The Unequivocal Testimony Of Scripture



          An important question that is frequently raised is “How can we say with certainty that Christ is in all of Scripture?” Many people are willing to accept that Christ is in the New Testament: the Gospels chronicle His life, “Acts” records the building of his church, the epistles expound on the truths of Jesus’ teaching – especially the gospel, “Revelation” is about Jesus’ second coming. The idea that the New Testament is about Christ isn’t a far leap for most Christians. However, it is the content of the Old Testament that may leave many Christians unsure. “How can we say with certainty that Christ is in all the Old Testament?” is the question of many Christians. The answer is quite simple: God’s Word tells us so!

          The fact that all of Scripture – even the Old Testament – points to Christ is well established by the testimony of Scripture, the apostles, and by Jesus himself. After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to two of his disciples who were travelling to the village Emmaus. Jesus kept them from recognizing him, and in the midst of discussing the events of the crucifixion and the recently reported resurrection:

“he said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!  Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” – Luke 24:25-27

A little while later, Jesus appeared to the apostles and other disciples:

“Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’  Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.’” – Luke 24:44-47

The main divisions of the Hebrew Scriptures were the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings (of which Psalms was the biggest part). Jesus makes it clear to his disciples that all the Scriptures ultimately points to his death, resurrection, and the consequent gospel implications. In the aforementioned verses, Jesus even appears shocked that his disciples didn’t already recognize this. He calls them “foolish” and “slow of heart to believe” what all of Scripture clearly points to.

Jesus said to the Jews:

“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me…Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope.  For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me.  But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?” – John 5:39, 45-47

          It should be enough that God himself – Jesus – says that all of Scripture is about him. Nevertheless, we also have further testimony from the apostles:

“Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews.  And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, ‘This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.’” – Acts 17:1-3

“For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me.  To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass:  that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.” – Acts 26:21-23

          There are many, many other texts that could be cited, showing that unequivocal testimony of God’s Word that all of Scripture points to Christ; but I hope the aforementioned verses suffice to get the point across. Christ in all of Scripture is a crucial centerpiece of the Bible’s own testimony of itself, and should be a centerpiece in every Christian’s hermeneutics. Unfortunately, as the example of Jesus' own disciples shows to us, it can be an aspect of Scripture that is missed or not understood. However, the testimony of God’s Word is certain, and we as Christians should go forward striving to see Christ in all of Scripture, and striving to edify other believers unto the same.