People don’t say this to me… one would have to be pretty bold to call some portion of the Bible boring directly to a pastor. But, now that I think about it, I have had much bolder things said to me. There are some divergent views on the value of the Old Testament. When seen in the worst light, people view it as irrelevant and boring. They understand it as writing which has absolutely nothing to do with them. Not nearly as negative are those who appreciate the moral lessons which are splattered through the pages of great stories in the Old Testament.
I remember falling in the latter camp for sometime, even early in my seminary education. I remember loving the history of all that took place. I loved seeing the grand story line unfold while connecting all the dots of God’s sovereign work. There are a lot of moral lessons there to be learned through the characters of the Old Testament. There is much to learn from the faith of Abraham and Noah. The stories of David’s leadership are inspiring and the reality of his sin is humbling, while also exhibiting the grace of a God who is committed to His promises.
However, to understand the majority of our Bible (Old Testament) to be merely a list of historically entertaining stories which provide us moral platitudes would be a horrible mistake. At Crossings Community Church we are taking an overview journey through the entire Bible this year. The series is called Beauty: A Story of Creation, Rebellion, Redemption, & Restoration. In a previous post I shared some of my motivation behind this series. Yet, there is so much more.
In Luke’s gospel we are onlookers for a really great moment as two men are on a seven mile journey from Jerusalem to Emmaus. This takes place after Jesus’ resurrection. Understandably, these two are walking and talking about all that had happened. The scripture says that Jesus began walking with them but He kept their eyes from recognizing Him. It is the final words of description that Luke offers regarding this interaction which make this moment one of my ‘time machine’ moments. You know what I mean…. if I had a time machine, this is one of the moments to which I would travel.
Luke writes in Chapter 24, verse 27, “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” For these two, as well as all of the Jesus followers at this point, they only possessed the Old Testament. I believe Jesus went back and shared with them how every bit of the Old Testament has everything to do with Him. As Luke references the the Law, Prophets, and Writings. All of it is a growing trajectory of momentum pointing toward the culmination of Jesus Christ.
Maybe you have heard people talk about taking scripture out of context at some point in the past. There are countless examples. Someone grabs a verse and claims it as their mantra while completely disregarding the context and accurate meaning of the verse of scripture. That is the same thing we do with Jesus when we only wrestle with New Testament ideas. The story of Jesus does not begin in the book of Matthew. The story of Jesus and his life, death, and resurrection that has brought us the graceful offer of eternal life all begins in the book of Genesis. Do not miss the great beauty of Jesus Christ which has been revealed in vibrant colors through our Old Testament scriptures.
Challenge: If you are local, join us for this great journey on Sunday mornings. Regardless of where you live, invite God to speak into your heart through His nature and movement throughout the Old Testament. Let Him amaze you by the way in which He has pursued you and directed all attention to His Son who died to save you.