Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Spiritual Heartburn from the Old Testament
Pastor and professor David Murray takes a complex and controversial area of theology -- interpreting the Old Testament correctly in the light of the fuller revelation of the New Testament -- and explains it in language that is both simple and beautiful.
Jesus on Every Page is wonderful in almost every way. It's well organized: you could easily use its chapters as outlines for a preaching series or Sunday school class. It's personal: Murray shares his own journey in appreciating the Old Testament. And it's condensed: he doesn't flesh out every point in minute detail. It's the kind of book that makes you think deeply rather than doing all the thinking for you.
After His resurrection, Jesus told His disciples, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem." (Luke 24:44-47, NRSV) Jesus on Every Page shows how what Jesus said is true of every era and genre of Old Testament writing: the creation, the law of Moses, the prophets, the historical narratives, the Psalms and Proverbs, even the Song of Solomon. They all point forward to Jesus, more clearly and beautifully than I had ever noticed. When Jesus showed two disciples on the road to Emmaus how the Old Testament talked about Him, they said afterwards, "Did not our hearts burn within us?" I felt like that while reading this book. It's that great.
The only negative I see in this book: David Murray is clearly a believer in covenant theology rather than dispensationalism. As such, while we both see tremendous foreshadowing of Jesus in the Old Testament, he sees greater continuity between the old and new covenants than I do. His treatment of passages like 2 Corinthians 3 seemed forced.
Nevertheless, I heartily recommend this work as a great source of spiritual nourishment for your soul which will cause you to understand and delight in Jesus more as you see Him throughout the Old Testament.