When you get right down to it, what is the Old Testament really all about? Is it just some musty old stories about how the earth was made and then how the Jewish people got started? Just a few poems and prophets with some miracles spread about?
Or is there something more here? Someone more here?
David Murray, Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, wrote a book detailing how he came to change his views on the most important question about the Old Testament: Is it really about Jesus? If you didn’t know, there is some debate about it, as he himself writes…
“I know of one Old Testament professor who banned the use of the New Testament in his classroom. Talk about trying to study in the dark.” – David Murray, Jesus on Every Page: 10 Simple Ways to Seek and Find Christ in the Old Testament
Yes, some people can be pretty passionate about their wrong ideas. For Murray (and for yours truly) the answer to this great question is found in what Jesus Himself said:
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life….For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. John 5:39 – 40, 46 (ESV)
Moses? Moses, the one who wrote Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy – where did he write about Jesus? And the answer is in those same five books, again and again and again. Yep that’s what Jesus was saying. And He said the same thing on the road to Emmaus…
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. Luke 24:27 (ESV)
So, Sally Lloyd-Jones wrote (to children) in the first chapter of her wonderful Jesus Storybook Bible:
“Now some people think the Bible is a book of rules, telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. The Bible certainly does have some rules in it. They show you how life works best. But the Bible isn’t mainly about you and what you should be doing. It’s about God and what he has done.
“Other people think the Bible is a book of heroes, showing you people you should copy. The Bible does have some heroes in it, but (as you’ll soon find out) most of the people in the Bible aren’t heroes at all. They make some big mistakes (sometimes on purpose). They get afraid and run away. At times they are downright mean.
“No, the Bible isn’t a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne – everything – to rescue the one he loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!
“You see, the best thing about this Story is – it’s true.
“There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.”
So whether we read the Old Testament or the New, we celebrate the young Hero, or if you prefer, the brave Prince…Who came for you and me.
For Monday, October 12th: John 6