To read and truly understand the Bible, it is first necessary to consider what is the central theme of the Bible. Too many students tend to read the Scriptures in bits and pieces, here a little, there a little, a passage in this book or some verses in that book, and very often the old saying, “can’t see the forest for the trees” becomes an unfortunate reality. But the Bible itself tells us not only what the Bible is really all about, but even why “in the beginning” God created everything, why this world and everything in it even exists … and it was all for Jesus.
One of the most enlightening passages in all the Bible says that Jesus Christ “is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature, for by Jesus were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Jesus and for Jesus …” 1 Colossians 1:15-16
Jesus Christ is the not just the reason for the season, Jesus Christ is the reason for literally everything. Everything that exists was made by him, and for him, and everything that has happened throughout the history of the world, from the beginning to the end, is all because of and for the glory of this one divine man … Jesus Christ.
When we become entangled in all the minutia of the Levitical ordinances and historical events and the times and lives of people spread out over thousands of years, it can be difficult to piece it all together into a coherent whole, to see the big picture. But if we consider the goal and purpose of it all, Jesus Christ, and seek to hear the message of all these many books spread out over thousands of years, what they are telling us about Jesus, then we begin to catch a glimpse into the heart and soul of the Bible, and consequently get a taste of the heart and soul of God. Again, the Scripture tells us that the great message the Bible is speaking forth is to testify of Jesus, who he is, and what he has accomplished.
“For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Revelation 19:10
In The Beginning … Consider the Old Testament to be the "blueprint" of God's plan of salvation. Scripture even says that the things of the Old Covenant were "patterned" after the things of Heaven, so those earthly things and people and events that fill the Old Testament canon, and particularly the land of Israel and the Mosaic temple and its services, are in truth a "model" given to teach us about heavenly things. And as with any blueprint, we can study the Old Testament to learn about all the details of God's plan, what all the various parts are and how they join together and how they each function. It is a very detailed blueprint, and one can truly spend a lifetime studying it. The Word Became Flesh …
But it is in the New Testament that we see the plan, the blueprint, being fashioned, into "a marvelous work and a wonder."Isaiah 29:14 And in the Gospel of Jesus, we see the hand of the Master, crafting a work of art unrivaled in heaven or earth. And all those jots and tittles of the blueprint begin to come together, and we see the profound significance of even the least of them.
Exalted to Heaven …
And then the final piece. The Revelation of Jesus Christ. The "unveiling" of the finished work, the masterpiece of everything God has said and done. And when that veil is lifted, and we are given a glimpse into the Holy of Holies of Heaven itself, the very throne room of God, as we see that Humble Shepherd, the Crucified Savior, the Risen Ever-Living Son of God seated there in a glory that is beyond imagination, only then do we begin to comprehend why from the very beginning to the very end it has always been about Jesus, the plan and purpose from the foundation of the world, the goal and end of every type and shadow, the message and testimony of every prophecy, the sum total of all the Bible, it all speaks of Jesus ... God, wrapped in flesh, and revealed, for all the world to see.
Jesus is “the big picture," and if we miss how every prophecy, every type and every shadow and every word ultimately speaks of Jesus, and through him shows us God, then we miss the whole point. And after a lifetime of study of God's Word and the fellowship of the Spirit, I can truly testify that of all the sublime expressions of God that we see in the person and work of Jesus, this one truth is the single greatest revelation of who God is ...
"God is love." 1 John 4:16