I have spent the last fifteen years of my life teaching the Bible to people. And one thing that continually amazes me is how easily it is for people to think the Old Testament has a completely different message than the New Testament. David Murray's book, Jesus on Every Page, helps to address this misconception.
Much of this book flows out of a question Murray struggled with for a long time. It is probably a question many young believers struggle with from time to time. "What is the purpose of the Old Testament?" It is much easier to discover the purpose of the New Testament, but the OT? That's a hard one.
What he discovered through much study is that there are not two messages in two different parts of the Bible. There is one. It is about Jesus. From the very first words of the Bible through to the end, the stories, the teachings, the wisdom, the literature, the lives of people, and the messages of God are to point us to the One true Son of God. Jesus Christ. Finding Jesus in the NT is easy. Finding Him in the OT takes work. Maybe that is why so many people avoid it.
The subtitle of his book is "10 simple Ways to Seek and Find Christ in the Old Testament." Here are the Ten Places he suggests we find Jesus in the OT:
- Christ's Planet: Discovering Jesus in the Creation
- Christ's People: Discovering Jesus in the OT Characters
- Christ's Presence: Discovering Jesus in His OT Appearances
- Christ's Precepts: Discovering Jesus in the OT Law
- Christ's Past: Discovering Jesus in OT History
- Christ's Prophets: Discovering Jesus in the OT Prophets
- Christ's Pictures: Discovering Jesus in the OT Types
- Christ's Promises: Discovering Jesus in the OT Covenants
- Christ's Proverbs: Discovering Jesus in the OT Proverbs
- Christ's Poets: Discovering Jesus in the OT Poems
Let me illustrate some suggestions Murray gives through one example: finding Jesus in the prophets (chapter 6). Here are several thoughts of how we can find Jesus and learn about Jesus through the role of the prophets.
"Every Old Testament prophet reminds us of our need for a prophetic mediator and anticipates God's provision of Jesus Christ, the Prophet" (116).
"The divine calling and commissioning of every Old Testament prophet point toward the divine calling and commissioning of Jesus Christ, the Prophet" (117).
"The carefulness and faithfulness with which the prophets heard and spoke the exact words of God, no more and no less, build expectation of the supreme carefulness and faithfulness with which Jesus Christ, the Prophet, heard and spoke what God revealed to Him" (117-8).
"Every deficiency or inadequacy in the Old Testament prophets contrasts with the fullness and perfection of Jesus Christ, the Prophet of God. We see that looking back, but the Old Testament believers also saw that looking forward" (119).
In general terms, I really did appreciate this book and his effort of making Christ recognized in the Old Testament. He goes further than I am comfortable in some areas, for instance, when he refers to the OT believers as the church. He sees a bit more continuity there than I do.
But in the end, I appreciate the work and his desire that we see Jesus in all the Bible, not just the NT. I know for me, my preaching series through the book of 1 Kings was quite possibly one of the most Christ-centered series I have ever preached. As I looked at King Solomon, I kept seeing a picture of another of David's sons that doesn't fall. That was refreshing.
Over at David Murray's blog, there is an offer to get over $100 of free resources if you purchase the book by December 20, 2013. If you want to take advantage of this offer, you can find all the information you need HERE. It looks helpful.
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