Survey of the Old Testament - Lesson 3

Biblical Testimony that Jesus is the Theological Center

Jesus claims that the Old Testament finds its ultimate meaning in him. After his resurrection, Jesus meets two disciples on the road to Emmaus and gives them a lesson in biblical interpretation. The Father and the Scriptures testify about who Jesus is. In Romans 1:3, Paul refers to the Gospel being revealed through his prophets, in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son. Every book in the Bible teaches about Christ so every sermon should teach about Christ. Hebrews 11 refers to the great cloud of witnesses.

Miles Van Pelt
Survey of the Old Testament
Lesson 3
Watching Now
Biblical Testimony that Jesus is the Theological Center

I. Claims of Jesus

A. Disciples on the road to Emmaus

B. John 5:36-40

C. John 5:45-47

II. Apostle Paul

III. Other Apostles

IV. Homiletical Impact

V. A Christocentric Approach to the Old Testament

  • Knowing the purpose, structure and theological center of the Old Testament, will help you understand more accurately the character of God, and his purpose in the world and in your life. The Old Testament teaches you about Christ and describes his ministry. Colossians 3:15-16 reads, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart, let the word of Christ dwell in you richly."

  • What you decide is the theological center of the Bible will determine how you understand the Bible and apply it to your life. You can see unity in biblical authorship by the number of times the phrase, “thus says Yahweh” is used in the Old Testament.  The person and work of Jesus is the theological center of the Old Testament. The living force of the canonical word must be the incarnate word. The proper nouns used in the Bible indicate the important characters and themes.

  • Jesus claims that the Old Testament finds its ultimate meaning in him. After his resurrection, Jesus meets two disciples on the road to Emmaus and gives them a lesson in biblical interpretation. The Father and the Scriptures testify about who Jesus is. In Romans 1:3, Paul refers to the Gospel being revealed through his prophets, in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son. Every book in the Bible teaches about Christ so every sermon should teach about Christ. Hebrews 11 refers to the great cloud of witnesses.

  • The Kingdom of God is the over-arching theme of the whole Bible. God governs his kingdom by his covenants. The covenant of grace is in effect throughout the Bible and has different administrations.

  • The form that our Bibles come to us in is meaningful for interpretation. The Hebrew Bible has a different order of the books than the English Bible.  

  • The order of books in the English Bible and the Hebrew Bible is different because the criteria for determining the order is different. The order of the books in the Hebrew Bible reflect an emphasis on covenant, and also teaching important concepts then giving a practical example to illustrate how to put it into practice.

  • The three divisions in the Old Testament are the Law, the Prophets and the Writings. Genesis and Revelation are the introduction and conclusion to the Bible and have parallel themes. Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy are the four covenant books that record the birth and death of the covenant mediator and contain his life and teachings. The former prophets record the history of Israel. The latter prophets call people to repent and return to God.

  • Your presuppositions about whether or not the authors who wrote the books of the Bible were inspired by God will influence your position the authorship of the Pentateuch. The traditional view is that Moses wrote the first five books of the Old Testament at about 1200 to 1400 B.C. The documentary hypothesis claims that there were four or more separate authors that wrote beginning in about 900 B.C.

  • Genesis is the covenant prologue and is both protological and eschatological. It is the most covenantal book in the Bible. One way to outline the book is into twelve parts, each beginning with the phrase, “these are the generations.” Creation is described using a theological order.

  • Chapter 2 is a detailed description of the sixth day of creation, culminating in the creation of woman. Chapter 3 describes the Fall and the consequences. Hebrew homonyms link the passages and intensify the descriptions.

  • Noah functions as a prophetic covenant mediator. God promises a remnant in his covenant with Noah and also renews the covenant of common grace. God continues his redemptive covenant with Abraham and his descendants. The book of Genesis ends with the narrative of Joseph.

  • This is the beginning of the formal documents of the covenant of God with the people of Israel. It begins with the birth of Moses and ends with the people of Israel coming out of Egypt.

