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Jesus in the Old Testament

by | Sep 21, 2015 | Blog, Community, Mission, Redemption, Worship

ACTS Sermon Presentation Slide

My daughter Lucy, like every other child in America, loves the movie “Frozen.” So…spoiler alert if you have been under a rock the last couple years and haven’t seen this movie yet. Prince Hans is the character in the movie who plays the role of the main villain. However, this is not revealed until towards the end of the story. Recent- ly I read an article explaining how Disney showed us that Prince Hans was always hiding his true colors because he wore gloves the entire movie right up until he pulled them off to tell Anna he did not love her and would not save her. It was only then that we saw his true colors. Once you see the story unfold with Prince Hans revealing his true self, you understand that even in the beginning he was always the villain. In a similar way, Christ is revealed in the New Testament to be the fulfillment of all the Old Testament was pointing to. Unlike Hans, Jesus is the hero of the story. Now that we know this, it is easy to see how clearly we see Christ throughout the Old Testament as the true story of the Bible unfolds from Genesis to Revelation.

One Whole Story

The Bible is not 66 different books telling different isolated stories with no uni- ty nor is it merely a book full of good advice and wise quotations. Just like any good book or movie, the Bible is one complete story with one main subject and one hero. In fact, it is the one true story on which all other stories are based. This story, like all good stories, must have time to develop and unfold before it comes to a climax and resolution. That is exactly what the Bible does. Each of the 66 books of the Bible make up one grand story that shows us how the redemptive history of the world is unfolding. This is what is happening in the Old Testament. The story, God’s story, is unfolding. The Old Testament is preparing the way and pointing to Christ on every page.

The Fulfillment

Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all things promised in the Old Testament. Luke makes this very clear in his gospel as well as in Acts. Luke records a conver- sation Jesus is having with two men on the road to Emmaus. He writes, “And he said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:25-27)

Then in Acts 2 at the end of the first recorded sermon being preached, Christ is shown to be the fulfillment of the Old Testament. After preaching Christ from Joel and the Psalms, Peter says, “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:36). Speaking again of Jesus in Acts 10, Luke records Peter as saying, “To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:43).

Vaughan Roberts writes in his book “God’s Big Picture,” “The Old Testament on its own is an unfinished story; a promise without a fulfillment. We must read on to the New Testament if we want to know what it really means. And the New Testament constantly looks back to the promise it fulfills. We shall not make much sense of it if we are not aware of what has come before. What does it mean that Jesus is the Christ, the Passover lamb, the Son of Abraham, and Son of David, the true vine or the good shepherd? The answers are all found in the Old Testament.”

Jesus is the perfect prophet, priest, and king. As Tim Keller says, “Jesus is the true and better” version of most every character in the Old Testament. Each story and each character is pointing us to the person and work of Christ.

Keeping the end in mind

Once Prince Hans was revealed to be the villain, one can never watch “Frozen” again without seeing him and the story for what it is. It’s obvious once you know how the story ends. In a similar way, we have the privilege of being on this side of the resurrection of Christ with the completed Word of God readily available at our fingertips. We know that Jesus is the hero. We know how the story ends. Now, when we read the Old Testament we always do it with the end in mind … namely Jesus Christ. As Sally Lloyd-Jones says, “every story whispers his name.”

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