He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Wasn’t it necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted for them the things concerning himself in all the Scriptures. -Luke 24:25-27 CSB
For if you believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me. – John 5:46 CSB
There is much online among Christians who use the term, “Christ centered.” Many books, sermons, songs. But what does it mean, and exactly why is it used so much? Why so much emphasis? Perhaps the most important question is, is it biblical to give so much emphasis to the person and work of Christ? This theme is one that is simple but at the same time very deep and has to do with the theology of “fulfillment.” And this is a subject that even the Old Testament itself gives priority. It is also the message that John the Baptist preached, Jesus and the apostles preached, and it is the theme that is at the very heart of the gospel.
The Apostle Paul declared that Jesus came when the time was fulfilled, the perfect time. At least this implies that there was a time of preparation. The preparation of something big, Someone very important that was anticipated. In God’s redemptive plan and progressive revelation, everything that had happened had its purpose and goal of pointing to and exalting Christ. The era of Moses pointed to this time of fulfillment and emphasized that coming moment. The arrival of the Son of God indicated the culmination of that time. Up to this point in history, this had been the goal of EVERYTHING that had happened in the past.
The Lord promised on several occasions a Redeemer, a Savior, the Messiah, the true and greater prophet and lawgiver. All types and shadows in the Old Testament were only shadows of the One to come.
As one pastor rightly said, “It can be said that there has never been a true king, a true prophet, a true judge, a true teacher. Because in a sense, all of the past were nothing more than shadows of the True One, the Lord Jesus Christ!”
From Genesis to Malachi there are some 353 prophecies about Christ fulfilled in the New Testament! The Bible was written to a different and original audience in the past, but also written and preserved for us. But the Bible is not about them or us. The Scriptures bear witness to Christ! All the promises are to Him, to Christ, and we are heirs of those promises by faith in Him.
For every one of God’s promises is “Yes” in him. Therefore, through him we also say “Amen” to the glory of God. -2 Corinthians 1:20 CSB
It is St. Augustine that is credited with saying, “The New is in the Old Concealed, the Old is in the New Revealed.” From Genesis 3 we see in the “protoevangelium”, the first promise of redemption, which was fulfilled on the cross.
I will put hostility between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring.
He will strike your head,
and you will strike his heel. – Genesis 3:15 CSB
In Deuteronomy we see the promise of a prophet like Moses … but better, greater.
“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. – Deuteronomy 18:15 CSB
In the New Testament we see The Father saying the same from a cloud of glory in the transfiguration.
Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it’s good for us to be here. If you want, I will set up three shelters here: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased. Listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown and were terrified.
Jesus came up, touched them, and said, “Get up; don’t be afraid.”8When they looked up they saw no one except Jesus alone. -Matthew 17:3-8 CSB
Moses and Elijah, who represent the law and the prophets, at this very significant moment… disappear. And the text says that when they raised their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus alone. Hear him! This is the message of the Bible.
Jesus is the true Prophet, the True, King, the True Teacher, the True Judge, the True High Priest of the new and better covenant based on better promises, and the New and Greater lawgiver. All things point to Christ, the sacrifices, the temple, the tabernacle, the Sabbath, and we can see countless examples of the types and shadows of Christ in the Old Testament. But the New declares it more clearly.
..far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come. – Ephesians 1:21 CSB
..the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of his nature, sustaining all things by his powerful word..– Hebrews 1:3 CSB
It is Christ who sustains everything in creation!
..everything was created by him,
in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions
or rulers or authorities—
all things have been created through him and for him.
He is before all things,
and by him all things hold together.– Colossians 1:16-17 CSB
All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. – John 1:3 CSB
Christ is everything! And in the infinite wisdom of God the Father, He decreed it this way and The Spirit glorifies Him and guides us to Him.
As Christians, we must also be Christ-centered because Christ is the center of everything, and in the Word of God it is revealed to us in this way. And if Christ is the center of the Bible (And the universe), then He must be the center of our lives too. Our new and true identity is in Him, and we must worship and give thanks that by faith, and with a humble heart we can approach the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He who He deserves all honor and glory and has all power for ever and ever.
The great mystery in all this is this beautiful truth:
But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romas 5:8 CSB
Considering these truths, and the great love shown to us in Christ’s perfect and finished work, the only correct response should be repentance of sin and of trusting in ourselves. It is this glorious and mighty Savior we must go to, throwing ourselves upon His great mercy and grace.
Come to Christ, believe in Christ, trust Christ. You will have peace with God, forgiveness of your sins and rest for your soul. Center your own life in Him, because He truly is the center of all things.
Written by Antonio Salgado Jr.