Jesus is the central figure of Scripture. He is the hero. Sometimes, people make themselves the hero and steal the glory from Jesus. We tell the stories like David and Goliath and say we are the Davids that defeat Goliaths like sin, addictions, and hurts.
But it is Jesus alone, not us, that was sinless, became sin for us, sets people free, and heals. When we make ourselves the hero, we steal the glory. David isn’t even the hero of the story. He is a type of Christ that points to Jesus.
The bible begins and ends reminding us Who Scripture is about. Genesis 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning God…” and the last two verses in Revelation end the bible focusing on Jesus, Who is full of grace and coming back soon. Jesus is the word made flesh (John 1:1)! Some might say, “Well, Jesus isn’t in the Old Testament, only in the New Testament.”
Jesus told the Jewish leaders in John 5:39, “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me.”
He even told them Moses wrote about Him (v. 46). He told his disciples that, “Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms” (Luke 24:44). Jesus said several times He fulfilled several Old Testament scriptures (in all four gospels: Matthew 26:56; Mark 14:49; Luke 18:31; John 13:18). Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17).
We are no longer under the Old Testament law that was our guardian and led us to Christ (Galatians 3:23-25). “Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes” (Romans 10:7).
When we read Scripture, Old and New Testament, we must read it with Jesus in view. The Old Testament pointed to the coming Messiah that is Jesus, the Gospels told about the incarnate and redemptive life of Jesus, and the rest of the New Testament pointed back to the saving work of Jesus.
In the Old Testament, the pre-incarnate Jesus appeared (called Christophanies) to people such as Hagar (Genesis 16:7-14), Abraham (Genesis 22:11-18), Jacob (Genesis 32:30), Moses (Exodus 3:2-6), three Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:24-25), and Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1-5). The prophets pointed to Jesus as the ultimate Prophet (Hebrews 1:1-2), the priests pointed to Jesus the High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-5:10; 10:8-14), and David and other kings pointed to Jesus as the King of Kings (Psalm 110:1; Matthew 22:41-46). Jesus fulfilled these roles as the ultimate Prophet, Priest, and King. Jesus even fulfilled the sacrificial and ceremonial systems as He is the once for all sacrifice, the sinless Lamb of God Who alone can take away the sins of the world (Hebrews 9-10).
You see, Jesus is found in all of those Old Testament stories and many more. Just to name a few, He’s the Seed of the woman in Genesis, the Passover Lamb in Exodus, the High Priest in Leviticus, the ultimate King in the 1 and 2 King, the Shepherd in the Psalms, the All-Wise One in Proverbs, the Lover and Bridegroom in Song of Solomon, the Suffering Servant in Isaiah, the Pierced Son in Zechariah, the Messiah in Matthew, the Son of Man in Luke, the Son of God in John, the One Who sets us free in Galatians, the Coming King in 1 and 2 Thessalonians, the Mediator between God and man in 1 Timothy, the Blessed Hope in Titus, the Faithful High Priest in Hebrews, and the King of Kings in Revelation.
The bible is more than a good book with great moral principles. It is the book about Jesus and He is the point of everything! Relationship with Him is the goal! Jesus is the center of it all!
Stephen Harrison is the lead pastor of Family Church at White Hall.
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