God Isn’t Like That Part 2

After the resurrection, Jesus met a couple of his disciples on the way to Emmaus. I love reading about this encounter and wish I could have been there. Or at the least, it would be great to have a record of their conversation. Starting at Moses and going through the Prophets, Jesus explained the Scriptures concerning himself (Luke 24:27). What a difference it would make in our understanding of the Old Testament if we could know what was said that day.

Some churches disregard the Old Testament and focus entirely on the new, while others seem to live in the old, liking the celebrations and rituals (sound familiar?). As with most things, the proper perspective is usually found somewhere in the middle.

As I said last time, through Jesus’ eyes, the Old Testament shows us the heart of God. We see him in Exodus as the deliverer, in Ruth as the kinsman-redeemer and in Esther as our intercessor. In Psalms he’s our great Shepherd and in Song of Solomon he’s the loving bridegroom. In Daniel, he’s the fourth man in the fiery furnace and in Hosea the faithful but wronged husband.

We see his desire to have a relationship with the people he chose for his very own. Jesus came to save the lost sheep of the house of Israel. We see his love and concern for them, and his jealousy when they went after other gods. Through David’s writings, we see how God is like a protective mother bird, keeping us safe under strong wings. Jesus longed to gather the children of Jerusalem to himself as a mother hen gathers her chicks. Through the words of the prophets, we see how the law and religion can be turned into something profane. We watch Israel lose their connection with God because of legalism and hypocrisy.

Then Jesus entered the picture and as he explained to his disciples on the road to Emmaus, everything pointed to him. During his ministry, he preached out of the Old Testament, showing people how it was a prologue to his coming. The whole creation had been waiting for the Incarnation, for the fulfillment of the law, the prophets and the promise of the Messiah.

I remember when it first dawned on me the Old Testament was about Jesus. In all my years of reading it and observing the holy days, I only occasionally saw him there. Now I look for him. Reading through the whole Bible this year is my fresh opportunity to find him on every page.

I’m learning to read the Old Testament with a greater awareness that it’s all about Jesus, which helps reconcile the seeming differences between the two sections of Scripture. I want to be able to explain it to those with questions. My prayer is for my mind to be more open to what I’ve missed all these years. I just wish someone had written the “Book of Emmaus” so I could understand more! But for now my reading has taken the feel of a treasure hunt and each book holds new delights as I learn more about my God and Savior. May you also be blessed as you read the Old Testament with his eyes.

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