By Cal Jernigan
I have been thinking lately about a movie that I saw a number of years ago. It’s worth thinking about because it has a plot that is incredibly intriguing. It’s one of those movies you just can’t understand in one setting and after just one pass. The movie is The Sixth Sense. If you’ve seen the movie, you know (spoiler alert!) at the end of the movie there is a startling truth revealed that gives definition to everything that happened in the movie… Bruce Willis is actually dead throughout the whole story. When you’re watching the movie you certainly don’t know this (nor are you suspecting it) but the director is incredibly careful to weave this reality into each and every scene. Only after the reveal is made do you “reflect” upon the fact that he had no interaction with anyone but one boy (who see’s dead people!). Once you know this, you want to watch it over again because it is so cleverly crafted. Once you know the ending you simply can’t see it again as you first saw it. The truth becomes just too obvious.
The reason this movie is on my mind is because I have been thinking a lot about Jesus lately. While Jesus is certainly not dead you realize something about the Bible when you read it cover to cover…especially when you process the conclusion. Another spoiler alert…I am about to give you an incredible insight but in doing so I’m going to give away the plot of the Bible. Ready?
It’s all about Jesus! The whole story line. Every bit of it. From the very beginning to the very end. It’s all about Jesus!
You might be wondering why I would make this claim. It’s simple… IT’S BECAUSE IT’S ALL ABOUT JESUS! That’s why. When you come to understand this, you come to understand both the Old and the New Testaments are teaching you about Jesus. You see Jesus wasn’t a “last minute add” to the story line. The story line is all about him from the opening scene to the final reveal.
For example, in the Old Testament you are introduced to three “types” of main characters. You meet prophets, priests, and kings. They do not have the same role but you can’t tell the story without them. They carry the plot. Each has a purpose. You need them all. You can’t take any of them away and still tell the story.
What you discover in the New Testament is that Jesus Christ is the perfect fulfillment of each of these. He is the perfect Prophet who reveals the will of God, he is the perfect Priest who stands between God and men, and he is the perfect King who is establishing his eternal (not temporary) kingdom. Every illustration of a prophet, priest or king in the Old Testament was put there to give you, the reader, insight into the Perfect One who was soon to come.
Let me say it this way… Jesus is the perfect fulfillment of every promise and every prophecy made in the Old Testament. All of history points to Jesus and in Jesus all the story and plot lines converge. In Jesus you see the true wisdom of God and discover the full and total revelation of the will of God. All the themes of the Bible find their ultimate fulfillment in Jesus.
Why does this matter? Because unwittingly, many people try to understand the Bible while discounting the presence of Jesus. Some read the Bible and look for God’s presence before Jesus (as if he wasn’t present in the OT); other’s read the Bible and look for God’s revelation beyond Jesus (after he returns). This is as if all that Jesus accomplished will one day be set aside and God will “finish up” what he started before Jesus’ incarnation interrupted the plot.
Read the following verses and seek to discern the meaning of each.
Luke 24:44-45 (To the men on the road to Emmaus) “He [Jesus] said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’ Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.”
Matthew 5:17-18 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”
Hebrews 10:1 “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves.’”
Tim Keller adds this insight regarding Jesus’ closest followers,
“The disciples knew the stories of each prophet, each priest, each king, each deliverer from Gideon to David. They knew about the temple and the sacrifices. But while they knew all the substories, they couldn’t—until he showed them—see the story, about the ultimate prophet, priest, king, deliverer, the final temple and sacrifice.”
So what is the point? There is no other story in the Bible other than the story of Jesus! The story is the story of Jesus! It’s all about HIM! There is no other way to be saved and there is no other way to come into the presence of God. It’s Jesus. Just Jesus. Only Jesus. Nothing more is needed and nothing less is adequate.
Once you come to know Jesus, you know the main character. Once you come to understand it’s all about him the dots will begin to connect. The better you come to know Jesus the more the whole story makes sense.
Focus on Jesus. Just Jesus. Every road leads to him!