“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son…” Romans 1:1-3a ESV
“The gospel of God” Paul says, “promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures.” The gospel, that is the good news of what God has done for us especially through the life, death and resurrection of his Son Jesus, is something “promised beforehand.” It is something promised through God’s prophets. It is something promised through holy Scripture. It is something foretold long before Jesus entered into our world through his mother’s birth canal. Indeed when we read from the Old Testament we are not just reading the history of the Hebrew people, although we are in fact doing that, but we are also reading the history of how God worked in our world to redeem us from sin and death.
From beginning to end, God’s promise of a savior is the central theme of all of scripture. Jesus is the “seed of the woman” who God promised will bruise the “head of the serpent” in Genesis 3. He is the one in whom “all the nations would be blessed” through Abraham. A descendent of Judah, Jesus is the whom from whom the “scepter would not depart” as prophesied by Jacob. He is foreshadowed by the serpent in the wilderness in the book of Numbers, by the sacrificial lambs, and by the passover lamb as well. He is the promised prophet God would raise up (Deuteronomy 18). Jesus is the “suffering servant” of Isaiah. He is the “righteous branch.” He is the “priest-king.” He is the one through whom God will “remove the sins of the people in a single day.”
Now it may appear on the surface that portions of scripture are unrelated to the person of Jesus. However, in depth study of any portion always reveals some aspect of God’s saving work through His Son Jesus. All of scripture points to Jesus, our need for Jesus, God’s work throughout history to bring Jesus “at the right time,” the life, death, resurrection, ascension and 2nd coming of Jesus or the spread of the Gospel. All this is summarized so eloquently by the apostle Paul in one little line.
With this in mind, let us approach scripture faithfully, reverently and humbly as we come to Christ through the Holy Scripture.