First of all, I need to say a huge "Thank You" to Larry Annes for preaching in my place this past Sunday. It is awesome to have men like Larry and Norm who are able to unpack the word of God, each in his own unique style. In fact, if you missed Larry's message this past Sunday, I would encourage you to go to our church website, click on the Sermons and Resources tab and listen to his message.
As Larry wrapped up his message, he made a statement that I would like to build on as we begin a new series this Sunday titled, "Glimpses of Jesus in the Old Testament." The text for Larry's message was a Psalm of David that focused on our sin and the forgiveness that God provides for us through His Son Jesus. In fact, near the end of Larry's message, he said this, "Jesus makes available to us payment for our sin. That's the Good News". Remember, Larry's message was based on an Old Testament passage written by a King who would never experience the presence of Jesus, yet still experienced the heart of the Gospel, which is the grace and forgiveness provided by God through His Son Jesus. How can this be?
For most of us, the Gospel or "Good News" about Jesus begins in Matthew 1:18 or Luke 2 and continues throughout the New Testament. However, for the next few weeks, I want to take us on a journey through the Old Testament, in search of the story of Jesus, that as we will see, is actually interwoven throughout this often unread portion of the scriptures. As we go through this time together, my hope is that by the end of our journey, we will all come to understand that Jesus is not just the central figure of the New Testament. Jesus is the central figure of the entire Bible......both Old and New Testament. Jesus didn't just drop into Bethlehem from Heaven. He came with a story. He came with a promise. He came with an identity and He came with a mission, all of which is revealed, throughout the pages of the Old Testament.
This Sunday, we will focus on the story of Jesus. Between now and Sunday, I would encourage you to read Matthew 1:1-17. As you read through this long list of boring "begettings", remember this, for any Jew who knew his Scriptures (and Matthew is writing primarily to a Jewish audience), every name has a story behind it. Every name comes with an event, a period in history and a memory of their national past. Through this list, Matthew is saying that we can only understand Jesus properly if we see him in the light of his family tree. So as you read these names, some that are familiar and some that are not, think about the story behind each name. Do some research, learn a little bit more about these long, lost relatives of Jesus.
Come this Sunday, ready to catch a glimpse of Jesus in the Old Testament.
Have a great weekend!