How to Read the Bible…

The Bible, in a word, is all about Jesus. Obvious I guess. But let’s remember that when we say the Bible is all about Jesus we are also saying that ALL the Bible is about Jesus. Not just the New Testament. The Old Testament as well.

Every now and then you come across a little passage in the Old Testament that gives you an ‘aha’ moment where Jesus leaps out at you, as it were, from the text… something perhaps you hadn’t quite noticed before… a couple of verses that are hinting at what God was planning all along to do through Jesus. So, how about this from Joshua 10:26-27 that a mate recently shared with me:

Then Joshua struck and killed the kings and hung them on five trees, and they were left hanging on the trees until evening. At sunset Joshua gave the order and they took them down from the trees and threw them into the cave where they had been hiding. At the mouth of the cave they placed large rocks, which are there to this day (Joshua 10:26-27).

Be sure to look up the context though, because it gets even better. In verse 23 the first king listed is the ‘king of Jerusalem’. And it’s the passage where the sun stands still. So here’s this powerful looking king of Jerusalem… who dies on a tree… with the sun acting strangely (see Luke 23:44-45)… placed in a cave… with rocks across the entrance… “WHICH ARE THERE TO THIS DAY”!! Makes you think of a different looking king who came as a servant and rode a donkey into Jerusalem, but who suffered a very similar fate, yet with such a very different ending!!… as we have just celebrated at Easter and in our “He is Risen” series. Jesus tomb is not sealed to this day! It was gloriously smashed open from the inside for he is God’s promised king who has defeated sin and death and all the enemies of God and his people.

When Jesus did some Bible studies with his disciples after he rose from the dead before he ascended to heaven he taught them (and us with them) how to read the Bible:

He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem (Luke 24:44-47).

Maybe that’s why I’ve never been a fan of red-letter Bibles. It’s not just that all the New Testament should be coloured red – it’s all ultimately the words of Jesus and all about Jesus – but the Old Testament as well.

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2 comments on “How to Read the Bible…
  1. David says:

    Thanks Steve for showing us how this passage points to Jesus. I really enjoy (and am amazed) seeing how the Old Testament points to Jesus. I’m looking forward to studying one of the Old Testament books at church again in the future at some stage.

  2. Brad Herd says:

    Nice. It’s excellent when you can see Jesus in passages where you’d never expect to. But I guess we should expect to see him in the whole Bible, as you’ve pointed out. I find it far easier reading some of those strange passages from the Old Testament when I see that it’s pointing to Jesus

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