Read Scripture Blog: Week 9

I heard a really good analogy the other day that I’d like to share with you. Charles, Evan and I were watching a sermon by Pete Briscoe from a conference the other day. In it, he gave a clever example of what the terms ‘revelation’ and ‘mystery’ mean in the Bible. I’ll try to recreate what he did. So, I want you to read the following paragraph and see if it makes sense.
It’s always preferable to pick a good spot, perhaps by the window or curled up on a couch. Either way, adequate lighting is important. It sometimes calls for a hot cup of tea. Mechanically, it used to involve pinching two fingers together and turning your wrist; now just a swipe of the finger will do. I’m not really a fan, but I can see the appeal. Often, getting swept up and carried off somewhere far away is a side-effect. To begin, just grab one by the spine and pull it open. The contents will often surprise you!
Did that make sense to you? I’m guessing it probably didn’t, but that’s the point. Mystery, in Biblical terms, is simply something yet to be revealed. Revelation then, becomes the dramatic moment of tearing open the curtain that hides the mystery and shedding light on it. When a mystery is revealed in Scripture, we gain greater, deeper understanding about things that we’ve always seen and what they are really all about. Look at marriage: Ephesians says that the mystery of marriage is that it deals with Christ and His relationship to the Church. We’ve always had marriage, since the beginning of history, but now with this mystery revealed, we can understand why marriage exists, what a good marriage is, and what our roles are in it, all in a deeper way.
So, what about the mysterious paragraph? Well, try going back and reading the paragraph again, but this time read it with the idea of “reading a book* in mind. Did that help you to see how each of the pieces fit together? Did it give you a deeper understanding of the passage? I hope so! I know that I really appreciated that example when we heard it the other day.
There are at least three Scriptures that can guide our understanding of the Scriptures in a similar way: Genesis 3:15, Luke 24:27, and Colossians 1:27. Genesis 3:15 is a prophecy of a Serpent-crusher that will come and deal with the disastrous sin problem that Adam, Eve and the Serpent created; in Luke 24:27 Jesus expounds to two of his disciples all the places in the Old Testament in which they can find him; in Colossians 1:27 Paul states that God has revealed to the Church that the mystery of all of Scripture is: * Christ in you, the hope of glory.
All these Scriptures will help to gain deeper perspective of the Scriptures. Genesis 3:15 will help highlight evil in the Bible and where we can see glimpses of the Serpent-crusher that will come and fix that evil. Luke 24:27 shows us that Jesus is referenced and pictured in the Old Testament many times and invites us to see where. And Colossians 1:27 says that the entirety of the Word of God is meant to point to the way in which God can dwell inside of His people and give them hope of the glory that is to come.
Keeping these verses in the back of our minds while we read can help us to not miss the point of the Bible – Jesus, the divine Serpent-crusher who conquers the problem of evil, and who dwells within those who believe and obey in faith! Let’s look for Christ in our readings this week!