Looking for Jesus: How to Find Christ in the Old Testament

When I was a kid, I looked for Waldo. That guy with the red hat, red-striped shirt, and hipster looking glasses. He was elusive, but I was Sherlock. I would scan the overcrowded picture from top to bottom, left to right, and look for anything that was red. Some pages in the Where’s Waldo? books were easy, but some were difficult. Yet every time I would come back after giving up, I’d find his eyes, with those large black glasses, staring back at me. Even when I couldn’t find him, he was always there and (creepy enough) he was always staring right at me.

In the same way that Waldo is not likely to be discovered without effort and focus, so too we must search for Jesus Christ in the Old Testament. Like Where’s Waldo?, there are techniques and strategies that can help us see Christ in the Old Testament. There are clues left behind like a trail of breadcrumbs for us to follow. We tend to think of Jesus only showing up in the New Testament. But he is there, like Waldo, in the Old as well.

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It’s All About Me

Part 5 of the Christian Thinking series.
We come out of the womb full of ourselves. The instincts we’re born with are only for our own survival. Nobody has to teach a baby how to cry for milk. All toddler’s everywhere learn from their own wayward hearts to throw a temper tantrum. We automatically are in tune with our personal needs and desires; they grip our hearts and minds strongest when they aren’t fulfilled.

Our culture perpetuates this self-centered mindset continually. Advertisements appeal to our ego by telling us we deserve the product being sold to us. Many philosophies, movements, and ideologies are consumed with gazing inward.  Much of this series is based on the false way of thinking that, “Everything is about me.”

We tend to think:

What’s best for me? What will make me happy? What will be easy for me? How does this affect me? What does she think of me? He hurt my feelings. No one cares about my ideas.

What About the Church?

The Church has become guilty of this as well. We have become man-centered in how we approach life, scripture, and our churches.

If we aren’t careful we can make our life in Christ all about ourselves by interpreting scripture according to our feelings and preferences, which reduces scripture to a handbook of rules or it becomes our personal therapist. Scripture was never intended to make much of us, but to make much of Christ.

We can look at our churches through a man-centered lens too. Church isn’t a place to serve our own needs and interests. Yes, we can be ministered to through the preaching of the Word, and we should look to be spiritually fed in our churches, but that is different from idolizing the fulfillment of our desires. Christ didn’t die for the Church so she could feel good about herself and have lots of friends. He died to set her free to live for his glory. One of the best ways to do that is to love and serve others.

It’s All About You

Nancy Leigh Demoss says, “Feeling better has become more important than finding God….God does not exist for us, but we exist for him.”

I remember an old worship song from when I was a young girl:

It’s all about you, Jesus. And all this is for you; for your glory and your fame. It’s not about me as if you should do things my way. You alone are God and I surrender to your ways. 

What’s the best way to remember it’s not, “all about me?” Think about Jesus laying down his rights and desires to become a helpless baby. Except, he came out of the womb full of God’s glory.