  • Leviticus is primarily instructions to promote the holiness of God’s people. It provides a system that allows for a holy God to live among an unholy people. In the sacrificial system, there are 5 kinds of offerings. Jesus is the fulfillment of the observance of the Day of Atonement.

  • The book of Numbers is a record of the events of the forty years of wandering in the wilderness. The purpose is to contrast the faithfulness of God with the faithlessness of the Israelites. The time in the wilderness was a period of testing for the people of Israel.

  • This is a renewal of the Mosaic covenant in preparation for entering the Promised Land. It’s an encouragement to keep the Law and a reminder of blessings for obedience and cursings for disobedience. Deuteronomy points us to Jesus who ultimately fulfills the Law.

  • Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings describe the nature and purpose of the Sinai Covenant and the historical events of the occupation of the land. God know that the people of Israel would fail to obey the Mosaic Covenant, so he had planned from the beginning to establish the New Covenant when the time was right.

  • Joshua was the successor to Moses. The book of Joshua focuses on the Promised Land. The people of Israel enter the land, conquer the land, divide the land between the tribes and then renew their covenant with God. Holy war and covenant obedience are important themes.

  • Judges has two introductions, two conclusions, six major judges, six minor judges and one anti-judge. It can be described as the, “uncreation” of Israel. Their purpose was to judge the nations and to deliver the people of Israel from their oppressors.

  • The book of Samuel provides the answer to the crisis of kingship. Samuel, as the last judge and first prophet, anoints Saul as king. The people of Israel reject Yahweh as king. Saul is anointed by Samuel and serves as king but is later rejected because of disobedience. David is anointed king because God acts according to his own will. Solomon begins well and ends badly.

  • The book of Kings is the story of the monarchy in the nation of Israel. It begins with the united monarchy under Solomon, then after his death, is divided into the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. We can learn about God’s character and the importance of living in a covenant relationship with God.  

  • The Latter Prophets are covenant lawyers. They are executing the lawsuit of God against Israel for unfaithfulness to the covenant. Prophets use both oracular prophecies and sign acts to communicate their message.

  • Isaiah is sometimes described as the, “fifth gospel” because it is quoted so much in the New Testament. The themes in Isaiah are both timely for his generation and also point to their ultimate fulfillment in Jesus and the end of time.

  • Jeremiah’s call was to tell the people of Judah why they were going into exile and also to give them hope for future restoration. The book contains oracles, accounts of visions and symbolic actions, prophetic laments and historical narratives.

  • One key to understanding Ezekiel is the glory of God in the temple. The book begins with God appearing to Ezekiel, then God leaves the temple and, in the end, God returns. Ezekiel’s oracles and signs illustrate each of these.

  • In the Hebrew Bible, these 12 minor prophets are treated as one book. Each one is a covenant lawyer that is prosecuting God’s lawsuit against the unfaithful nation of Israel and also preaching a message of hope for restoration. The Day of the Lord is the day of the king’s victory over his enemy, either to crush an enemy or to save a people.

  • These books are about how you think and live in light of the covenant. The genres include narrative, poetry and prophecy. The Hebrew Bible order emphasizes teaching then example.

  • Covenant life is a life of worship. The book divisions in the manuscripts were purposefully arranged so the book as a whole has a meaningful narrative. It emphasized the kingship of Yahweh, the Davidic line and the temple. You can use specific patterns of construction for understanding lament, thanksgiving and hymns of praise psalms. You can also use the same patterns to help you respond to God and worship him.

  • Job deals with the issue of human tragedy and suffering. Job never knows what happened in heaven that resulted in his suffering. His three friends made correct theological arguments but they were misapplied. Job speaks about suffering and hope. God challenges Job at the end of the book, and also restores his possessions and children.

  • Solomon created a collection of practical wisdom sayings. Some were for instructing children, some for instructing kings, but they all are applicable to help everyone live in the light of the covenant of grace in the context of common grace.

  • Ruth follows Proverbs in the Hebrew Bible. Even though she is from Moab, she lives in Israel with her widowed Israelite mother-in-law to take care of her. She marries Boaz and is included in the genealogy of David and Jesus.

