Jesus is the central figure of Scripture. He is the hero. Sometimes people make themselves the hero and steal the glory from Jesus. We tell the stories like that of David and Goliath and say we are the David’s that defeat Goliath’s like sin, addictions, and hurts. But it is Jesus alone, not us, that was sinless, became sin for us, forgives sin, and saves. When we make ourselves the hero, we steal the glory. David isn’t even the hero of the story. He is a type of Christ that points to Jesus. The bible begins and ends reminding us Who Scripture is about. Genesis 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning God…” and the last two verses in Revelation end the bible focusing on Jesus, Who is full of grace and coming back soon. Jesus is the Word made flesh (John 1:1)! Some might say, “Well, Jesus isn’t in the Old Testament, only in the New Testament.” Jesus told the Jewish leaders in John 5:39, “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about Me.” He even told them Moses wrote about Him (v. 46). He told His disciples that, “Everything must be fulfilled that is written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms” (Luke 24:44). Jesus said several times He fulfilled many Old Testament scriptures (in all four gospels: Matthew 26:56; Mark 14:49; Luke 18:31; John 13:18). Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17). We are no longer under the Old Testament law that was our guardian and lead us to Christ (Galatians 3:23-25). “Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes” (Romans 10:7).
When we read Scripture, Old and New Testament, we must read it with Jesus in view. The Old Testament pointed to the coming Messiah that is Jesus, the Gospels told about the incarnate and redemptive life of Jesus, and the rest of the New Testament pointed back to saving work of Jesus. In the Old Testament, the pre-incarnate Jesus appeared (called Christophanies) to people such as Hagar (Genesis 16:7-14), Abraham (Genesis 22:11-18), Jacob (Genesis 32:30), Moses (Exodus 3:2-6), three Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:24-25), and Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1-5). The prophets pointed to Jesus as the ultimate Prophet (Hebrews 1:1-2), the priests pointed to Jesus the High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-5:10; 10:8-14), and David and other kings pointed to Jesus as the King of Kings (Psalm 110:1; Matthew 22:41-46). Jesus fulfilled these roles as the ultimate Prophet, Priest, and King. Jesus even fulfilled the sacrificial and ceremonial systems as He is the once for all sacrifice, the sinless Lamb of God Who alone can take away the sins of the world (Hebrews 9-10).
Jesus is foreshadowed in Old Testament stories. Jesus, the last Adam, wouldn’t sin in the garden of Gethsemane like the first Adam did in the garden of Eden. He alone is able to make us righteous and give us eternal life (1 Corinthians 15:45-49). When Isaac was willing to lay down his life at his father Abraham’s request, he was pointing us to Jesus who would lay down His life (Genesis 22). Joseph, in forgiving his brothers who betrayed him and their father, directed us to Jesus Who would forgive us who betrayed and sinned against Him and His Father (Genesis 50:15-21). The forgiveness of sin through Jesus’ death on the cross is seen in the blood on the doorposts the death angel passed by (Exodus 12). He is the Rock of refreshing water illustrated by the Israelites being given water by God from a rock in the desert (Exodus 17:5-6; 1 Corinthians 10:3-4). He is the Living Redeemer spoken of by Job (Job 19:25). Pictured in the story of David in Goliath, Jesus is the victor would slay the giant of sin, death, and hell as the one effective Rock who would crush the head of Satan (1 Samuel 17; Romans 16:20). The fish that swallowed Jonah for three days foretold the resurrection of Jesus in a tomb for three days. He would resurrect to save many more in a greater revival than that of Nineveh. The kinsman redeemer Boaz foreshadowed Jesus, the greatest Redeemer of all (Hebrews 2:11). Hosea married a prostitute and showed us how Jesus would do the same for an unfaithful bride called the church.
You see, Jesus is found in all of those Old Testament stories and many more. Just to name a few, He’s the Seed of the woman in Genesis, the Passover Lamb in Exodus, the High Priest in Leviticus, the ultimate King in the 1 and 2 King, the Shepherd in the Psalms, the All-Wise One in Proverbs, the Lover and Bridegroom in Song of Solomon, the Suffering Servant in Isaiah, the Pierced Son in Zechariah, the Messiah in Matthew, the Son of Man in Luke, the Son of God in John, the One Who sets us free in Galatians, the Coming King in 1 and 2 Thessalonians, the Mediator between God and man in 1 Timothy, the Blessed Hope in Titus, the Faithful High Priest in Hebrews, and the King of Kings in Revelation. The bible is more than a good book with great moral principles. It is the book about Jesus and He is the point of everything! Relationship with Him is the goal! Jesus is the center of it all!
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.