Today we will begin to close out our series on the doctrine of Scripture. It is appropriate to conclude this series on the written Word of God by drawing attention to the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. Why so? Jesus Himself as the post-resurrected Christ, explains His relationship to the Scriptures in Luke 24:37-45 -
"But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit. 38 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 While they still could not believe it because of their joy and amazement, He said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave Him a piece of a broiled fish; 43 and He took it and ate it before them.44 Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures."
Over the last several months, we have explored the major truths associated with the doctrine of Scripture. We have touched upon the Bible's sufficiency, clarity, authority, necessity, inerrancy, and infallibility. We considered the tests or marks of canonicity, as well as grasping what is meant by "canon", its boundaries, and why only the inspired books, upon recognition and use, came to be known as the "Old Testament canon" and "New Testament canon". In today's post, we will begin to observe how we see Jesus in every book of the Bible. To aid our journey, I'll provide headings for each major section of Bible. We shall begin by noting how Jesus is found in the Books of the Law, also known as "The Pentateuch".
Perhaps a more appopriate title for that collection of 39 books we call "Old Testament" would be that of "Old Covenant". A testament refers to a document that becomes active upon the death of the one who drafted it. In the Old Covenant (also known as the Hebrew Bible, due to it having been composed originally in Hebrew, with portions of Daniel and Ezra written in Aramaic), we find the living God, the Creator, calling forth a people to be His own.
A covenant is made by one who is alive, and typically involves at least one other party, with both parties pledging oaths to one another. As our Bibles were translated, the Latin translation of the Vulgate would use the word "testamentum" to translate the Hebrew and Greek terms used for "covenant". I only bring out this point to remind all of us that the God of the Bible is living and the source of life itself - whether physical or spiritual.
In God's case, He made what are called "unconditional covenants" with men like Noah, Abraham, and David, pledging that He would be responsible for bringing about the fulfillment of those covenants. He pledged Himself to not give up on Israel, even though He knew she would fail Him many times.
It was the famous fifth century Christian Bishop of North Africa, Augustine, who famously said: "The New Testament in the Old is concealed, and the Old Testament in the New is revealed". Central to the revelation of Old or New Covenant Scriptures is the Person of Jesus Christ. What follows below is a sketch of how one finds Jesus in the books of the Bible.1. The Books of the Law (Genesis-Deuteronomy) = Christ is the Pattern.
Genesis = Jesus is Creator and Sustainer
Genesis 12-50 continues this theme of Christ as creator and preserver by how He called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees to go to the promised land, beginning in Genesis 12. Stephen preached in Acts 7:2 that "the God of glory appeared to our father Abraham". One thing we learn about throughout the Old Testament is that God would often appear in what are called "theophanies", that is, manifestations of the invisible God to His people. Old Testament theology tells us that in most instances, such "theophanies" were "Christophanies", meaning that the Pre-incarnate Christ made Himself visible in and through the media of created things, whether fire (Exodus 3), a rock (1 Corinthians 10:1-6), a pillar of cloud that led the people (Numbers 9), or the Shekinah glory that suffused the Temple (1 Kings 8). God, presumably in the Person of the pre-incarnate Christ, would speak to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob through the remainder of Genesis.
Exodus = Jesus is the Redeemer.
Deuteronomy = Jesus the Life Giver.