For those who will join me in reading 3, 5, 10 chapters or more of Scripture this year, I want to give you a lens that I think will help you stay motivated and give you a good framework so that you don’t get lost in the details, esp. as you read the Old Testament. Many people start with excitement to read Scripture. You get through Genesis and Exodus, but then you hit a spiritual roadblock. That excitement dies somewhere in Leviticus. I don’t want that desire to die or fade so I want to give you a lens, a framework, to keep you focused on the main thing.
Please turn with me to our text, Luke 24.
The scene is right after the resurrection and two people are traveling away from Jerusalem where Jesus had just been crucified and they are walking a on road toward a village called Emmaus. It was a 7 mile journey. They were talking about what they had just witnessed and as you would expect, they were discouraged. So Jesus suddenly appears and interrupts their conversation.
Listen to what he says in Luke 24:25-27 [READ].
Here is an interpretive key that you and I must hold onto when we read the Bible, esp. the Old Testament. What did Jesus do to help these 2 people in their confusion and despair? He taught them the Bible. Jesus, the best Bible Study teacher who ever lived, interpreted for them Scripture from Moses down through the Prophets things concerning HIMSELF. Concerning Himself. Concerning Jesus. Everything in the Bible is about Jesus.
I want to share with you a brief video clip from Pastor Tim Keller. Watch as Keller gives you a taste of what Jesus must have done for these 2 travelers.
**Show video: True and Better video by Tim Keller
Everything in the Bible points forward to Jesus, or in the case of the New Testament, points back to Jesus.
What if you read the Old Testament without the lens of Jesus Christ? Take for example, the young David facing Goliath. Without the lens of Jesus, you are left with ethics. How can I be courageous like David so that I won’t back down to the Goliath-like things I will face in this life? That’s not a bad interpretation, but it’s not the main interpretation. As we see David and how brave he was to defeat Goliath as a young boy and how he grew up and became the greatest king Israel ever had, we are supposed to remember the Son of David, the King of kings, the Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ who conquered the Goliath of sin and death once and for all on the cross.
Without the lens of Jesus, you will think in terms of ethics. David was a great king, how can I be a great Christian? But with the lens of Jesus, your focus is different. You recognize right away, I am inadequate. Kings and spiritual leaders throughout the Bible and church history have all fallen short. But thank you Jesus for being perfect in every way so that I don’t have to be.
Everything in the Bible points back to Jesus. Jesus taught the Old Testament in this way to the 2 travelers. Paul taught the New Testament in the same way and brought wayward churches back to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Every book in the Bible is about Jesus.
I want to end with Luke 24:32 [READ].
32 So they said to each other, “Weren’t our hearts ablaze within us while He was talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us?”
As all of us commit to feasting on God’s Word this year, I pray that we would do much more than gain facts. When Jesus opened Scripture to the two travelers, their hearts were ablaze within them. I pray that it would be a regular occurrence, a daily experience that our hearts would be ablaze, that our hearts would burn because we are fellowshipping with the living Word, Jesus Christ.