The Unfolding Mystery
I’ve really enjoyed the sermon series we’ve been doing at Richview in preparation for Easter. It’s called The Unfolding Mystery. It’s based on Luke 24:27 – “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”
We’re used to seeing glimpses of the gospel in the Old Testament, but it’s been fascinating to take a look at some familiar passages that point to Christ:
- Abraham recognizes God’s justice, and builds an argument based on that justice that the righteousness of a few will be enough to save the many – except that this was not even enough until Someone truly righteous appeared. His righteousness is enough to save the many. (Genesis 18)
- Abraham led his son up Mount Moriah to be sacrificed, but his son was spared. This gives us a human picture of what happened when God led his Son up the same mountain – except that Son was not spared. (Genesis 22)
- Jacob wrestled with God to receive the blessing, and prevailed in weakness. Jacob held on at the risk of his life to get the blessing for himself; Jesus held on at the cost of his life to obtain the blessing for us. (Genesis 32)
- The Passover gives us a picture of our true Passover Lamb and the salvation that is ours. (Exodus 12-13)
- God stood beside the rock that was smitten in judgment for the sin of the people, and water came out so the people lived. This gives us a picture of the true Rock who was smitten in judgment so we could live. (Exodus 17)
- The story of David and Goliath is not a story about facing the giants in our lives through courage. It’s about a better king who wins a victory, in weakness, on our behalf, as our representative. This points us to Jesus, who is the true and better David. (1 Samuel 17)
- Still to come this Good Friday: the brass serpent (Numbers 21).
It’s been fascinating, and it’s given me fresh insights into the gospel. I can’t get over the glimpses of the gospel that we see through the Scripture. Truly amazing.
I’ve really appreciated Edmund Clowney’s books The Unfolding Mystery and Preaching Christ in All of Scripture as I’ve worked through this series. Also good is According to Plan by Graeme Goldsworthy, and the teaching and preaching of Tim Keller (Keller describes his approach in this paper). Keller and Clowney taught a course on this topic that’s available via iTunes here.
One other related issue: This series has been very light in application. Application is important, but I agree with Keller that our preaching should “change them in their seats.” This means: “When you see Jesus in a new way or sense his salvation this will change you on the spot.” Really absorbing the gospel will change us in ways that take-home points will never do apart from the gospel.