The Bible: One Story About One Man

A visualization of all the cross references of the Bible.

If someone were to ask you what the Bible is about what would you say? How would you even go about answering such a daunting question? After all, the Bible is 66 books written by dozens of authors covering genres from narrative to poetry written over a staggering 1,500 years. Wouldn’t it be irresponsible to try and summarize such a diverse collection of books? The answer is, of course, yes—if there wasn’t one author behind every word of Scripture. While many men were used by God to write the books that make up the Bible, behind them all stands one author transcending the time that it took to compile its pages. And with this one author comes one story, one purpose. What is that purpose? To reveal the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

They Wrote About Him

In John 5:39 Jesus criticizes the Pharisees by saying, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,” and later in that same passage, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me.” John 5:46. Jesus’s criticism of the Pharisees there was that they read Scripture with a veil over their eyes (2 Cor. 3:1-18) they failed to see that the Scriptures, our Old Testament, spoke about Christ. They didn’t understand this. The Pharisees read their Bible and thought it gave simply rules and regulations and some hopeful ways of satisfying God’s wrath over their sin. They failed to see the primary focus of Scripture, the God-Man, Jesus Christ.

The Fool Doesn’t See

Take another example after Jesus’s resurrection in Luke 24. Luke picks up the story of two men walking down the road to Emmaus talking about what all has happened in Jerusalem when Jesus approaches them and talks with them. At first the disciples don’t recognize Jesus and explain to Jesus that their hopes were dashed to pieces when the Messiah was crucified. While they had heard of the resurrection they were there headed out of Jerusalem, apparently not convinced of the testimonies of his resurrection. What is Jesus’s response? In a staggering rebuke we read,

And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:26-27)

“O foolish one” isn’t something anyone would hope to hear from the mouth of God so what was it that these fools didn’t understand? They didn’t see that all of scripture, from Genesis to Malachi was focused on revealing one person, Jesus. While they were looking for a messiah, they did so with blind eyes. They read the Old Testament as we do all too often, with hard hearts and blind eyes, unaware of the glories of Christ throughout its pages. We drudge through the Old Testament hopeful to get to the “good parts” of scripture but fail to see the beautiful picture of the Messiah it paints. We fail to see the story of God’s redemptive work through the blood of the Messiah in order to reconcile Himself to His people.

Looking Forward

When we turn to the close of our story (Rev. 21:22–22:5) we see the incredible picture of where all of human history heads toward, a new city filled with God’s people, ruled by Christ himself with His glory shining throughout all of creation. We see God’s people living in fellowship with Jesus worshiping him and glorifying him as redeemed creatures. This is the last chapter of the story of the Bible. It’s the final scene and a window for us into a glorious and hopeful future if in fact you are in Christ.

The scene presented in Revelation shows us where we’re headed. Like the final chapter of a book we see the story resolved and the purpose revealed. We see that God is moving towards an end and that end is the glorification and worship of Jesus. This is what the story is about. This is what our story is about and as we look through the pages of scripture we would be wise to recognize the main point to every passage and the person the book is ultimately about.

So as you read your Bible do so with that interpretive lens. Look for Jesus. If you don’t see Him look again.

 

For those that are interested in reading more, check out Crossway for great books on the storyline of Scripture.

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