  • Marriage should be both rock solid in terms of covenant commitment and white hot in terms of sexual intimacy. If it is both, you can better resist temptation, endure hardship and promote wholeness.   

  • The message of Ecclesiastes is that true knowledge, wisdom and meaning in life begins with the fear of the Lord. The author of Ecclesiastes, likely Solomon, tests this conclusion and is unsuccessful in finding ultimate meaning in activities, “under the sun,” like wealth, relationships, power, projects, etc.

  • Lamentations is a collection of funeral dirges lamenting the fall and exile of Jerusalem. The elegant structure of the book is a contrast to the chaos and destruction of the events that are taking place. Each poem gives you a different perspective on God’s character and his covenant faithfulness.

  • Esther is a story of living a life of faith in exile. It Bringing “shalom” into a hostile environment sometimes even requires risking your life. The festival of Purim commemorates God saving his people and is still celebrated today.

  • Daniel and Esther are examples of living a life of faith while in exile. Daniel was different than the writing prophets because he is not primarily a covenant lawyer prosecuting God’s lawsuit against the people of Israel. The first six chapters are biographical stories highlighting God’s power to save and his sovereignty over the nations. The second six chapters are visions of the future.

  • The book of Ezra-Nehemiah records the last events, chronologically, in the Old Testament. Ezra returned from exile with authorization to teach the Law of the Jews and institute the sacrificial system. Nehemiah returned to rebuild Jerusalem. They fail in their human attempt to rebuild heaven on earth, which encourages you to look forward to the city built by God.

  • The return from exile is not the greater one prophesied by the prophets. We still look forward to the return from exile with them in the resurrection. Chronicles traces the seed that was promised and gives an account of the return from exile.

Take this opportunity to study with Dr. Miles Van Pelt as he shows you patterns and themes that will help you understand the Old Testament and the whole Bible. He will give you an overall view of the Old Testament then discuss specifics about each of the books. 

For instance, you might ask, "What kind of book is the Old Testament?" The OT is a single story told three times over: once in Genesis, once in Exodus through Nehemiah, and once again in Chronicles (just like day 6 in Genesis 1–2). The OT loves to repeat itself, repeat itself, repeat itself. This is how it teaches us. The Old Testament is about 2/3 of the Bible and is the basis for everything you read in the New Testament. The better you understand the Old Testament, the clearer you will understand the message of the Bible. 

What is the Message of the Old Testament? The Old Testament points to the New Covenant. The teachings, prophecies and examples of covenant life point to Jesus who makes the New Covenant possible and inaugurates it. There are also examples in the Old Testament of how human efforts to create heaven on earth fall short, so that we will anticipate and yearn for our ultimate deliverance from exile.

What is the Structure of the Old Testament? The structure of the Old Testament, and the Bible as a whole, is covenantal. God offers to live in the covenant of grace with him and compels them to make that choice. The administrations of the covenant with Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus demonstrate God's patience and perseverance to include as many as are willing.


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Survey of the Old Testament - Bible Study

Survey of the Old Testament - Bible Study

Take this opportunity to study with Dr. Miles Van Pelt as he shows you patterns and themes that will help you understand the Old Testament and the whole Bible. He will give...

Survey of the Old Testament - Bible Study

Dr. Miles Van Pelt 
Survey of the Old Testament 
Biblical Testimony that Jesus is the Theological Center
Lesson Transcript


I. Claims of Jesus (00:11):

Jesus Christ is a major player in biblical revelation. In both the Old and New Testament I'm going to argue that He's the center. I've done it by giving examples through various scholars. Now I want to give you some actual biblical evidence that the New Testament, well, Jesus Himself and the apostles understand the Old Testament to be about Jesus, that He is the center of it. I am trying to set before you the testimony of the New Testament. When it's talking about the Old Testament. I'm going to let the New Testament be the authority here. So, Jesus himself will begin with Jesus. Jesus himself claims that the Old Testament finds its ultimate meaning in Him.

