Artistic Reflections

Connecting the Dots

Connecting the Dots

As a child, I loved to connect the dot puzzles. I loved seeing the image unfold as the dots were joined by lines. Finished, I could see what the image was and wonder at how someone could put together such a puzzle. As I got older, there were times I could tell what the image was by studying the patterns, knowing how the puzzles work, being familiar with them.

Similarly, there are lines connecting dots, or points in time between the Old and New Testament. For example, the Old Testament narrative reaches its pinnacle in Jesus. Christopher Wright offers a fitting summary: ‘So Jesus came, then, as the completion of the story which the Old Testament had told, and as the fulfillment of the promise which the Old Testament had declared.’ Hebrews 1:1-2 states, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” God spoke to the Jewish people through prophets a message that culminated in the birth of the Christ. Gods subsequently spoke through himself, as man, Jesus. A clear connection.

The Old Testament points directly at the ministry of Jesus. Now here, we must take the entirety of the Old Testament. After the resurrection, Christ met with the two men who did not recognize it was Jesus. After telling Jesus of all that had happened and still not recognizing it was the Messiah, “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) Definitely pointing back from the Old Testament to Himself

The Old Testament is clear about Jesus’ second coming. The oracles of some prophets focus almost exclusively on the Day of the Lord (e.g., Joel, Obadiah). The same words are found throughout Paul’s writings. The Day of the Lord is in essence a time when God intervenes more definitively and clearly in human affairs in order to exercise judgment. This judgment means punishment for the enemies of God, but vindication for the people of God. A direct line between the Old and New Testament.

Many verses point back and forth in the Bible. Take a closer look. The more connections you make the clearer the picture. The Old Testament is the prophetic lead up to the birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and return of Jesus.  Christmas is not just one event, but the convergence of the whole of history past, present, and future focused on one man, one spirit, and one God.

1Peter 1:10-12 – Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

 

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