When I began getting intentional with Bible study, I struggled to connect the dots with how the big picture of scripture fits together. I could definitely see God’s hand in each of the stories but struggled to find a common link between most of them. The big revelation came from an unlikely source: my daughter’s children’s bible!
On most nights, I handle the bed-time routine with our five year old little girl. Early on I would make up stories but there was one problem: I’m terrible with fiction. You can imagine our (my daughter’s) gratitude when our friends gave her a copy of The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones for Christmas one year. As I began using this resource at bed time, I quickly learned it offered more than just bible stories…it pointed us to the BIG deal of God’s Word.
There’s an old joke that, if you don’t know the answer to a question asked in Sunday School, just answer “Jesus” and you can’t lose. In reality, Jesus IS the big deal of the Bible. Every story told there is anticipating, describing or reflecting on His perfect work here on Earth or His second coming. This is even true of the Old Testament!
Examples of Christ Foreshadowed in the Old Testament
See! When I learned to read the Word in light of Christ, it stopped being a collection of stories and became one beautiful work woven together by the incredible and sacrificial work of Jesus. A work that saved His people (us!) and established His Kingdom for eternity!
Where To Start
It’ll be difficult to see Christ in the scripture until you first become familiar with who He is and what He did. If you’re new to this whole Bible thing, no worries! I recommend these first steps:
1. Read the Gospels
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are called “the gospels” and are the beginning of the New Testament (I like to start with John which is actually the last of the four…but that’s just me). Understand that these four books tell the same story from four different perspectives. Some include things that others don’t. All four are valuable in understanding who Jesus is. I plan to blog soon about how these four books fit together.
2. Read the Book of Romans
If there were a “cliff notes” version of the story of Salvation, this would be it. Don’t use that last sentence as an excuse to skip the gospels and jump straight to Romans. Seriously…the gospels are critical but, Paul’s letter to the church in Rome is AH-MAZ-ING!
3. Begin to Branch Out
If you want to dip your toe into the waters of the Old Testament, Psalms is popular (and beautiful…and long…). If you want to continue on in the New Testament, the book of Acts will tell you all about the beginnings of what we now know as the church.
The evidence of Christ throughout scripture is there. Now it’s up to you to read it! Read and pray through each chapter with holy anticipation that Christ will be revealed to you. You’ll be amazed at the result!
Question: What passages of the Bible are you reading through now? Where have you discovered Christ in your reading where you least expected Him? You can leave a comment below.