Christians know that the Old Testament prepares us for and anticipates the work of Jesus. And we should read our Old Testaments accordingly. But we need help. We need tools. I’d like to take this opportunity to briefly explain three methods on legitimately interpreting Christ and his Gospel in the Old Testament. Please understand that this is not meant to be exhaustive. Think of it more as a primer (as in elementary introduction, not the first coat before painting… well… that image actually works too…)
I believe that many Christians find themselves in the place of sensing the gospel-centric nature of the Old Testament... But at the same time we're afraid. We're afraid of making interpretive errors. We're afraid of making the Bible say something it doesn't say (there's certainly too much of that going around already). We instinctively know that the Old Testament points us to Christ, but simultaneously know that the solution is not to see Jesus' blood every time the color red is mentioned.
One random morning last November I began occasionally posting brief (really brief) prayers of response to my morning Scripture devotions on Facebook, endeavoring to include in each prayer some facet of how that passage tied to the Gospel. For some reason, people seem to consistently resonate with them. I believe the readers’ kind response has nothing to do with any deep insight or eloquence on my part (truth be told, I am a very average writer.) To the contrary, any attraction to these prayers, I believe, is really due to the simple and pure Gospel of Christ, proclaimed and responded to. I’ve been learning that there seems to be some kind of mysterious, holy mechanism that makes Christian hearts just soar when they hear the good news.
Call it an occupational hazard I guess, but as a worship leader, every year around mid-October I begin the process of “live-breathe-eat Christmas”. When you focus on something that hard, over and over, every year, you begin to form strong opinions. And things that may seem little or inconsequential to others, can become aggravating...