Musings 106

When you go into the dark chamber of the Old Testament, take Christ with you in the arms of your faith, and immediately the shadows will flee away, and the brightness of day break in upon the thickest darkness; for this Child is the interpretation of all the prophecies and sayings; the key to all the rites and visions; the unfolding of all the seals and mysteries; the deciphering of all the figures and types; and the body and substance of all the shadows and symbols. (F.W. Krummacher)

In the statement above we have a parallel statement (at least of sorts) with Paul’s statement about not knowing anything but Christ and His crucified. It is Christ who is the main theme of the Old Testament and it is the Old Testament that points to the coming Christ by setting Him forth in types and shadows. The Old Testament can be quite a mysterious book unless we see it as pointing to Christ as the main point. This is not to say that all the parts of the Old Testament are easy to figure out when we see that it points to Christ, but it is to say that we miss the main point when we are not looking for how the Old Testament points to Christ. It is the same with any book (in a sense), if we are reading it without seeing the main point the book will not make a lot of sense.

The Old Testament gives us an account of creation, but the New Testament tells us that all things came into being through Christ and that apart from Him nothing has come into being (John 1:1-5). The New Testament also teaches that all things were created through Christ and for Christ (Colossians 1). In other words, while we can understand certain things about creation from Genesis, we will not understand the purpose of creation apart from Christ. We can wrestle with many things about creation, but we must not forget that the main point of it all is that creation has a purpose and that is to glorify God in and through Christ.

The book of Leviticus is the place where most people stop reading when they try to read through the Bible. It is heavy with things that we don’t understand and it has ways of putting things that are unfamiliar. However, it is the book of Leviticus that sets out for us the work of Christ. All the offerings of Leviticus point toward what Christ was to come and accomplish. All that sinners did was to be done by sacrifice, by blood, and were to be done through a priest. Each and everything in Leviticus point to Christ and His work in life, on the cross, and His work as Prophet, Priest, and King. How our minds cannot grasp the book of Leviticus until we grasp the issue that it is pointing to Christ and then we can behold the Gospel in it.

The tabernacle was something that appeared to have a lot of detail and things that appear to be useless. Yet when we can grasp that the body of Christ in the New Testament was indeed the very tabernacle of the glory of God (John 1:14), we can understand that the tabernacle of the Old Testament pointed to Christ. We can understand that all the activity that took place in the tabernacle had to do with Christ and the work of Christ. While some may think of these things as pointless, they do indeed set out the work of Christ and in the Old Testament tabernacle we can behold the glory of God in Christ.

Regardless of whether it is the Old or New Testament, the Lord Jesus Christ is the point and purpose of it all. Jesus Himself told us that He came to reveal the Father (John 1:18), and throughout the book of John He spoke as if that was what He came to do. He did what the Father told Him to do and He spoke what the Father said to speak. He was the very glory of God shining in the types of the Old Testament and then the fulfillment of those in His fleshly tabernacle in the New Testament. It is not scholarship that reveals the Bible and the truth of God; it is Christ who does that. It is Christ we must seek for understanding and it is Christ we must seek to see the face of God. It is Christ we must seek if we long for and desire the very presence of God.

Christ Himself came to earth by the free-grace of God and it is in and through Christ that the free-grace of God is displayed and manifested. The Gospel is seen in both Testaments, but the Gospel is only seen in Christ because it is in Christ that we are enabled to behold the glory of God. Apart from Christ we will see nothing but morality, intellectual activity, and religious activity. We can study things about Christ and yet miss the truth of Christ. We must seek Christ or we will miss the whole point of God’s revelation of why He created and then how He saves sinners by free-grace. The whole Bible points us to free-grace and we must not miss it.

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