19 Apr Jesus Showed Up in the Old Testament: The Bible is All About Jesus! Part 2
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. (John 5:39-40)
I will never forget one of the strangest conversations of my entire ministry career. Many years ago, a group of young pastors was invited to spend an hour with one of the leading Christian theologians of his generation.
Most of us young pastors did not know each other and met for the first time as we grabbed lunch and took a seat around a large conference table. The elderly theologian was a giant in the faith to each of us, and as he prayed over our meal the room suddenly felt like sacred ground.
The theologian welcomed us, said a few encouraging things, and was promptly interrupted by one of the young guys who hijacked the conversation. He was determined to air his opinions about a wide assortment of secondary issues and impress us with his insights. This went on for what felt like an eternity when another one of the young pastors tried to redirect the conversation so that we could learn from the theologian. Sadly, his effort was in vain. This foolish young man wasted the entire hour, wasting our time together and opportunity to learn.
This same sort of thing happened when religious leaders kept showing up to argue with Jesus rather than learn from Jesus. Jesus clearly and kindly tried to teach them that the Bible cannot be properly understood unless He is viewed as its center.
In fact, Jesus simply came down from heaven and showed up numerous times in the Old Testament in what are called “Christophanies”. Here are some examples:
- Jesus walked with Abraham (Genesis 18)
- Jesus wrestled with Jacob (Genesis 32:30)
- Jesus appeared to Moses in the Burning Bush (Exodus 3:2-6, John 8:58)
- Jesus joined Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:24-25)
- Jesus called Isaiah into ministry (Isaiah 6:1-5, John 12:41)
It is commonly believed that Jesus never appeared on the earth until He was born of the virgin Mary, but that is not the case. The Old Testament is just as much about Jesus as the New Testament.
How is your Bible reading going? How can it be improved?