The Subject of Scripture
As my brother-in-law once pointed out in a comment on this blog, the great themes of the Holy Bible are Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation.
In this post, I wish to assert that the great subject of the Holy Bible is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Son of Man.
Jesus Himself makes this point in a couple of crucial passages. When confronting the religious people of His day, as recorded in the Gospel of John chapter 5, verse 39, Jesus boldly asserted:
"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; (NASB)
By this, Jesus identifies Himself with the message of eternal life, which the people of the time (influenced by the teachings of the religious sect of the Pharisees) recognized as the main purpose of the Scriptures.
After His resurrection, Jesus revealed Himself to His disciples and explained His ministry- particularly His death on the Cross, which so distressed His followers- as recorded in the Gospel of Luke chapter 24, verse 27:
Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (NASB)
It is important here to note that this verse declares that Jesus used "all the Scriptures" to graciously explain Himself.
It is true that the message of the person and work of Jesus Christ our Lord is much more clear in some passages than in others. In some passages, such as the genealogies of the Old Testament, it is very hard to see the connection with Christ, but we are given direct teaching concerning how at least a portion of these genealogies relate to faith in Christ in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 1 and in the Gospel of Luke chapter 3.
Other passages such as those spelling out the details of the Mosaic Law may be hard for us to understand in relationship to Jesus at first, but we are given direct teaching by Jesus and His apostles on how the whole of the Law relates to the person and work of Jesus in passages such as the Gospel of Matthew chapter 5, verse 17, in which Jesus proclaims Himself to be the fulfillment of the Law, and Paul's letter to the Galatians chapter 3, verse 13, in which the Apostle declares that Jesus has redeemed us from the curse of the Law, which we deserved for our sins; Jesus, by His death on the Cross, took on the punishment that we were due. Also in Galatians chapter 3, verse 24, the Apostle teaches that the Law is our schoolmaster, convicting us of sin and driving us to cry out for salvation through trust in Jesus Christ alone.
Finally, it is important to note that all of the moral and ethical teachings of the Holy Bible are based in the person and work of Jesus Christ. To give two brief examples: in First Peter chapter two, after Peter gives teaching on how servants should be submissive to their masters, he directly links the obedience of servants to the obedience that Jesus practiced in regards to governmental authorities; also, after the Apostle Paul gives teaching on the responsibilities of husbands and wives in marriage, he points directly to Jesus, stating,
This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:32 NASB)
[This article is edited from a blogpost originally published on 7/5/05.]
Labels: Bible study