I knew a wonderful lady, long since with the Lord, who was one of the most consistently joyful saints I have ever met. Perhaps the secret to her joy could be discovered in a comment she made: “I find the Lord Jesus in places in the Bible where other people don’t see Him.” It was not a remark made in pride but in thankfulness. Nor was it an admission that she dealt fancifully or creatively with the Word of God. Rather, it was an humble testimony to the fact that she actively searched (and found) what the Lord Jesus said was to be revealed there.
While reproving antagonistic Jewish unbelievers, the Lord said: “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me” (John 5:39). The only Scriptures the Jews had at that time were the inspired writings that we refer to as the Old Testament. Jesus Christ declared that those Scriptures reveal Him. Yes, they divulge the reality concerning the creation of the universe. Yes, they tell of the giving of the Mosaic Law. Yes, they provide an accurate accounting of the history of God’s people, Israel. And yes, they provide remarkable insights regarding many other ancient cultures and civilizations. But all of that accurate information is worthless if we fail to see that those writings testify of Christ.
It is no small thing to miss this truth. Recognizing Christ in the Word is everything. Following His death and resurrection, the Lord Jesus appeared to two unnamed disciples as they made the journey from Jerusalem to Emmaus. They were distraught over the crucifixion of Christ and did not believe the testimony of the women who had gone to the tomb only to find it empty and to hear the announcement of the angels that Jesus was alive. The Lord was not sympathetic to their sorrow because it sprang from unbelief. “’O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?’ Then beginning with Moses [i.e., the Pentateuch] and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures” (Lk. 24:25b-27). Emmaus was approximately seven miles from Jerusalem, a trek that might conceivably take two hours. During that time, Christ preached Himself out of our Old Testament Scriptures from Genesis to Malachi.
We must be like “some Greeks” who came to Philip at the Passover in Jerusalem and implored him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus” (John 12:21b). We will have missed the meat of the Old Testament (not to mention the New) if we do not see Jesus in those old pages. We might learn true history, facts about culture, effective moral principles, and bits of practical wisdom from reading the Bible. But if we fail to discover Christ in its pages, we have missed the whole point. They testify of Him. God’s purpose in breathing out the words of The Book is to reveal Jesus Christ, who alone is “the exact representation of His [God’s] nature” (Heb. 1:3b). He alone is the way to God, the truth about everything, and source of eternal life.
The United States of America has become an anti-Christian nation dominated by an ungodly government. Paul warns that “in the last days difficult times will come” (II Tim. 3:1b). Surely, they are here. Though it is always true, it is expressly evident during such times that religious principles and academic doctrines will not sustain anyone. We must see Christ. We must search for Him as for hidden treasure. Recognizing Christ on the pages of Holy Writ is the secret to joy and contentment. Finding Christ in the Word is the key to zeal, to courage, to strength, and to steadfastness. Job bemoaned the fact that “There is no umpire between us [God and man], who may lay his hand upon us both” (9:33). He was crying out for a just mediator. Paul tells us that such a person exists: “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (I Tim. 2:5). Find Jesus Christ in the Word, believer. He alone will support and sustain you. He alone is the Source of life and strength and of peace and joy. Doctrine is crucial, but it must be centered in and on the person of Jesus Christ. Wish to see Jesus.
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