“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” Luke 24:27
Sometimes I like to imagine what it must have been like to meet Jesus on the road to Emmaus. I wonder how the two who spoke with Jesus felt when he revealed to them that he was the one the Scripture had promised in Genesis 3:15. They had grown up all their life learning the Law and Prophets. They were taught about the Messiah and what to expect when he arrived. To have the resurrected Messiah show them how all of Scripture speaks of him must have been nothing short of mind-boggling.
My kids love to go on treasure hunts. Don’t we all? The Bible tells us that Jesus is where we find all the “treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Col. 2:3) Since he is the constant thread woven throughout Scripture, there is great treasure to be found in the Bible.
Too often, I only go to my favorite books of the Bible such as the Psalms and the letters of Paul. There are many Old Testament books in my Bible that rarely see the light of day. Since all of Scripture is about Jesus, there’s significant treasure I’m missing out on in my Scripture reading. In the Old Testament, many of our favorite characters were a “type” of Christ, pointing us to the One to come. Much of the Old Testament shows us our absolute need for Jesus to come and die for our sins. And many passages specifically foretell of the Messiah’s coming and the suffering he would endure on our behalf.
The Jesus Storybook Bible says that “every story whispers his name.”
Want to go treasure hunting to find Jesus? Below are a few passages to begin your digging:
1. Read Genesis 22 and see the ram God provided in the thicket. The ram provided the substitutionary payment, as would Jesus many centuries later, though his sacrifice was the last and final sacrifice.
2. Read Exodus 12 about the first Passover. The Israelites placed the blood of a lamb on the top and sides of their door frames. Those who had done this were protected from the angel of death who came to take all the firstborn in Egypt. This points us to Jesus, the Lamb of God, whose blood protects us from final spiritual death. It’s no coincidence that his own death occurred while the Jews were celebrating the Passover.
3. Read in Exodus where the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years. Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness in Luke 2. He was tempted by the devil but never sinned. He was fulfilling what the Israelites could not do when they complained and sinned during their years of wandering. In fact, the verses of Scripture that Jesus quotes to Satan are from Deuteronomy 8 and 6 which refer to their time in the desert.
4. Read Deuteronomy 18. Moses tells the people that God would raise up “a prophet like me.” Jesus is that prophet. In Acts 3, Peter tells the crowd this very thing. “For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.’ “Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days. And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.’When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.” (Acts 3:22-26)
5. Read the book of Jonah. In Matthew 12, Jesus referred to himself as “one greater than Jonah.” Jonah’s time in the belly of the fish points to the time Jesus would spend in the grave.
6. Read the book of Hebrews. This book shows how Jesus fulfills the role of the Old Testament prophet, priest and king. It also shows how he is the fulfillment of the entire sacrificial system.
7. In the New Testament, Jesus and the disciples quoted the Old Testament, showing us how the Old Testament pointed to him. Isaiah 53 is one of the most famous of these passages, though there are many others. (see Psalm 22:18, Psalm 16:8-11, Isaiah 51, Daniel 7:13,14)
I hope your treasure hunt finds you many valuable gems!