Is the Bible all about Jesus?
A.K.A. Are Christ and Baldness Connected?
Have you ever heard that the Bible is all about Jesus and wondered if that’s true? Maybe you’ve read a passage in the Old Testament – something like this information from God, “Now if a man loses the hair of his head, he is bald; he is clean” (Lev. 13:40) – and wondered, “It seems like a stretch to say that this is somehow about Jesus. I mean, is this really the way we’re meant to interpret the Bible? Is it God’s intention to proclaim Christ when he talks about baldness?” The answer is “yes.” Let me tell you the story of how I became convinced of this truth.
Two years ago I was driving to Western for my first preaching class. If you read my previous blog, you know that I was insecure about starting seminary. About a year had passed since that time, and some of my fears from my first day were gone, but not all! The Lord gets many chances to display his patience with my slow-to-learn heart. The entire drive was a Gollum-like conversation in my head. You know, the one where part of him wants to listen to the good hobbits and part of him wants to kill them. “I’m so excited for this class! It’s one of the best the seminary has to offer and I know it will point me to Jesus.” “Yes, but I’m going to have to preach in front of everyone. What if I fail?” “It’s okay if you fail…the point is to humbly learn how to proclaim the gospel!” “True…and besides I’ll probably be the best in the class anyway. Probably legendary.” “Seriously, Katie? Do you have that kind of delusional pride?” And in between these fluctuating thoughts I was crying out, “Help, Father! Save me from myself!” As usual, he answered by revealing the gospel to my heart. This time he did it through my professor’s teaching on the Christocentricity of Scripture.
My professor showed us that the Bible itself claims that all of it – Old and New Testaments – is about Jesus. He is a convincing man, able to argue his point with passion, conviction and intelligence. But it wasn’t his rhetoric that persuaded me – it was that his case was so clear from Scripture. Here are a few of the texts to which he took us (Keep in mind that “Scriptures” and “Law of Moses” and “Prophets” and “Psalms” all meant the Old Testament because the New Testament was not yet written):
It went on and on, verse after verse, saying the same thing: The Bible is all about Jesus. Jesus and the writers of the New Testament understood that the entire Old Testament spoke about Christ and the gospel. This was their hermeneutic – the lens through which the Holy Spirit wanted them – and us – to understand both the Old and New Testaments. And this makes perfect sense because, as Jesus said, the Holy Spirit – the one who inspired every word in Scripture – always shines the spotlight on Christ to reveal and glorify him (Jn. 15:26; 16:13-14).
The effect of this teaching on my heart was profound. First, as usual, it humbled me. It showed me that teaching and preaching the Bible isn’t about me, but it is about proclaiming the excellence and beauty of the One who was willing to die for a sinner like me. It doesn’t matter if I am the most skilled or the least skilled – my job is to glorify Jesus by showing him in all of Scripture. Second, it grounded me. Whenever I approach a text, I know that the Holy Spirit intends for it to point to Jesus in some way. The ways in which we can legitimately do that (baldness included!) must be saved for another post. But the fact that every text is ultimately about Jesus is the sure foundation from which to start.