A. Disciples on the Road to Emmaus (1:04)

We're going to go to the famous account of the disciples on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24, where Jesus gives his first post resurrection crash course in biblical interpretation while on the road. He says in Luke 24:25-27, responding to His disciples, “Oh, foolish ones and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken”. Notice He said,” all that the prophets have spoken. Was it not necessary that Christ should suffer these things, and enter into His glory and beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He interpreted to them in all the scriptures, the things concerning himself. Now by sheer force of repetition, there are three all, all in this text. All the prophets have spoken. All the prophets and all the things in scripture concerning Himself. Notice it says this beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He interpreted to them in all the scriptures, the things concerning himself.

So notice again like Paul in the book of Acts at the end, he's using his Old Testament to describe everything about him. Even more. He then said to them about 20 verses later and verses 44 and 45. So this is Luke 24:44-45. He said to them, “this is what I told you while I was still with you. Everything must be fulfilled. That is written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets and the Psalms”.  He opened their minds so they could understand the scriptures. They had like a hermeneutical conversion on the road to Emmaus.

They had the Old Testament, but they didn't get the Old Testament.  How do they get the Old Testament when He enlightened their minds, and when He opened their minds? So He could say “all that is written about me in this, the law of Moses, the prophets and the Psalms”.

The content is Jesus and the means is divine illumination. So you have to have Hermeneutical interpretive conversion and that's really what I had in my life. When I came to this conclusion or didn't come to this conclusion, I was confronted with this fact and the light went on. I felt like I had been converted again. Now I know, now I understand. You get that moment of “thank you Lord, for helping me know that”.  That's what that is.

B. John 5:36-40 (3:41)

In the gospel of John, especially in the gospel of John chapter five there's some great statements here. This is verse 30, 6 to 40. Jesus says “I have testimony way here than that of John the Baptist for the very work that the Father has given Me to finish in which I am doing testifies, that the Father has sent me and the father who sent Me has Himself testified concerning Me”.

“You have never heard His voice or seen His form nor does His word dwell in you. For you do not believe the one He sent.” this is it right here, verse 39 and 40. You diligently study the scriptures because you think that by them, you possess eternal life, and these Pharisees men knew scripture well. They knew their Bible's frontwards and back. Every commandment law, date, name, they knew it.  Then He says, these are the scriptures that testify about me. You refuse to come to me to have life.

So you study hard to know the scriptures. You have them, but you don't get them because the only way you can understand them is if you understand that they testify to Him. He is the key to making sense of the Old Testament. You want to know why our theology of the Old Testament's always so discombobulated and ram-shackled? It is because we refuse to take this statement seriously.

We're sinners and we're never going to do anything perfect, but we can still work to do a better job.   You diligently study the scriptures because you think that by them, you possess eternal life. These are the scriptures that testify about me. If you refuse to come to me to have life, meaning you can study the word, and study the word, but it just hits you like a brick every time. It never gets inside of you until you recognize that really what's in that brick is the testimony of the personal work of Jesus on behalf of you.  Once you accept that reality, the brick turns into a marshmallow and goes in.

C. John 5:45-47 (5:51)

I don't know how you can eat the marshmallow. That was verses 39 and 40. I was giving you the context and then John 5:45,47 says this, “do you think that I will accuse you to the father?”

Okay, Jesus there's going to be judgment day. “Do you think I'll accuse you to the father? There is one who accuses you already, Moses on whom you have set your hope. If you believed Moses, you would believe me for, he wrote about me”. Now I could think of Isaiah and all the suffering servants. It would be about Jesus or maybe like the messianic Psalms would be about Jesus, but Moses? He just broke some clay tablets and made a Tabernacle.

He went to war and he struck people dead. I have never heard any Messianic things in the bible. So I want to specifically say it here, Moses wrote about me. That's an amazing statement. I'm going to read it again for you, “if you believe Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote of Me, but if you do not believe in his writings, how will you believe my words because they're the same”. You've got to put these kind of exegetical texts on a 3 by 5 card and review them every day to remind yourself of this reality, because it is a life changing reality. When you approach the Old Testament in light of this, and go through Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy; we don't come out with saying, “this is how you know, it points to the person and work of Jesus.”

