Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Book Review: Jesus on Every Page

Jesus On Every Page: 10 Simple Ways to Seek and Find Christ in the Old Testament. David. P. Murray. 2013. Thomas Nelson. 246 pages. [Source: Library]

I am glad I got the opportunity to read David Murray's Jesus on Every Page. This book stresses the importance of seeing Jesus as being central in both testaments of the Bible. Jesus is present--is central--to the Old Testament. Christians can benefit by reading and studying the Old Testament. It isn't, he writes, just that readers can read the Old Testament and grasp a big picture of how it relates to Jesus somewhere down the road, if you will. It's more than that. Murray's book explains the various ways--10 to be exact--that Christians can find Christ in the Old Testament.

The first part of the book is titled "My Road to Emmaus." Within this section, Murray does at least two things: shares how he once felt about the Old Testament and how he came to view the Old Testament differently. In part by asking the question WHAT is the Old Testament all about and seeking answers from Jesus, Peter, Paul, and John. Murray became convinced--persuaded--that Jesus can be found in the Old Testament. Not just in a dozen or so passages about his first or second coming. But in the books of the law, in the history books, in the poetry books, in the prophets. Within all genres and styles, Jesus can be found in some way.

The second part of the book is titled "Spiritual Heartburn." Within this section, Murray shows readers how they can best benefit from reading the Old Testament. How can they go on a journey of their own to discover Jesus in the pages of the Old Testament?

  • Christ's Planet: Discovering Jesus in the Creation
  • Christ's People: Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament Characters
  • Christ's Presence: Discovering Jesus in His Old Testament Appearances
  • Christ's Precepts: Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament Law
  • Christ's Past: Discovering Jesus in Old Testament History
  • Christ's Prophets: Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament Prophets
  • Christ's Pictures: Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament Types
  • Christ's Promises: Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament Covenants
  • Christ's Proverbs: Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament Proverbs
  • Christ's Poets: Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament Poems

One thing that I think is important to realize--or to keep in mind--and it's something he mentions several times. There is only one way to be saved: by grace, by the gift of faith, through God's great mercy and the giving of the Holy Spirit. There wasn't an "Old Testament" way to be saved and a "New Testament" way to be saved. Those saved before Christ's coming were not saved through works--their obedience to the commands of the law and their faithful following of all the yearly sacrifices.

He writes,
No Old Testament believer enjoyed the extraordinary light that New Testament believers have since Jesus died and was resurrected, and the Holy Spirit was poured out at pentecost. Every Old Testament believer had sufficient light to trust to a future Messiah who would suffer, die, and be glorified. Every Old Testament writer knew that his messages of salvation by grace through faith in the Messiah would be much clearer to future generations. (180)
More quotes:
Let's look at some ways we find Jesus in the Psalms: We sing to Jesus with the Psalms; We sing of Jesus in the Psalms; We sing with Jesus in the Psalms. (187)
We use the psalms of lament to confess our sins to Jesus. We sing the psalms of praise to celebrate Jesus' person and work. We sing the psalms of remembrance to look back on Jesus' act throughout redemptive history. We sing the psalms of confidence to express our faith in Jesus' salvation. We sing the wisdom psalms to acknowledge that Jesus is our only source of wisdom. We sing the psalms of thanksgiving to express our gratitude for Jesus' daily grace in our times of need. (188)
Let me suggest several truths that saturate the book of Psalms: God saves by grace, not works; God will send a Deliverer; The Deliverer will reveal God in an unprecedented way; The Deliverer will suffer as a sacrifice for sin; the Deliverer will reign everywhere and forever. (191)
As we have seen, the book of Psalms covers every Christian experience. But the Psalms also cover every experience of Jesus. The book of Psalms was his hymnbook during His earthly life. And how suitable they were for His many spiritual needs… The gospels focus largely on His outward public life, but the Psalms give us His secret inner life. (195)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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