What is the Bible basically about?

Some treat the Bible as a story book, others a self-help book, others as a list of rules. All of these miss the point the Bible makes about itself. The ‘stories’ or narrative of the Bible are in fact only properly understood in light of the overall ‘story’ the Bible tells. We can only begin to understand ourselves through coming to know the One the Bible points us to. The  commands or imperatives of the Bible can only be properly understood in light of what God has done in Jesus. The Bible warns us against studying the Scriptures, but missing who they point us to. Jesus says: You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life (John 5:39-40).

Jesus ‘opened’ the minds of his disciples to understand the Scriptures by showing how they point to him:  27And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself…44He 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.”  45Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. ( Luke 24:27, 44-47).

This clip uses a short segment from Tim Keller’s talk at The Gospel Coalition conference 2007.


 see also www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkNa6tLWrqk

Excerpt: What is the Bible really about? Is the Bible basically about me and what I must do? Or is it basically about Jesus and what he has done?

When you read in Luke and Acts how Jesus got his disciples together (in those 40 days before he ascended after he was raised) , what was he doing? Basically he was saying: everything in the Old Testament is about me. He says, ‘the reason you didn’t understand what I was about, is you didn’t realise, everything in the Prophets, the Psalms and the Law was pointing to me. ‘ 

Do you believe the Bible is basically about you, or basically about him? Is David and Goliath basically about you, and how you can be like David and Goliath, or basically about him, the one who really took on the only giants that can really kill us, and so his victory is imputed to us?  Who is it really about? That is the fundamental question. And when that happens, then you start to read the Bible new:

Jesus is the true and better Adam who passed the test in the garden (his garden, a much tougher garden) and whose obedience is imputed to us.

Jesus is the true and better Abel who, though innocently slain, has blood that cries out, not for our condemnation, but for our acquittal.

Jesus is the true and better Abraham who answered the call of God to leave all the comfortable and familiar and go into the void not knowing whither he went.

Jesus is the true and better Isaac who was not just offered up by his Father on the mount but was truly sacrificed for us all. While God said to Abraham, “Now I know you love me because you did not withhold your son, your only son whom you love from me,” now we at the foot of the cross can say to God, “Now we know that you love me because you did not withhold your Son, your only Son, whom you love from me.”

Jesus is the true and better Jacob who wrestled and took the blow of justice we deserved, so we, like Jacob, only receive the wounds of grace that wake us up and discipline us.

Jesus is the true and better Joseph who, is at the right hand of the king, and forgives those who betrayed and sold him and uses his  power to save them.

Jesus is the true and better Moses who stands in the gap between the people and the Lord and who mediates a new covenant.

Jesus is the true and better Rock of Moses who, struck with the rod of God’s justice, now gives us water in the desert.

Jesus is the true and better Job, he’s the truly innocent sufferer, who then intercedes for and saves his (stupid) friends.

Jesus is the true and better David whose victory becomes his people’s victory, though they never lifted a stone to accomplish it themselves.

Jesus is the true and better Esther who didn’t just risk losing an earthly palace but lost the ultimate and heavenly one, who didn’t just risk his life, but gave his life. Who didn’t just say “If I perish I perish”, but “when I perish I perish for them, to save my people.”

Jesus is the true and better Jonah who was cast out into the storm so that we could be brought in.

He is the real Passover Lamb. He’s the true temple, the true prophet, the true priest, the true king, the true sacrifice, the true lamb, the true light, the true bread.

The Bible’s not about you—it’s about him.


3 responses to “What is the Bible basically about?

  1. Enjoyed the blog greatly. It was stimulating, and it points me to my Savior.
    A bit confused about the Esther entry, does it need editing?

    • Thanks Stuart, glad you found it helpful. What did you find confusing about the Esther entry? In what way might it needed editing? Thanks again for your comment.

  2. Duh!!! I read it again and it makes perfect sense.
    Again, really good, Well done for putting it together.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s