Every time we've failed to complete the task, He is the true and better Adam. He is the true and better Noah. He brings us through the true and better flood, judgment, or deal right. He is a true and better tabernacle, the true and better temple, the true and better Moses, the true and better Exodus. All these things testified to Him. You can just see Jesus walking.

Let's begin with the creation of man. Let's look at the fall and the promise of redemption right there. Let's look at the flood, judgment, or deal. Let's look at the call of Abraham. Let's look at, the call of Moses. Let's look at the Exodus. Let's look at the Judges. Let's look at kingship and prophets. He’s just walking them through and saying, I'm the true and better this, that, and the other.

II. Apostle Paul (08:08)

I'm the fullness of it. Well, that's the testimony of Jesus and we could stop right there and I'd be darn convinced. But let's go on and see if the apostles agree with Jesus or if they want to nuance it for us. One of my favorite texts in this area in terms of Apostolic testimony comes from Romans 1:1-3, which this is the introduction to Paul's letter to the Romans, you wouldn't think high level Christology is going on here.

Paul speaks of the Old Testament. Are you ready? As the gospel promised beforehand. So you could, you could call the Old Testament. The gospel promised beforehand, which is the subtitle of our biblical theological introduction. You could call the New Testament the gospel fulfilled. The gospel promised and the gospel fulfilled.

Listen to what Paul says in Romans 1:1-3, and think of it in terms of Jesus being the key to the Old Testament. Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God. What gospel of God? The gospel He promised beforehand.  We're going to have three propositional phrases that will change your life through His prophets in the holy scriptures that are regarding his son. Through His prophets in the holy scriptures, regarding his son as to His human nature, He was a descendant of David. That's an Old Testament anchor. It is Davidic covenant, meaning he's the king. Note the description of this pre-promised gospel with these three prepositional phrases we have first through his prophets.

We'll call that the vehicle of gospel revelation. How did we get the scriptures? He worked through the prophets. Where is this gospel revelation in the holy scriptures? Note that the text is inspired by the way, not the author. This is an important thing when you're talking about inspiration. It's not that the author was inspired, he was filled by the spirit. The God read things, actually the book that's an important thing. Then it says concerning his son and that's the content of gospel revelation. The V vehicle, the prophets, the location, the holy scriptures and what's the content he says concerning his son. The gospel promise beforehand through his prophets concerning his son. So Paul calls his Old Testament, the gospel promise beforehand and it has as its content. The son of God who is, as in terms of physical descendant was the seed of David, which of course goes back to 2nd Samuel 7, and the Davidic covenant.

Psalm 89 comments on that. How about some other things? How about 2nd Corinthians 1:20, “for no matter how many promises God has made”. How many did He make in the Old Testament? There are truckloads of promises. They are yes, in Christ.

Through Him, the amen is spoken by us to the glory of God. There is a recent book by a colleague of mine at RTS, Charlotte. Richard Beecher, who has a book called The Fulfillment of the Promises of God, an Explanation of Covenant Theology. It's a great book. We can also use O. Palmer Robertson's book, The Christ of the Covenants. Even in the title, that all of the promises, all the covenantal promises, that God has pledged to make to His people are yes and Amen in Christ.

Every one of them, it doesn't say most of them. It doesn't say all the. All the ones that weren't fulfilled? It says all of them. So the promise for David to have an heir on the throne of the king forever is fulfilled. Ultimately, not in Solomon. He's stage one mega failure and Jesus is the anti-type of that.

Thus Christ is the purpose, the goal, the meaning, and the significance of every Old Testament promise you can see. Even in Kaiser's book, The Promise Plan of God, Christ's fulfillment of every Old Testament expectation shadow, type and hope. Getting another formative book, getting us back on track in the mid 20th century, then we've got other miscellaneous Apostle testimony. John 1:1-14. These verses in the beginning was the word.

