Jerusalem through “the testimony of two witnesses,” but Gary DeMar suggests it was more like a libretto for the Christian spectators. He writes:
Bible Symbols in Pacific Rim
“Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land, and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he called out, the seven thunders sounded.” (Revelation 10:1-3)
Just a few notes on Pacific Rim, a movie which we enjoyed very much. It’s one of those films where you know your strings are being pulled, but they are doing it so well you don’t mind at all. There are some interesting deviations from the Hollywood formula, and they are worth identifying.
(Oh, and River says there’s spoilers ahead.)