I’ve always found the Old Testament tedious and difficult to understand – even when I was in my Old Testament class at Union, and while there are still times that I don’t understand it clearly, I’ve been reading it this time with fresh eyes. I’ve tried to read with a lens of finding Jesus in the scriptures of the Old Testament, and what I have found is that He is everywhere!
As we’re finishing the Gospels in the series with My Hearts Treasure, one piece of the Old Testament stands out: The Exodus. The parallels to the coming of Jesus are clear. The Israelites needed a rescue from slavery, much like we do from our sins. The Lord used a baby in a basket that was raised up to lead His people from slavery. The Lord would later use a baby, born in a manger, to free His people from sin. The covering of the blood of the Lamb spared the Israelites from losing their first born son, much like the blood of Jesus covers us and washes away our sins.
Then in Jeremiah 31:31-34, we see Jeremiah prophesy about the New Covenant. He says, “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
Ya’ll. That last sentence gives me so much hope.
“I will remember their sin no more.”
The Gospel story is proclaimed right there in the middle of the Old Testament.
Without reading the Old Testament, we miss the reality that there was a salvation plan in place from the very beginning and His name is Jesus. The richness of the Gospels is even more clear when you see that the Gospel is a story God has been scripting from the beginning of time.
In the words of the Jesus Storybook Bible that I am working through with my kindergarten Bible study class, “There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all of the stories are telling one Big Story. The story of how God loves His children and comes to rescue them. It takes the whole Bible to tell this story. And at the center of this story, there is a baby. Every story in the Bible whispers His name. He is like the missing piece in a puzzle – the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture.”
As we continue our study with the book of Acts, we see the New Covenant being put in motion. The disciples are following the Great Commission that Jesus gave them – to take the Gospel to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the world. In Acts, we move from the hearing about the coming of Jesus and the life of Jesus to hearing the stories of those whose lives were transformed by Jesus. We will see the Gospel’s transforming power in the life of Paul, the fulfillment of the call to share the Gospel in the life of Peter, and the Gospel’s uniting bond as the early church is formed. Acts is a pivotal piece of the overall story and I can’t wait to jump into it together!