The word was with God and the word was God and the word became flesh. He made His to one among us. We have seen His glory. The glory of the one and only who came from the Father full of grace and truth. So the word of God, this is the Alec Mocheir's speech. The word of God was validated and made known to us, truthfully existentially when the word of God showed up in the incarnation. So now we have the word of God and the son of God together, as a one. It's an amazing thing. The person who authored the word became the living incarnate word. I can put it that way right, if you think thus Sayers Yahweh and Jesus is Yahweh. He's here to show, He's here to tell you, yes, this is what I said.

III. Other Apostles (13:04):

 I'm setting myself at the cost of my life to testify to its truth and to fulfill its promises. It's an amazing thing. It's worth bearing in mind concerning the salvation. First Peter 1:10-11, the prophets who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. So it's the spirit of Christ who makes it Christ centered in it. Second Peter 1:21, above all you must understand that no prophecy of scripture ever came about by the prophet's own interpretation, but that's not the best translation of that word. By the prophet's own loosening from Lou there and by the prophet's own origination. For prophecy, never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Then you can just think of this. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life, and no one comes to the father except through me”. Now, if you think about that, that's a very wisdom oriented saying. The way of wisdom and the way of fall, he's saying, I am the way of life. I'm the way of wisdom. He's the truth. He's the testimony that what has been said is correct and accurate. Therefore, once that invades your life, it becomes a source of life. The law of Lord is perfect. It revives the soul.

IV. Homiletical Impact (14:25)

What is the Homiletical impact of this? I teach at a seminary, it’s a reform theological seminary in Jackson, Mississippi and my job is to train pastors. I'm really big on getting these pastors to preach Jesus from the Old Testament. Every time they preach in one way or another.

That's a great challenge and a great gift at the same time.  I have ways of encouraging them by loading guilt on them at some points.  I have this quote from Stuart Olyott.  He's a pastor in Wales and the director of the evangelical movement in Wales. He wrote a book called, The Preacher and Biblical Preaching and I know not everyone in here's a preacher, but all of you probably hear preaching.

This can either be a form of encouragement if you are preaching, or it can be a warning to protect yourselves if you're under bad preaching, especially from the Old Testament or the New Testament. He’s talking about a series of features that are key for preaching.  He says, one of the key features is Christ centeredness.

He says, “it has to be”. This is because a preacher is our Heralds of the scriptures and all the scriptures are about Christ, explicitly or implicitly, directly or indirectly. Every single part of the Bible points us to Him. There is no page in the whole book, which is an exception. Then he explains it was a spirit of Christ that moved every Old Testament author to write about it. Then he explains what we just went through. Then his concluding paragraph is this. After that, the Lord Jesus Christ is the sum and center of all that God has revealed in his word. He is the focus of the Bible's storyline. He is the heart of every writer, unveiling Himself to their mind. He’s guiding their pen. He reveals Himself through the Bible's pages to every person that He's personally commissioned to preach where He is not preached. There's been no preaching at all, where He has not been preached.

I tell my students at the seminary, if you're not going to preach Christ for the Old Testament, think about a job change where He's not been preached. There's been no preaching at all, and so I really like that particular way of putting it.  There is significance for the interpretation and it mentions it a couple of times in the New Testament. So what does this mean then ? What therefore do we do with so much of the Old Testament stuff that we've got? Think of this example, every time I hear Jonah preached, I hear that Jonah is a type of us, that he is really reluctant to fulfill his mission in God. He's reluctant to obey God.

Even when he has to obey Go he's really angry about it, and isn't that us?. We see that Jesus is good repent of it, and our mission. That's almost universally how he's contrast Jonah to running away from God. At the end of chapter one, the sailors have been converted. Nineveh repents at the message of Jonah.  Israel won't repent from the prophets preaching. There's this thing going on here.  We're thinking, that's me and I've got to be, I've got to repent. I said listen, how Jesus talks about us in Luke 11:29-32 in terms of how Jesus uses the Old Testament. Now we're just not talking about statements that Jesus made concerning this.

We're talking about how we see Jesus using the Old Testament in the New Testament. Luke 11 verse 29, as the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “this generation is a wicked generation. It seeks for a sign and yet no sign will be given to it. But the sign of Jonah”, meaning you've already had a ton of signs. “For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites. So will the son of man be to this generation?” The queen of the south will rise up with the men of this generation at the judgment and condemned them because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment and condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah and behold, something greater than Jonah is here”.

