Jesus on Every Page
Growing up in the church, I was fortunate to have a faithful exegete of scripture in the pulpit. I was also fortunate that he was my father. My favorite series that he preached was called “Portraits of Christ in the Old Testament.” I couldn’t get enough of the similarities between Jesus and the Old Testament accounts that I had learned in Sunday School. This series brought a whole new light to the prophetical purpose of scripture in the Old Testament, and that it truly pointed to Christ.
The central verse that develops this purpose of Scripture is found in Luke 24, and is quoted by David Murray as one of the most influential verses in his development of applying the Old Testament:
And 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 ESV)
Christ, the Center
This verse shows us that the entire Old Testament was not only inspired by Christ, written as His Spirit directed, and fulfilled by Him. Christ is the central focus of the Old Testament. From this verse; the writings of Moses, the prophets and all of the Scriptures point to Christ.
As a teenager, hearing my Father’s sermons, I was awestruck by the consistency of God. How every event was directed, ordered, recorded and displays a shadow of a coming Redeemer. The scriptures took on a new light. Murray recounts his own discovery of Christ being the central focus of the Old Testament, as he was at first skeptical, but then discovers the dazzling brilliance of Christ in the Scriptures:
“I went back and started reading the Gospels again and discovered that this note didn’t just emerge at the end of Jesus’ ministry. Right from the start He represented Himself not as a complete contrast to the Old Testament but as its climax and fulfillment. My daily Bible reading was filled with new excitement as I began to search the Scriptures to see if these things were so or if I’d taken another wrong turn…. The more I pursued this line of Bible study, the more my heart also burned and leaped with joy as I discovered Jesus on every page. He wasn’t just here and there-He was everywhere.”
This book is written to a few audiences. Primarily, for those that are skeptical of the Old Testament being a relevant and useful tool for preaching and teaching. Murray provides his own journey of discovery and course of study to show his understanding that Christ is the fulfillment of the Law. Because of this, the Old Testament cannot be ignored based on dispensationalism.
Secondarily, David Murray’s Jesus on Every Page: 10 Simple Ways to Seek and Find Christ in the Old Testament, will be a pleasure for those that are familiar with the Old Testament as a shadow of Christ, and seek to improve their hermeneutics in developing Christological portraits from the Old Testament.
Finally, for the “Monday Morning Theologian,” This book will enable you to find a deeper study in your study of the Word. Developing cross references of the pattern of Christ from Old Testament shadow to new Testament fulfillment. jesus on Every Page shows how the patriarchs and prophets had more than a shadow, or a glimpse of the coming redeemer.
To enable a deeper study for all audiences, Murray outlines methods of finding Jesus throughout the different types of literature and accounts found on the Old Testament:
- His pre-incarnate visits
- Old Testament Characters
- Old Testament Law
- Psalms & Proverbs
Developing a Methodological Typology
Murray also provides a structured methodology for pastors and teachers to ensure they develop proper “types.” Otherwise, some applications of viewing Jesus can be too liberal and attempt top apply in areas where the “type” breaks down or simply becomes allegory.
Murray’s treatment of typology to assist a proper exegesis may seem limiting in reading, but really enables more scriptures to come alive under such scrutiny. Under the section of examining Old Testament passages casting light on New testament events, Murray provides this example:
“Jonah’s thoughts, feelings, and prayers as he descended into the darkest deeps as a result of his sin shed much typological light on Jesus’ thoughts, feelings, and prayers as He descended into the darkness of God’s anger as a result of His people’s sins.”
I found the book to be weighty in substance, but an easily accomplished page-turning read. While a little larger than an afternoon read, this book is meant to be read and referenced. Murray provides many templates in his instructions for developing proper typology. Any teacher of the Word will use this book as a constant reference. Be sure that you have a highlighter and tabs ready as you read this book.
I found that the first read was more for the enjoyment of discovery and insights provided. The second read has been more focused, utilizing more reference material, but also going back to the set-up scriptures that provide the relevance of the Old Testament for today.
I can’t review this book without referencing the wealth of materials that David Murray has produced, referenced and developed as support to this book. First, David’s Blog, HeadHeartHand.org is a wealth of information both related to the book, and as resources for pastors and teachers.
Jesus on Every Page Podcast
These podcasts are worth every minute of investment. I highly recommend “Free as a Bird.” David develops an amazing typography of Christ from the book of Leviticus, specifically in the diagnosis and healing of lepers as defined by Old Testament Law. If there was ever a challenge to find Christ in a passage of Mosaic law, this was it, and Murray delivers an amazing Christ-glorifying message of hope to the sinner.