Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Finding Christ in the Old Testament

If you're like me, you've never spent much time in the Old Testament. If at all, the volume only seemed to contain a nice collection of somewhat interesting stories that happened a really long time ago to people in an ancient and distant land. When reading the scriptures, I almost never even cracked the pages of the Old Testament, until I learned about the message just beneath its surface.

Shortly after the death of Christ, his apostles were traveling down the famous road to Emmaus. Dejected after witnessing the gruesome death of their Lord, the apostles felt abandoned and without hope. How could Christ die before he was to redeem Israel? They were confused and troubled. Everything they had put their faith in turned out quite differently than they thought.

Then the voice of Christ pierced their doubt, and he illuminated their understanding. "What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?" (Luke 24: 14-21). To their response the Savior spoke, "O fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself" (Luke 24: 25-27).

So, if the apostles had understood the meaning of the scriptures they wouldn't have been surprised by the events of his life, suffering, and death. The scriptures were all a foreshadowing of Christ, they just didn't see how.

Also, in the Book of Mormon, one of the prophets Nephi states, "Behold my soul delighteth in proving unto my people the truth of the coming of Christ; for, for this end hath the law of Moses been given; and all things which have been given of God from the beginning of the world, unto man, are the typifying of him" (2 Nephi 11:4).

So if everything God has given to man are types of Christ, and the scriptures primary concern is to help us understand the life, character, and mission of our Savior, when we read in the scriptures, we should ask ourselves, "How does this typify, or help me understand better who my Savior is?"

When we ask this question the scriptures come alive with deepened meaning, which is why over the course of the next few weeks, I am going to point out a few of the "types of Christ" i have been able to understand since having my perspective enlarged. It wont be fully comprehensive, but hopefully some of the insights shared here will allow you in your own personal drive to better understand the Savior, to make even more discoveries of your own.

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