So Jesus is using two Old Testament figures, Solomon and Jonah to say, I am the greater Jonah. I am the greater Solomon. Jonah is a type of Christ. Solomon is a type of Chris, even though they're imperfect, flawed, and sinful. God in his providence chose to use particular offices, prophets, kings, and particular times in their ministries to illustrate what Jesus would be doing in the future. Three days in the belly of the fish, we get it. Solomon was the greatest with wisdom and wealth.  Solomon had all the wisdom, wealth, and opportunity to obey. Jesus had none of the wealth, none of the opulence, no secondary features to obey, and yet He did. There's this big contrast, the true and better.

A. True and Better (19:22):

The true Jesus is a true and better. The true and better Solomon, the true and better Jonah here. So note how Jesus used both Solomon and the prophet Jonah as types of Himself. He declares himself to be the true and better one or the greater one. Jesus calls his audience to identify with the queen of the south and the wicked inhabitants of Nineveh. So if you want to find Waldo in the Old Testament, find the wicked people that need saving. Don't identify yourself as a savior. Identify yourself as a person needing saving because we don't want to have anyone having a Messiah complex. That's why we send people to counseling.  The Bible is clear, there are saviors and people in need of saving in the Old Testament. Israel was in 400 years of harsh bondage in the house of slaves and slavery.

We need saving. We're not Moses. Moses is a type of Christ, we're a type of Israel. Typology is good. We can find ourselves in scripture, but it's usually with the bad people who need saving, not with the . Jesus is the hero of the story. You're the damsel in distress. That could be physical distress or spiritual distress because of your sin. Let's move on to Hebrews 11-12, where we have that big hall of faith passage and he begins with Abel. Then he goes to Abraham, Moses, the Red Sea, and then at the end, he says, and “all the prophets who through faith”.

B. Hall of Faith (21:07):

This is the famous hall of faith. It is commonly referred to in discussing the appropriateness of using Old Testament, characters and narratives as examples for Christian living. Live like these guys.  Chapter 11, rehearses their lives. Now Cain and Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac Jacob Esau, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barrack, Samson, Jeff, David, and Samuel on the prophets. It's a pretty good hit list. A lot of them appeared on the board. The author of the book of Hebrews then refers to this group of individuals, as “ a great cloud of witnesses”. Notice he does not say they are a great cloud of examples. Now, they were all people who had faith and lived in their life.

What did they have faith in? They're great cloud of witnesses from which the author encourages perseverance. This means of perseverance made explicit in Hebrews 12:2. How are we to use these witnesses? To think about the Old Testament says to fix your eyes on Jesus the author and perfect of your faith. So Abraham and his faith is calling you to fix your eyes on Jesus. Moses and his faith is causing you or calling you to fix your eyes on Jesus. Gideon, Barrack, Rahab, Moses, Joseph, Abraham, Isaac, Sarah. Their faith is serving as a witness, that is true and good to fix your eyes on Jesus. That's the right object of your faith. Notice how the author of Hebrews is using the Old Testament and all the Old Testament characters to cause you to fix your eyes on Jesus.

V. A Christocentric Approach to the Old Testament (22:50)

That's how the apostles are using this. So let me conclude this kind of Christocentric, Christoteller, Christopantic approach by just a couple of verses which summarizes what we've looked at. For instance, where Jesus says, it's about Him versus where the apostles have said, it's about Him. I've seen examples in the New Testament about them using it that way in Luke and in Hebrews. Now listen to some of the things that people say in terms of the importance of Jesus for not just faith in life, but for understanding everything. In Matthew 11:27 it states, “all things have been committed to me by the father. No one knows the son except the father. And no one knows the father except the son and those to whom the son chooses to reveal him”. That is always by the power of the Spirit, through His word, never in any other way.

