Summary: Where do you see Jesus in the Old Testament? He’s everywhere! Take the blinders off and just look!
This year we are reading through the Bible together, looking for Jesus Christ in the text.
For a reading schedule through the Bible chronologically, please go to our web site:
The Bible opens with these words: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Repeat that with me: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
We are looking for Jesus Christ as we read through the Bible this year. If you have followed the scripture readings thus far you have seen clearly that the God of creation is in fact, the Father and Jesus Christ, the Son. When God said, “Let us make man in our image,” this is more than the plural of majesty. It expresses the plurality of the God head in creation. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As Genesis tells us, “The Spirit of God moved over the face of the waters.” And as several passages in the New Testament tell us of Jesus, “1 Cor 8:6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.”
The first book of the Bible tells us how God made man, showing us where we come from and how we got here. The first book of the New Testament tells us how God became man in Jesus Christ, showing us where we are going and how we get there.
Jesus Christ is the theme of scripture, from creation to Revelation, from beginning to end.
It was through words that God created the universe. It was through words that God preserved our history and revealed his will for us. Then we discover that Jesus is the very word of God who was with God and who is God. And as the Hebrew writer tells us, it is Jesus who now speaks for God to us today.
This week’s readings have filled our plate with these things. We have read of God’s plan through Jesus Christ before the creation, to the creation of all things, to man’s sin and fall into death, to how wickedness filled the earth and how God destroyed it with a flood saving only Noah and his family through the ark, to the division of humanity into languages and nations from Babel, to Abram’s time. Then we began to read of the amazing story of Job’s life and how Satan accuses both God and Job, and is allowed to test Job with loss and pain. It is a study on the suffering of the blameless, and we will see who finally stands condemned.
For today’s focus I invite you to turn again to Hebrews 1.
Our center of attention for the year’s study as we read God’s word together is: Where do you see Jesus? I’d like for us to see how we are not alone in this quest. In fact, there is so much about Jesus in the Old Testament that is brought to light in the New, you may be surprised.
Hebrews 1 has 14 verses in it. It is all about Jesus. Yet 10 of those 14 verses are from or about the Old Testament.
I remember overhearing a discussion between a couple of Bible teachers at Harding once. They were debating about the value of the Old Testament. One said, three quarters of God’s word is in the Old Testament, and the other replied, yes, but not a word of it can save you.
I used to believe that. All my time was spent pouring over the New Testament because that’s where Jesus is. That’s where the church is. That’s where the plan of salvation is. Or so I thought. My Bible was worn and marked up from Matthew through Jude. When I taught people, one of the first things I’d do is dispose of the Old Testament. I’d take them to Romans 7, or Col. 2:14 and nail that Old Testament to the cross. Galatians was a favorite of mine to show how we are not under the Law. I loved to show Hebrews 10 and the new covenant, but my real point was to get us away from that Old Testament. For me, when the Paul said that we were to study to show ourselves approved unto God as workmen that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth… that rightly dividing part meant the division between the Old and New Testaments.
Let me tell you the effect that this had on my understanding of God’s word. I didn’t look for Jesus in the Old Testament because I rarely if ever even looked in it at all! It became an unfamiliar body of literature of foreign people and places. I remember saying of the Old Testament, “It is only a shadow of the things in the New, so forget the shadow, give me the real thing!” I didn’t much care for the Old Testament. In fact, it was more than a little disturbing to me. Of all the books of the Bible, the strangest and most discomforting to me were the prophets. If I have to read the Old Testament, give me Genesis or 1 and 2 Samuel, or even Leviticus, but ohhh, the prophets! Not the prophets! They are so hard! And they say such troubling and disturbing things! I remember the first time I read through the entire Bible and was lost somewhere in Isaiah. It was so hard. I was so confused. I wasn’t looking for Jesus! I was looking at how thick it was between where I was reading and where Matthew began! Then came Jeremiah! Heaven help us all! Jeremiah! Those pages still had smoke rising from them. It is utterly and terribly emptiness for those hard hearted rebels in Israel! I wasn’t looking for Jesus in the prophets, I was wading through the prophets blind to all they said about him, hoping to just get through them so I could see Jesus in the New Testament. Having eyes, I couldn’t see Jesus all around me, because I had bought into a lie that said the Old Testament was not for me, but for those people of that time.