After his death and resurrection, Jesus reconnects with the disciples. Even after the fact, they still didn’t understand his purposes. Still caught in the lie that the Messiah would not suffer, they held fast to their conviction that Jesus would reign as a political King over Israel. The disciples, and everyone else, completely misinterpreted the Messiah as portrayed in the Old Testament. They missed that he would first become a “suffering servant” before taking up reign as a “harrowing King.”
Jesus, being oh so patient, is gracious with these half-wits in Luke 24:27, when he continues to lead them along in understanding; “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”
Did you catch the amazing truth happening in this moment? Jesus went back through the Old Testament story by story, Scripture by Scripture, and laid his hand on character after character in the Torah, and showed the disciples how every moment was about himself. This is what the disciples missed. This is what we often miss when we turn the Bible into a story about us, or use it as a manual for pragmatics or healthy living. The primary story of the Bible is to tell us about Jesus.
For example, when we see Joseph wrongfully accused by his brothers, thrown into prison for some old chump change, only to rise to the right hand of the leading Pharaoh in the land to dispense food and forgiveness to all of Israel, we are supposed to think of Jesus. He was buried, rose to life, and now sits at the right hand of the Father dispensing provision and forgiveness to a broken and starving world.
Yet another example, think of Esther’s rise to the King’s courts. God placed her there only to frustrate the demonic plans of Hamaan to kill the Jews and overthrow the King. In a beautiful moment of reversal, when Hamaan has the gallows prepared to torture and kill Jewish Mordecai, the tables turn, and Hamaan himself is killed. In this moment we are to see the story of Jesus. Satan’s attempts to kill the Savior results only in Satan’s bondage, defeat, and destruction.
This is the work of photography in the Old Testament. Every moment is like a photograph–giving us a picture of Jesus. Within that photograph, we must first identify what was going on in that moment, and in conclusion we must then ask “what does this say about my Jesus?” Theologians call this “typology,” but for our purposes let’s call it “theological photography.” The whole Bible is dripping in it’s imagery, and we need to ponder this deeply as we pick up our cameras. Whose story are we going to tell?
*For further reading in the Bible: Genesis 37 Genesis 38 Genesis 39 Genesis 40 Genesis 41 Genesis 42 Genesis 43 Genesis 44 Genesis 45 Genesis 46 Genesis 47 Genesis 48 Genesis 49 Genesis 50
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