How do you see the Bible? Is it primarily a manual of rules and regulations, designed to tell you how to have your best life now? Is it a story book about Bible characters—some who were heroes to inspire us, others who were hellions to instruct us? Is it a compilation of sixty-six disconnected books, each one telling different stories about a variety of characters, designed to provide us a menu of moralistic lessons?
Well, here is how God sees the Scriptures:
1 supernatural story
and His name is Jesus Christ!
Contrary to ever-increasing popular belief, the Bible is not a manual of moral lessons for wise Christian living. The individual books of the Bible are to be understood within the framework of the greater whole, which sets forth the Lord Jesus Christ on every page as the only Hero of humanity. The Storyteller (God) is telling us one epic story, which exposes and exalts the Hero of that story: Emmanuel, the Lord Jesus Christ.
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me . . . if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. (John 5:39, 46)
Jesus Christ is not only the Sum, Substance, and Subject of all Scripture, He is the Source of it. The biblical narrative in both the Old and New Testaments guide us into a greater understanding, knowledge, and experience of the unsearchable riches of Christ.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1, 14)
Jesus Himself brought His disciples deeper into this truth by showing them that what was concealed in the Old Testament was revealed in the New Testament.
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)
The New Testament clearly sets forth Jesus as the Hero of the story. The overarching message of the Gospels is the birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The apostles preach Christ. The epistles teach Christ. The apostle Paul made it clear that the New Testament is all about Jesus: “We preach not ourselves, but Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:5). Martin Luther said it succinctly: “Jesus Christ is the center and circumference of the entire Bible.”
The New Testament clearly sets Jesus forth as the Hero, but what about the Old Testament? The Hero of the Bible is not found in the giants of the faith in the Old Testament, including Moses, Joshua, and David. Jesus is the fulfillment of these men: the new Moses . . . the new Joshua . . . the better David . . . all who pointed to and foreshadowed the coming of Christ.
Jesus is the pattern of and the Person in the entire Word of God. John Calvin rightly observed, “The Scriptures should be read with the aim of finding Christ in them. Whoever turns aside from this object, even though he wears himself out all his life in learning, he will never reach the knowledge of the truth.”
So how do you see the Bible? If Christ is not at the center of every paragraph, page, and book, you are not seeing it clearly. There really is only one revelation in all of Scripture, and that revelation is to be found in Jesus. I do no violence to Scripture whatsoever when I put the words of Colossians 1:16-18 into the mouth of our Lord:
By me all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by me and for me. I am before all things, and in me all things hold together. And I am the head of the body, the church; I am the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything I might have the supremacy.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!