Can We Hear the Voice of God? (Part 3)
Scripture Introduces Us to Its Hero
The hero of the Bible is God. The pages of Scripture reveal God to us through His word. We are introduced to God in the very first line of Genesis, “In the beginning. God …” In the closing line of the New Testament, we are reminded that the God who is the hero if the Bible is Jesus Christ. Here I will quote the last 2 verses of Revelation. “He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.
We find that the written word of God reveals to us the incarnate Word of God, Jesus Christ. Without the written word, we cannot rightly know the incarnate Word. Therefore, defining the central message of the Old Testament is key to our interpretative process, because without a proper understanding of Scripture we do not have access to truly loving and knowing the real Jesus.
Many people prefer the New Testament to the Old Testament because they wrongly believe that only the New Testament is about Jesus. Jesus Himself tells us that the Old Testament was primarily about Him. In John :39-40 we find Jesus chastising the religious leaders and saying, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is they that bear witness about Me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.”
That is not the only verse. In Matthew 5:17-18 Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.” Thus we find that when Scripture is rightly interpreted it is ultimately about Jesus as God.
The Old Testament predicts Jesus coming and the New Testament reflects on the life of Jesus and gives us a pattern for righteousness. The Old Testament uses various means to reveal Jesus including promises, appearances, foreshadowing types and titles. No other world religion can present any prophesy concerning the coming of their prophets. On the Old Testament we find hundreds of fulfilled prophecies extending hundreds, sometimes even thousands of years into the future.
We also see Jesus’ appearances made before His birth. These appearances are called Christophonies. Examples include walking with Abraham, wrestling with Jacob, appearing to Moses and joining Daniel’s friends in the fiery furnace. Other examples include the occasional appearance of “the angel of the Lord” who is sometimes as God. (see Judges 6:11-21 and 13:22)
Throughout Scripture, Old Testament and New Testament, the Bible is about Jesus. To fully understand the New Testament the student of scripture must understand the Old Testament. The amazing thing is that God is continually speaking to us through His written word by the power of the Holy Spirit. The most common error found by not understanding this is moralizing. Moralizing is reading the Bible not to learn about Jesus but to learn principles for how to live a good life. While living a good life is laudable, it is not the key to God’s salvation. Jesus alone is that key.