“Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, [Jesus] explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. (Luke 24:26–27)
So how do we begin to wrap our minds around the story of God? The truth is that the only things we can really know about God are the things he has chosen to reveal to us in one way or another. We can discern things about God from observing what he created. When we see the world around us, we see vastness, complexity, power, order, beauty, creativity, precision, and majesty. And all of these words say something about the Creator.
We can also, of course, understand God in spiritual ways as we pray and meditate on his Word and seek his company daily. But the most specific things we can learn about God come from those things he has chosen to reveal directly to us through the story of Scripture.
The sixty-six books of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, were given to us by God as the record of God’s dealings with mankind. Without them we would understand very little of God’s character, his motives, or his plan, which is exactly why God had it written down for us.
A “dirty little secret” is that few Christians have read the Bible cover to cover. Most of us have sampled the Old Testament like we might a buffet dinner—a helping of Psalms, a few stories about David and Moses, and maybe a dollop of Esther or Nehemiah on the side. The result is that most Christians don’t have a good grasp of the broad storyline from creation to consummation.
Here is the problem with that: we can’t really understand the mission of Jesus unless we understand that he was the fulfillment of the entire Old Testament story. And if we don’t understand the mission of Jesus, we won’t understand the mission he gave us to fulfill. We have to know the big story to understand where our personal story fits in. As we explore this story, my hope is that it will help you see the bright line of God’s incredible love for us and gain a sense of where the story is going next.
How would you summarize the overall story the Bible is telling?
Father, thank you for giving us a written record of who you are, who we are, and why we are here. Please give me a desire to read your word and the perspective to understand it fully.