Yesterday concluded The Gospel Coalition conference of 2011, but instead of fading out like I’ve seen other conferences do, it ended just as it started… with an inspiring commitment to a Christ-centered interpretation of the entire Bible. The last session of the day was given to D.A. Carson. The people who put this conference together knew exactly what they were doing by giving him the last session. If you give the foremost Biblical scholar in the world the final spot in the conference, people aren’t going to leave early!
Carson preached on the obscure, Old Testament figure, Melchizedek, and showed us from the Scriptures how he foreshadowed Jesus Christ. Now, I could go into all the detail of how Carson got to his conclusions on this, but that is not my intention today. I want to focus on something he said at the end of his message that I hope resounds in your ears. Carson charged us to do the hard work that, many times, is necessary in order to discover the ways in which the Old Testament reveals Jesus. It took the brilliant mind of Carson a whole hour to show us the trajectory that took us from Melchizedek to Christ, from Psalm 110 to Genesis 14 to Hebrews 7. It took time and study to do this, but it was worth the hard work to see Jesus in the nooks and crannies of the Old Testament.
When we see Jesus in all the Scriptures, even in the seemingly small parts, then we begin to see that He is not only central to the Bible but central to everything God is doing in this world, and therefore, most worthy of our honor, devotion, and worship. Doing the hard work of finding Christ in both the Old and New Testaments helps lift our whole hearts to Him in loving submission and obedience. So, ask questions of the text, follow the cross references, buy some good commentaries, do the word studies, think hard, and work hard! Too often we give less time to the Bible each day than we do our morning routine of getting ready for work or school. This is sad, Church! I know and you know that there are things you work hard for in life, but ask yourselves if those things are worth more than knowing Jesus intimately! Study the Bible don’t just read it, so that your eyes and life will be fixed on Jesus!