Contrary to what many Christians have concluded, the Bible does not tell two stories: the story of Israel in the OT and the story of the church in the NT or the story of law in the OT and the story of grace in the NT. No, the Bible tells one story and points to one figure: it tells the story of how God rescues a broken world and points to Christ who accomplishes this. In the OT God revealed himself through types and shadows, through promises and prophecies. In the NT God reveals himself in Christ who is the substance of every shadow and the fulfillment of every promise and prophecy. The OT predicts God's rescuer; the NT presents God's rescuer. In all of its pages and throughout all of its stories, the Word of the Lord reveals the Lord of the Word. The plot line of the Bible, in other words, is Jesus-centered. He is the rescuer sent by God to right all wrongs, mend all that is broken, and reconcile separated, fallen human beings like you and me to God.
Even though it's a children's Bible, The Jesus Storybook Bible is, in my opinion, one of the best beginner resources available to help both children and adults see the Jesus-centered story line of the Bible.
In the Introduction of that book, author Sally Lloyd-Jones rightly explains what the Bible is not before she beautifully explains what the Bible is. She writes:
Now, some people think the Bible is a book of rules, telling you what you should and shouldn't do. The Bible certainly does have some rules in it. They show you how life works best. But the Bible isn't mainly about you and what you should be doing. It's about God and what he has done.
Other people think the Bible is a book of heroes, showing you people you should copy. The Bible does have some heroes in it, but (as you'll soon find out) most of the people in the Bible aren't heroes at all. They make some big mistakes (sometimes on purpose), they get afraid and run away. At times, they're downright mean.
No, the Bible isn't a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It's an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It's a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne-everything-to rescues the ones he loves. It's like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!
You see, the best thing about this Story is-it's true.
There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.
It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece in the puzzle-the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture.
My hope and prayer for all is that we would come to a bigger, better, deeper, and brighter understanding of this remarkable Story and its infallible Hero!
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