This is the final piece in a series in which I want to explain why some Christian people are abandoning the authority of the Bible and why you shouldn’t.
We have come to the point where we can confidently say that the Bible is God’s Word and that he has given it to us that we might know Him and know life. But when you open its pages, the Bible is not always easy to understand. So what is the key? How can we understand the Bible?
The key to understanding any piece of writing is to know what it is about. Emma by Jane Austen is about love, romance and youthfulness at the dawn of the 19th Century. Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe is about Aboriginal life in Australia before the arrival of Europeans. Knowing this information helps you understand and interpret the words you read.
Sadly, when many people open the Bible they not only deny the authorship of God but dive in looking for rules amidst a disjunctive collection of ancient literature; and so we come full circle to the Anglican world where many have missed the central figure of the Bible and its cohesive story.
To put it simply, if you want to understand the Bible, you just need to know this – it is all about Jesus Christ. This is the testimony of Jesus himself. On one occasion he rebukes the Pharisees for being people of the Bible but missing the main point:
“You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” John 5:39-40
After his resurrection he finds some disciples walking along the Emmaus Road and Luke recalls:
“He said to them, ‘How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” Luke 24:25, 27
The Bible is one story and it is all about Jesus. From beginning to end, the whole story is focused on the events of the cross. The Old Testament sets up the crisis for why the cross is needed. The New Testament tell us what happened and how it matters. Genesis 1-2 tell us God’s plan for humanity. Revelation 21-22 promise us that God’s plan is on the way.
Understanding the Bible can be difficult but when you know it is all about Jesus the whole message is unlocked. This, accompanied by the reality that it is the Word of God, does make reading the Bible critically important for your life and your future. The King revealed within is the eternal King of the universe and he wants you to come and follow him. Listen up!