The Bible is not a series of disconnected stories. It is a single, unified story ultimately about Jesus Christ. In Luke 24, after Jesus' resurrection, he appears to his disciples and teaches them about this truth. He says to them, "Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms” (Luke 24:44). The Old Testament is about Jesus Christ! Let's look at one example.
Think back to the Garden of Eden. Do you recall what occurred in Genesis 3? Satan tempts Adam and Eve to disregard God’s command about the tree, defy his will, and impose their will on God. Adam and Eve bit on it. When faced with temptation in the garden, they failed miserably. Their failure brought separation from God. It brought death. This scene prefigures a scene recorded much later in the gospels.
Jesus also faced temptation in a garden. He faced a similar kind of temptation to what Adam and Eve faced. It was a temptation to impose his will on the Father’s will; a temptation to abandon the Father’s plan in order to enact his own. But unlike Adam and Eve, Jesus repelled this temptation through prayer when he prayed, “not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). What Adam and Eve failed to do, Jesus did. As a result, Jesus’ success brings us back into God’s presence. It brings life. Adam and Eve’s failure in the garden points forward to Jesus’ success in the garden. Adam and Eve’s failure in the garden brings us death. Jesus’ success in the garden brings us life.
The Bible is not a collection of isolated stories, but a single, unified story ultimately about Jesus Christ. The Bible is not primarily good advice on how to behave. It’s good news about what God has done that is meant to melt our hearts and leave us awestruck bowing before the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ.
This week I am giving away a copy of two different books, How to Read the Bible through the Jesus Lens: A Guide to Christ-Focused Reading of Scripture by Michael Williams, and How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth: Fourth Edition by Gordon D. Fee. To enter, simply sign in to the Rafflecopter giveaway below and enter either by following me on Twitter, on Instagram, or on both! Winners will be chosen and notified by email. At this time, I do ask that only those living within the 48 contiguous United States enter the giveaway. Thank you for understanding.
In Joshua 1:7-9, God instructs Joshua, the new leader of the people of Israel, twice to "be strong and courageous." They were about to cross the Jordan River and take possession of the land God had promised Abraham centuries earlier. In the middle of this bookend to "be strong and courageous" is the exhortation to meditate on the Scriptures day and night. The connection is worth pondering.
Joshua's life was about to get complicated and a bit difficult. God knew that. He knew the challenges lurking on the horizon. God also knew what Joshua would need in order to face those challenges with courage and strength...a mind and heart soaked in God's Word.
Yes, some of the problems we encounter in life are self-inflicted. Because we aren't obedient to God and his Word, we make poor decisions that cause us heartache. But many of the problems we face in life are uncontrollable because they are the result of living in a deeply flawed world. Dealing with the uncontrollable problems with strength and courage can happen only if our blood bleeds "Bibleline."
Pondering deeply the truths of God's Word feeds our strength and courage. The two are inextricably linked. There is no shortcut to strength and courage. They are the result of prolonged periods of time devoted to meditating on the Bible.
This week I am giving away two copies of Elyse M. Fitzpatrick's book, Counsel from the Cross: Connecting Broken People to the Love of Christ. To enter, simply sign in to the Rafflecopter giveaway below and enter either by following me on Twitter, on Instagram, or on both! Winners will be chosen and notified by email. At this time, I do ask that only those living within the 48 contiguous United States enter the giveaway. Thank you for understanding.