I used to ask why the God of the Old Testament seemed so different than the God of the New Testament. Maybe many Christians ask that question, because in my small group Bible study last week, the leader suggested that the God of the Old Testament acted differently than He does in the New Testament.
I knew theoretically He was the same God, but to say that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever – that was difficult for me to reconcile with what appeared to be two very different treatments of people from the Old Testament age to the New Testament. Then in seminary I learned about progressive revelation and how we can see shadows of Jesus throughout the Old Testament. I learned that the Old Testament people were under a God of grace just as we were, and then I discovered the joy of reading the Old Testament through the lens of the Gospel. I never read the Bible the same again and approached the Old Testament with enthusiasm.
Whether or not these teachings in the church seem to be lacking or subtle, I still don’t think a lot of Christians understand this, so I am really excited about the book Jesus on Every Page: 10 Simple Ways to Seek and Find Christ in the Old Testament, by David Murray, professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology. In this book, Murray explains how through the road to Emmaus, Jesus removed the veil from the Old Testament and showed how he was predicted and prefigured. By recognizing Christ, the veil is removed from the Old Testament and we see how He became its climax and fulfillment.
Through David Murray’s explanation of law versus grace, he shows that grace was there all along. The Law exhibits Christ’s character. The moral and civil law reverse the irregularity and disorder brought by sin, and the law had a restorative and redemptive purpose foreshadowing what Jesus Christ was going to do. God was concerned about cleanness/uncleanness, but the Law shows His willingness and ability to wash it away and restore the defiled person to life and communion with Him. The Law predicts God’s intention to restore order to His world, to cleanse it from defilement, and to restore its inhabitants to communion with Him.
Somehow I missed seeing the subtitle of this book, “10 Simple Ways”. The ten simple ways or ten simple steps are not obvious, and the effort to start the ten chapters with the letter “P” distracted me from what the ten “steps” were actually about. But overall, this book is an excellent introduction to reading the Old Testament through the lens of grace. It is not academic in nature and easy to read. I believe every Christian who is seeking to know God more and understand the relationships of the Old Testament and the New Testament should be familiar with the theology in this book.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review.