“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me.” John 5:39
“And Jesus said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” Luke 24:25-27
WHAT IS THE BIBLE ALL ABOUT?
There is likely no doubt in the minds’ of Christians that the Bible is extremely important. We as Christians believe that the Bible is the Word of God breathed out in a book, revealing who God is, how God created things to be, what God requires, what God provides, and what God has done and will do.
But what is the Bible mainly about? Some think and/or operate like the Bible is mainly about rules-do this and be blessed by God or don’t do this and be cursed by God. While it does have many rules and regulations about how God has designed and created us to live, the Bible is not mainly about rules and regulations. Others think and/or operate like the Bible is mainly about heroes, great men and women of God who we are to imitate and emulate. While there are many great things that happen in the Scriptures, the Bible is not mainly about heroes. Honestly, a quick look into the characters and stories captured in the Bible will show you just how non-heroic these men and women truly are. All of the people in the Bible are actually monumental failures, save One. There is, in fact, only one Hero found in the Bible-His name is Jesus. He lived a perfect life without sin, died as a substitute on a cross for His enemies, and three days later rose from death to eternal life, conquering Satan, sin, and death.
Furthermore, in Luke 24:25-27, just after His resurrection, Jesus teaches two of his disciples that the entirety of the Bible is mainly about Him. Jesus says the Bible is not mainly about rules, regulations, or heroes; Jesus says the Bible is mainly about the Hero-Himself.
THE BIBLE IS ALL ABOUT JESUS
It is not really a debate that the New Testament is about Jesus. The gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John tell of Jesus’ virgin birth, his sinless life for righteousness, death on a cross for sin, burial in a tomb, and resurrection unto eternal life for the salvation of sinners. The book of Acts tells of all the things that Jesus continued to do through his apostles by the power of the Holy Spirit. The books Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1, 2, & 3 John, and Jude are letters written to churches, individuals, and people groups concerning what the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus accomplished and what it means for us now and forever. The book of Revelation reveals what will happen at the end of time when Jesus comes back to judge the living and the dead; when those who don’t belong to Jesus will be sent away into eternal torment and those who belong to Jesus into eternal blessing.
Still, what about the Old Testament? Is it really all about Jesus? Yes. Jesus said the Old Testament was about Himself, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me” (John 5:39). “And Jesus said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:25-27).
There are at least six ways we see Jesus in the Old Testament.
1) EVENTS ARE ALL ABOUT JESUS
The Ark – The ark was designed to save those who trusted God from His just judgment and wrath that was poured out on the entire earth for sin. Just as Noah and his family were saved from the wrath of God by taking refuge in the ark, we Christians are saved by taking refuge in the true and better Ark- Jesus.
The Passover – God sent a final plague upon the land of Pharaoh so that he would release his people from slavery. God unsheathed his sword of divine justice to judge all those who lived in Egypt by killing the firstborn male in every house. The only way the justice of God would pass over you is if, by faith, you took a lamb without blemish, killed it, wiped its blood over the doorposts of your house, and took shelter under the blood of the lamb. The Passover over is all about Jesus who would be sacrificed so that the judgment of God would pass over all those who, by faith, would take shelter under the blood of him as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Jesus is the true and better Passover Lamb.
The Day of Atonement – Every year, on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest of Israel would enter into the Holy of Holies with two lambs. The High Priest would lay his hands on the first lamb, confessing the sins of the people over it, and would then send it away and everyone would run it out of town. This is where we get the term scapegoat. The first lamb was run out of town to signify the sins of the people leaving them, never to return. Next, the High Priest would take the second lamb, slaughter it, and sprinkle its blood on the alter to atone for the sins of the people. Sin deserves judgment, and God had provided a way for His judgment to be taken out on the innocent lamb as a substitutionary sacrifice. The Day of Atonement was actually a prefigure of what Jesus would do on the cross! The Day of Atonement is all about Jesus, who would, once and for all, offer Himself up to pay for and take away the sin of His people forever.
2) TYPES ARE ALL ABOUT JESUS
Shepherds – Shepherds were given a flock to love, lead, feed, and protect from enemies at all costs. Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). Jesus is the Good Shepherd and the Church is His flock.
Judges – Judges were ordained to uphold justice and take of the seat of judgment when people were in sin. Jesus is the Judge who will one day judge the living and the dead and uphold the perfect justice of God (John 5:22-23).
Sacrifices – Sacrifices were made daily and once per year to pay for sin. But Jesus “has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26). Once for all, Jesus sacrificed himself for sin. He is the sacrifice to end all sacrifices.