First Corinthians 12:2, how does Paul summarize all of his preaching for, “I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Christ Jesus, and Him crucified”. Now Paul knew a lot about Jesus and talked a lot about other things. Opponents, circumcision, baptism, feasts, Christology, ecclesiology, eschatology, but he's summarizing all that business as Jesus Christ and Him crucified. That means everything that came out of his mouth was for that reason and that purpose in all of its diversity. In Galatians 6:14 it states, “may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ through which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world”. In Philippians 1:15 it states, “It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of Goodwill, the former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I'm in chains”.

A. Christ is Preaching (24:33):

But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from true or false motives Christ is preaching and because of this I rejoiced. Now again, their text is the Old Testament. That's what you've got to keep in your mind. You know, they don't the last 25%. In Colossians 1:27, these are verses that you can go back to and reflect on the significance of this . To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles, the glorious riches of his mercy, which is Christ in you. The hope of glory in him, we proclaim. Admonishing and teaching everyone without wisdom, so we can present one perfect in Christ. Hebrews one, that's all over the place. Once you start looking for this, as you read, it'll just keep slapping you in the face and you be thinking, why did I never see this before?

Hebrews 1 in following, in the past, God spoke to our fathers through the prophets at various times and in various ways. But in these last days, he's spoken to us by his son through whom he, or whom he appointed heir of all things and through whom he made the universe. This son is the radiance of God's glory and these act representation that is being a couple of quotable theologians at the end will help us with this. John Owen, communion with the Triune God. Kind of a puritan guy. There is not the least glimpse of God's love for sinners that can possibly be discovered, but in Christ, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament, I'm adding that last part. Geerhardus Vos, when talking about Paul and what he's doing stated, “the gospel on the grandest of scales from beginning to the end of man's salvation appears not merely to be associated with Christ, but capable of description only in terms of Christ”. Vos, The Theology of Paul.

B. The Trinity is Christocentric (26:14):

Here's a great one by CS Lewis, in Mere Christianity 174. Jesus is what the father has to say. That would be going back to John 1:1, Hebrews 1:1.  We'll finish our session with this last quote from Dane Ortlund, who wrote an article in Themelios. He argues that the Trinity is Christocentric. He is arguing against, it's not Christianism but Anthropocentrism. I'm going to read this quote from Dane Orotund in ThemeIsle, “Anthropocentrism, what we're talking about now that Jesus is a theological center of all this, is the necessary prerequisite for Trinitarianism, the bold statement from our perspective, the Trinity itself is Christ centered”.

Jesus says in John 15:26, “that when the spirit comes, whom I will send you from the father, the spirit of truth, who proceeds from the father he'll bear witness about me”. There are three persons of the Trinity. Here all three persons of the Trinity are referenced and both the father and the son more precisely the spirit, as he proceeds from the father are described as intentionally, drawing attention to Jesus. I'm adding for our benefit, a major theme of John's gospel as well as first John is the Spiritual in witnessing to Jesus. The spirit will, "glorify me, said, Jesus", John 16:14. Paul wrote that no one can see, no one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. Elsewhere, the apostle Paul speaks of those who worship by the spirit of God as being the very ones who glory in Christ Jesus. In Philippians 3:3, in summary, the spirit himself is Christ centered.

 A fundamental role of the spirit is to magnify Christ. Not only does the spirit proceed from Christ and the Father rather than Christ from the spirit, but one crucial mission of the spirit is to spotlight Christ. So if the spirit thinks it's important, to highlight Christ for all of life and maybe interpretation, then we need to think similarly about highlighting that person.  We're going to be boldly Trinitarian God, the father, God, the son, God, the Holy Spirit three in one, but having specific roles in redemptive history, one is the sender, one is the witness and one kind of is the one who does the work.

 Conclusion (28:31):

We are about the person and work of Jesus and so this is going to be very important because now, the whole rest of our time together in these lectures is going to be looking at the old Testament, through the lens of Jesus Christ at theological center and if you're not convinced at this point, right. Then it's going to be not as beneficial for you or maybe if you're not convinced you'll hang on. Right? And you'll let me show you kind of book by book, section by section, how that might be true.