Review of Jesus On Every Page by David Murray

I teach the Introduction to the Old Testament course here at Eston College. Here is my course description:

As Christians we should approach the OT with the understanding that it points us to Christ. J. C. Ryle once said, “The grand primary object of all Scripture, is to testify of Jesus! Old Testament ceremonies are shadows of Christ. Old Testament judges are types of Christ. Old Testament prophecies are full of Christ’s sufferings, and of Christ’s glory yet to come. The first coming and the second; the Lord’s humiliation and His glorious kingdom; His cross and the crown shine forth everywhere in the Bible.” This course will survey the OT in order to appreciate the manifold ways that God “prepared the way” for the coming of Christ.

That’s why I was thrilled to read the book Jesus on Every Page by David Murray. Here’s a short video of Murray describing why you should read this book:

I have been a fan of Murray’s blog for sometime now. He is a prolific blogger and always provides juicy resources on a variety of topics that I am interested in. I would say that he is one of my favorite living authors.

This book walks through the various ways that Christians should look for Jesus in the OT. This topic can be a touchy one, but Murray argues with conviction that Christians should read the OT through Christological lenses.

He provides useful rules for doing so without going off into crazy land, and he does it all with a passionate and worshipful heart. Here is a quote that demonstrates his worshipful stance:

In the midst of the many intrinsically fascinating reasons why Old Testament study is so rewarding, the most exciting to me is the way it never fails to add new depths to my understanding of Jesus. I find myself aware that in reading the Hebrew Scriptures I am handling something that gives me a closer common link with Jesus than any archaeological artifact could do. For these are the words he read. These were the stories he knew. These were the songs he sang. These were the depths of wisdom and revelation and prophecy that shaped his whole view of “life, the universe and everything.” This is where he found his insights into the mind of his Father God. Above all, this is where he found the shape of his own identity and the goal of his own mission. In short, the deeper you go into understanding the Old Testament, the closer you come to the heart of Jesus. (After all, Jesus never actually read the New Testament!)

When an author comes to Scripture with this much love for our savior I can’t help but appreciate their work. I also just plain enjoy his writing style. He writes with flourish (probably because he has been a teacher/preacher for so long).

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

  • “A bit of work is required to find the seams of gold in these messianic mines…”
  • “The first time an apprentice engineer looks at a locomotive engine, he has little idea where to start. That’s why apprentice engineers are issued with numerous step-by-step guides. When we open the “engine” of the prophets, we often feel like that apprentice, don’t we? Where do I start? What do I do now?”
  • “A picture is worth a thousand words. Pictures help us remember, understand, and look forward. When we want to remember our wedding, we don’t get out our diaries or journals; we open the photo album. When we want to understand how a rocket works, we don’t get out NASA’s instruction manual; we look for some pictures. When we are looking forward to a vacation, we don’t look up Wikipedia; we look up Google images. That’s why God used so many pictures in the Old Testament. vivid visuals like the Passover lamb, the Flood, or the tabernacle helped Israel remember better, understand better, and look forward better.”
  • “God recognized that theological truth in sentence form would be very difficult for Israelites to grasp. So, He gave theological truth in sense form. He gave things Israel could see, hear, touch, smell, and taste. And every sight, sound, touch, smell, and even taste conveyed truth about God’s character. Through these prophetic pictures, God was teaching His infant children His spiritual alphabet, and as they slowly put these letters together, they spelled Jesus.”
  • And my favorite: “It’s as if gospel was spelled in a 12-point font in the Old Testament and in a 1200-point in the New Testament. Or we might say it was pictured in the Old using thumbnails but blown up to poster size in the New.”

Recommended Audience: I would recommend this book for a college level classroom or an adult bible study. There are useful questions at the end to help guide you through discussion.

Don’t hesitate to buy this book, you won’t regret it! If you want to learn more check out the webpage here.

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