The Temple – The Temple was the holy place where the glory of God lived and where God’s people went to worship Him. Jesus is the final Temple to end all temples. We do not have to go to a certain place to worship, and we do not have to go to a certain place to behold the presence of God. Jesus, the final Temple, has also made us temples, by placing the Holy Spirit within us.
Prophets – A prophet’s job is to reveal God and His truth to God’s people. Jesus is the Prophet who truly reveals God the Father, as he said, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
Priests – A priest’s job was to mediate between the people and God. He would mediate through intercessory prayer and offering sacrifices for the people’s sin. Jesus is the Priest to end all priests, who offered Himself as a sacrifice to God the Father for sin (once for all!), and is currently at the right hand of the Father interceding for His people.
Kings – A king’s job was to rule over people and uphold justice. Jesus is the King to end all kings. He is sovereignly ruling over the entire world and will one day completely usher in the kingdom of God when he finally makes all things new.
3) TITLES ARE ALL ABOUT JESUS
I AM – In Exodus chapter three, God speaks to Moses through a burning bush and commissions him to go to Egypt and tell the Pharaoh to let God’s people go. When Moses asks God his name, so that he could tell Pharaoh who he is speaking for, God says, “Tell them I AM sent you.” This is the name of God that is carried all throughout the Old Testament and speaks of His omnipotence and omniscience (He has always existed and is completely sovereign over all). In John 8:58, Jesus tells the religious leaders that He is I AM. Also, John 18:5-6, when certain guards tell him they were looking for Jesus of Nazareth, he tells them I AM” and everyone falls down. Jesus is I AM.
The Son of Man – Daniel chapter seven promises a son of man who will be God and will come to earth to establish an eternal kingdom. This was Jesus’ favorite title for Himself while he was on the earth, as he claim’s the title at least 70 times in the four gospel accounts. Jesus is the Son of Man.
The Suffering Servant – All throughout the book of Isaiah, specifically in chapters 52 and 53, there is a promised Suffering Servant who will be righteous and “make many to be accounted righteous” (Isaiah 53:11). But He will die to “make an offering for sin” (Isaiah 53:10), and, though once dead, he will come back to life. He will “see light and be satisfied,” “he shall prolong his days,” and “he shall see his offspring” (Isaiah 53:11). Jesus, as promised, came and lived righteous, died for sin, and resurrected for the salvation of sinners. He himself said, “For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Jesus is the Suffering Servant.
4) CHRISTOPHANIES ARE ALL ABOUT JESUS
A christophany is a physical or non-physical appearance of Christ. This is when Jesus, who is has eternally existed as God the Son, the second member of the Trinity, shows up and does a cameo appearance before He comes into the world through the virgin Mary.
Jesus is the One that Abraham is talking to in Genesis 18.
Jesus is the One that wrestles all night with Jacob in Exodus 32. Jesus could have taken Jacob at any time, and to prove it at the end of the night, he just touches Jacob’s hip, and it pops out of place.
Jesus is the One in the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel chapter three. These three guys don’t bow down to false gods, so they are thrown into a fiery furnace. Jesus shows up and stands with them in the flames, and they were not hurt.
Jesus is the One that Isaiah saw when he has a vision in the Temple in Isaiah chapter six. Isaiah enters the Temple, and then God reveals himself to him! “I saw the Lord high and exalted and seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. And the angels surrounded him. And day and night they worship him, crying out: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty; heaven and earth are full of his glory!’” Then an angel comes to Isaiah and touches his lips with a burning coal and says, “Your sins are atoned for.” Who did Isaiah see? John 12:41 says, “Isaiah saw Jesus and spoke of His glory!”
5) PROPHECIES ARE ALL ABOUT JESUS
There are hundreds, but we’ll look at a few.
Jesus is Seed of the Woman that will one day crush the head of Satan (Genesis 3:15). God says, “Sin has entered…I will one day send a savior.”
Jesus is the Descendant that God promised will come through Abraham’s line (Genesis 17:19). Abraham and his wife Sarah are near 100 years old. Two thousand years prior to Jesus’ birth, “God said, ‘No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you [Abraham] a son. You shall call his name Isaac, I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him.’”
Jesus is the Son that will be born of A virgin and will be God (Isaiah 7:14). Seven hundred years prior to Jesus’ birth, Isaiah 7:14 says, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (God with us).”
Jesus is the Ruler will be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Seven hundred years prior to Jesus’ birth, Micah 5:2 says, “But you, O Bethlehem (city) Ephrathah (region) who are too little to be among the clans of Judah-from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel whose origin is from old, from ancient days.”
