September 24, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”—Luke 24:27 (NIV)
“He said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’ Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.”—Luke 24:44–45
Have you ever watched those movies that have five different characters that seemingly have nothing to do with one another, and then at the end their individual plotlines overlap and create a story so rich that no one could have predicted it on their own? This is like the Bible! We often approach the Bible incorrectly in two ways. First, we read it as an unconnected collection of stories about individual characters. Second, we identify with those characters and put ourselves in their shoes as the hero of every story. The Bible is one big story about God, the Hero, and we need to read it that way!
These verses in Luke record words that Jesus said to His followers after He was resurrected. He told them that the entire Bible is about Him. Let’s explore this a bit.
The Bible is divided into two sections, The Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament begins with five books written by Moses, called the Law. So, Jesus takes the disciples all the way back to the Book of Genesis and explains how it points to Him. We know from other parts of the Bible that Jesus was there in the beginning (John 1:1–3; Colossians 1:16), a part of the process of creation. The characters in the rest of Genesis and the books of the Law all point to Jesus. For instance, Jesus is like Moses, but better, leading us, His people, to the promised land.
Then Jesus mentions the prophets. These books were written by men who lived in antiquity with actual events that can be proven through history and archeology. Thus, the words written in the letters from the prophets are true and can be trusted. These prophets spoke messages on behalf of God to His people. They lived during different times and different locations and they still all spoke the same message. They prophesied about Jesus, the Messiah, who would come to save us, and Jesus fulfilled all of the more than 300 prophecies spoken about Him. One mathematician calculated that the odds of anyone fulfilling just eight prophecies, let alone hundreds, “is one in 10 to the 17th. That would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000” (https://bible.org/illustration/probability-prophecies-fulfilled). I can imagine Jesus, in His conversation here, explaining one by one how He is the fulfillment of them all, and how their minds would be blown!
Finally, Jesus mentions the Psalms. The Psalms contain a lot of prophecies about Jesus. I’ve also heard it said that the Psalms are words of God meant to be spoken back to Him. Jesus is the Word made flesh (John 1:14), so even the Psalms, and all of their poetic words, point to Him.
As for the rest of the Bible—the New Testament—it’s easier to see Jesus in these books. They’re an account of His life while He was here on earth through the Gospels, of the stories of the people spreading the news about Him in the book of Acts, and of the letters to the early church who were learning to follow Him.
The Bible is magnificent. Together, the Old and New Testaments contain endless stories that upon initial glance do not overlap at all. But as we dig deeper, we can see the beautiful tapestry that God has written and inspired, that makes up the one big story of Him!
Pause: When you read the Bible, do you put yourself as the main character or do you see yourself as the person that needs to be saved? Ask God to show you how Jesus is the main character of every story.
Practice: There are many studies out there that demonstrate how we can see Jesus throughout all of Scripture. Do some research and commit to learning about this life-changing way to approach the Bible!
Pray: Thank you Jesus for the Bible that points to You! Thank You that I can trust that the Bible is true and I can build my life upon it. Forgive me for putting myself in Your place. Open my eyes that I might see You. Give me Your wisdom and truth. Open my mind that I might understand Your Scripture! Amen.
Denise Trio has been on staff with Calvary for almost two years, serving as the Director of Strategic Development. She has 10 years of project management experience, with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Engingeering from Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA and a Master’s degree in Pastoral Counseling from Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA. When not on campus, Denise is either making her way through her book list at the beach, ordering tacos on any menu that serves them, or running her side business, The Rose Creative, which specializes in creating beautiful and meaningful products for her clients.