When you hear those words, many of you will want to “finish” that statement by saying “for the season.” It is true, that around the holidays we can get frustrated by commercialization of the sacred events of Jesus being born, dying, or being raised to life– by why are we only frustrated during a few months (be honest, a few weeks) out of the year?
Jesus is the reason for certain seasons of the calendar. But he is the reason for so much more.
Jesus is the reason for
- Our reconciliation with God
- Our churches
- Our hope
- Our joy
- Our peace
- Our love
- our life
- So much more!
But we miss all of this. We miss the reasons for Jesus being the reason because we put ourselves as the central pivot points of everything in life.
When you read Scripture, I beg you to keep Jesus central in your thoughts. Ask yourself,
- How does this passage point to Jesus (when reading the first 39 books of the Bible)?
- What does this passage say about Jesus (When reading the Gospels)?
- How does this passage apply Jesus?
- How does this passage celebrate Jesus?
- How does this passage challenge your view of Jesus?
In the Revelation of Jesus Christ to the Apostle John, Jesus is described as being “The One who is, who was, and is to come” (1:4; cf 1:8; 4:8; 11:17; 16:5; 21:6; 22:13) and John 1 starts off by saying, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
This seems to indicate that Jesus has been, currently is, and will be active in the world. He is the One who defines life.
After Jesus rose from the dead, He had a conversation a couple of disciples. Read it closely
“That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. But God kept them from recognizing him.
He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?”
They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.”
“What things?” Jesus asked.
“The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago.
“Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.”
Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared! They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” “(Luke 24:13-32 NLT)
Jesus declares Himself to be evident in the Old Testament writings. Are we looking for Him there?
But I guess a question which must precede that is this: Are you reading the Old Testament?
See, this blog post is actually the 7th installment, and a description of step #8 in “How to Read Your Bible for All It’s Worth.” I know that we can miss a whole lot of what God is saying in Scripture, and because of that I want to give you lenses through which we can read Scripture better. It starts with reading it with the right attitude, then reading it well. In order to read it well we have to read it in the proper context. From there we read it asking the questions:
- What does it say about God?
- What does it say about Humanity?
- What does it say about Jesus?
Jesus is the intersection of theology and humanity. Jesus is fully God: 100%. No doubt in my mind. And Jesus is 100% human. No doubt in my mind. Because of this, when we read Scripture with Jesus central to our thoughts, we are able to see more clearly what the Bible says about God and humanity. Jesus shows us the way humanity is reconciled to God. Jesus shows us how to live and how to love.
According to 1 John, a heretic, false prophet, false teacher, antichrist, or however you want to label someone who a wolf in sheep’s clothing or bad shepherd, is seen by their lack of Jesus in their teaching (1 John 4:1-6). It is incredibly important that we read the Bible looking through the lens of Jesus Christ. When we do not look to see what Scripture tells us about Jesus, our view of Him quickly becomes distorted— making Him look more like us, rather than challenging us to look more like Him.