A few years ago, I commented to a mentor that preaching Christ from all of Scripture is a challenging task. I was relieved when he agreed. It is something that many of us realize we need to be doing, but it's also important to recognize that there are challenges in learning how to do this.If I could choose to listen to anyone exposit Scripture, I would choose Jesus' exposition on the road to Emmaus, in which it's aid of Jesus: "And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself" (Luke 24:27). That would have been something to hear.Just to highlight the challenges of preaching Christ from all of Scripture, I'm going to list seven ways that a Christocentric interpretation may take shape. These are from Sidney Greidanus in his book Preaching Christ from the Old Testament:
- To see the passage in the historical progression of God's redemptive plan through history;
- To focus on promise fulfillment, in which Christ fulfills Old Testament prophecies;
- Typology, moving from a type in the Old Testament to the anti-type in Christ;
- Analogy, showing the relationship between God's message for Israel and Christ's message to the church;
- Longitudinal interpretation, tracing a theme of the Old Testament to Christ in the New Testament;
- Using a New Testament quote that cites or alludes to an Old Testament passage, and linking these passages to Christ; and
- Showing the contrast Jesus brings to an Old Testament passage.
Each of these requires some explanation, but for now I want to highlight that preaching Christ from all of Scripture does take some effort. It is challenging – but it's crucial.More to come next week.