Jesus is The Lord who will come to the Temple (Malachi 3:1). Seven hundred years prior to Jesus’ birth, Malachi 3:1 says, “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord (that’s Jesus), whom you seek will come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts.” Jesus came to the temple multiple times. Furthermore, the temple was destroyed in AD 70, so the Christ had to come before AD 70. He did. His name is Jesus.
Jesus is the Healer who will open the eyes of the blind and open the ears of the deaf (Isaiah 35:5-6). Seven hundred years prior to Jesus’ birth, Isaiah 35:5–6 says, “The eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
Jesus is the Righteous One who will make many to be accounted righteous (Isaiah 53:11). Seven hundred years prior to Jesus’ birth, Isaiah 53:11 says, “The righteous one, my servant, will make many to be accounted righteous.
Jesus is the one who will be pierced through His hands and feet (Psalm 22:16). One thousand years prior to Jesus’ birth, and 300 years before crucifixion was invented, Psalm 22:16 says, “For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet,” promising Jesus crucifixion. If God didn’t write this book, who did?
Jesus is the sinless one that will be offered up to death for sin, buried in a rich man’s tomb, but will see light and be satisfied (Isaiah 53:9-11). Seven hundred years prior to Jesus’ birth, Isaiah 53:8-11 says, “9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death (Jesus’ tomb), although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth (Jesus’ perfect and sinless life). 10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt (Jesus’ sacrificial death in our place for our sins), he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see light and be satisfied (Jesus’ resurrection from death to eternal life).”
6) PERSONS ARE ALL ABOUT JESUS
Cain and Abel – Able was a righteous man who loved God and offered a sacrifice pleasing to him; whereas, Cain was unrighteous and jealous of Able. He eventually killed the innocent Able. We’re a worse Cain; Jesus is the true and better Able.
Abraham – God the Father sent Abraham into a far country, and He would start a new nation through him. Jesus is the true and better Abraham who was sent by God the Father into a far country to start a new people.
Isaac – God told Abraham to offer up his son as a sacrifice. Isaac, who was a boy (a young man), carried the wood on his back to the place to where he would be killed and laid down on the alter. God stopped Abraham. God was saying in effect, “Stop, Abraham. There will be another day where a better Father will offer up a better Son.” Jesus carried the wood on his back-the cross-and offered himself up once for all, to pay for sin. Jesus is the true and better Isaac.
Joseph – Joseph was abandoned by his brothers, thrown in a hole in the ground, got out of the hole, and provided a future for his brothers. Jesus was abandoned by his brothers, thrown into a tomb, got out of the tomb, and provided a future for His family. Jesus is the true and better Joseph.
Moses – Moses lead the people of God on an exodus out of the land of slavery into the Promised Land. Jesus is leading the people of God on a greater Exodus out of the land of slavery to sin and into the Promised Land. Jesus is the true and better Moses.
Job – Job was a righteous man who suffered much but was vindicated by God in the end. Jesus was the only truly righteous man who suffered much and was vindicated by God in His resurrection. Jesus is the true and better Job.
David – David defeated the giant, Goliath, with a few stones. Jesus defeated the true giants (Satan, sin, and death) with a few nails. Jesus is the true and better David.
Esther – Esther said, “If I perish, I perish.” But Jesus said, in effect, “When I perish, I perish-to save my people.” Jesus is the true and better Esther.
Jonah – Jonah was in the belly of a fish for three days, got out, preached repentance, and thousands of people were saved. Jesus was in the belly of the earth for three days, got out, preached repentance, and billions of people were saved. Jesus is the true and better Jonah.
Adam – Adam disobeyed the Father about the tree of life and brought death. Jesus obeyed the Father about the tree of death and brought life. Adam doubted the Father in the Garden of Eden; Jesus trusted the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. Adam’s disobedience leads to death for all; Jesus ‘obedience leads to life for all who trust Him. Adam yielded to Satan; Jesus defeated Satan. Adam ushered sin in; Jesus died to take sin out. Adam’s sin brought thorns; Jesus wore a crown of thorns. Adam brought condemnation; Jesus brought salvation. Adam was naked and unashamed; Jesus was stripped naked and bore our shame. Jesus is the true and better Adam.
Don’t you see? The Bible is not about great men and women of God; the Bible is about the great God of men and women-Jesus. The Bible is not mainly about what you should be doing; the Bible is mainly about what Jesus has done and is doing.
Always seeking your joy in Jesus,
This post in greatly influenced by the teachings of Tim Keller and Mark Driscoll. I would like to encouraged you to check out their websites, read their books, and listen to their sermons for the glory of Jesus and your joy in Him.