Author - Nathan Leuthold
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.”
All of scripture points to Jesus. This truth can be difficult to see sometimes, such as when we’re reading long lists of genealogies and laws, or abstract visions of the Old Testament prophets or the apostle John in Revelation, but it is true none the less. In John 5:39 Jesus chastises the Jewish leaders for thinking that by gaining vast amounts of Biblical knowledge they will be able to have eternal life, while simultaneously missing that the central theme of all Scripture is repentance and belief in him. He goes on to say that if they believed what Moses wrote, they would believe him because it was him about which Moses was writing (verse 46)! We see this in the bronze serpent of Numbers 12:9, and the future prophet foretold by Moses in Deuteronomy 18:15.
I must admit that I am often like those Jewish leaders to which Jesus is talking; I will pursue reading Scripture solely for the knowledge gained, rather than with an eye to its central focus on Christ and eternal life through faith in him and his finished work on the cross. Do you sometimes find yourself in a rut of just reading like it’s for the sake of knowledge, or even just reading because it’s become habit? I try to always be cognizant of whether I’m reading Scripture as a way to grow closer to Christ, or if I’m reading just because it’s another part of my daily routine.
Let’s look at the rest of today’s set of readings, and see how they point to Christ:
In 2 Chronicles 17:3-4 we see that “The LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the earlier ways of his father David. He did not seek the Baals, but sought the God of his father and walked in his commandments, and not according to the practices of Israel.” Jehoshaphat turned the nation of Judah from the worship of the Baals to seeking God and walking in his commandments like his father David, who though not having seen the coming of the Messiah, understood that the Messiah was to be the suffering savior of mankind (Psalm 22:16-18), fully God and fully man (Mark 12:35-37; Psalm 110:1). A clear foreshadowing of Jesus!
Zechariah 2 continues the theme of repentance and turning to God that was started in Zechariah 1:3, “Return to me says the LORD of hosts, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts.” Zechariah is given a vision of the future return of the dispersed Jews to Jerusalem, and God declaring, “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the LORD,” (Zech 2:10). The 18th-century preacher and theologian Matthew Henry says that the phrase, “And I will dwell in your midst,” is then repeated in verse 11, because it was to have a double accomplishment: first during the ordinances administered in the rebuilt temple, and second in the incarnation of Christ!
Lastly, in Revelation 6 we have Jesus shown as the Lamb opening the seals of the scroll in John’s vision of the throne room of God. The same Lamb that in the previous chapter was described as, “the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David,” (Rev 5:5); titles found in Old Testament prophesy (Isa 11:10), and quoted by New Testament writers in reference to Jesus (Rom 15:12)!
Lord Jesus, you are the focal point of all scripture, even the focal point of all creation, and rightfully so! For you are the one through which all was created and all is sustained, and we bow down to you in worship, for only you are worthy of all honor and praise! Jesus help me read scripture with you in mind and forgive me for the times that I have just mindlessly went through the motions.