Christ Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Final Principle of Interpretation

It is fitting that my last newsletter article of the year is joined to the Christmas Season and to my last principles of interpretation thought.  I pray that these last few articles have really given you something to wrestle with when it comes to the text of Scripture as God has given them to us.
This last one is the key point above all points.  In fact, if you do not read the Bible in this way, it will never make sense to you.

The overarching, singular point upon which all of the Bible is pointing you toward is Jesus Christ.  Every story, every book, and every psalm, prophet and prose is the Holy Spirit flying by on the bus, yanking you on board, and driving you to the hill of Golgotha to meet your Lord and die with him.

Our Lord is very clear that the Bible is to be read in a Christocentric manner (meaning it is about Jesus Himself).

“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.”  That is what Jesus tells the unbelieving Jews of his day in John 5:39.

The Bible is dripping with the blood of Christ, on every page no less.

After the resurrection, Jesus tells the travelers on the road to Emmaus, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!...And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”  Luke 24:25,27.

Later that night, Jesus tells the 11 Apostles, “’These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’  Then he opened their mind to understand the Scriptures.”

That is the key right there.  Pray to God, especially the Holy Spirit, that as you read the Scriptures that He would reveal Jesus Christ there.  God is the one who grants understanding of the Scriptures.   No amount of book reading, even Bible reading, can grant that on its own.  No amount of Newsletter Articles gearing at having you understand how to read the Bible can teach you this.  Only our Triune God can reveal to you the Scriptures and how they revolve around Christ.

“Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations…”
To understand this, changes everything.  “In the Beginning was the Word” John 1:1 tells us.  That means the entire Old Testament needs to be reread and seen as depicting Jesus Christ and his Work!

Therefore, you need to go back and see the Old Testament rightly.  Genesis 3:15 is about Jesus Christ, the one who will stamp on the head of the serpent while also being wounded on the cross.

Genesis 22, When God tells Abraham to go offer his Son, his only Son, the one whom you love, but instead a ram is offered in Isaac’s place, you can’t help but see a Crucified Lord there in your place.

Go read Psalm 2 & 22 and see Christ there in the Psalms.

Go read 2 Samuel 7, when God promises David that he will establish David’s throne forever and that one of David’s Sons will reign forever.  Jesus again.

Isaiah 53, by his stripes we are healed.  Can’t miss Jesus there.

The Patriarchs, Exodus, Promised Land, Temple, Judges, Kings, Prophets, Psalms, Wars, Bloodshed, Exile, Punishment for Sin.  All of these themes, ideas, people and locations come together in Christ.

Jesus Christ is the lynchpin of the Scriptures and when you read the Scriptures, your goal is to find him there.  Crucified, Risen, Ascended, Reigning, Forgiving and Coming Again.  All for you.

- Pastor Andrew

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