THE BIG IDEA:
Jesus is the hero of the story and the key that reveals the bigger picture of the Bible.
We view the Bible as a collection of stories with no connection to each other, so we miss the big picture of Jesus in God’s word.
We want to look for Jesus in every part of the Bible.
If you have the right key, you can open a door to treasures you never knew existed. In the same way, Jesus is the key that opens up the deeper meaning of scripture. As you begin to see Christ throughout scripture, it will be like your mind will open up to spiritual treasures you never saw before.
- What I want the group to know and understand: The Bible is one big story about Jesus from beginning to end.
- What I want the group to experience: A new appreciation for the Bible as we discover how Jesus is revealed as the hero throughout scripture.
- How I want the group to respond: By beginning to unlock the deeper meaning of scripture by seeing how each passage of the Bible points toward Jesus.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TOPIC:
It’s easy to view the Bible merely as a collection of stories and not understand how they all fit together. But it’s critical to see that all the individual stories in the Bible point to one big story whose focus is Jesus Christ. As one writer puts it, every story whispers his name. When we learn to see how all the individual stories in the Bible point to Jesus and his great love for us, he becomes infinitely more beautiful to us.
Jerod, Alex, and Alicia stared at 1000 jigsaw puzzle pieces on the table. They thought putting this puzzle together would be fun, but then they realized that they didn’t have the box top. Without a big picture of what the whole puzzle is supposed to look like, it was hard to know how the individual pieces fit together. They decided to watch a movie instead.
How does having the box top of a puzzle make it easier to understand how the pieces fit together? If the Bible had a key that would help you see how the different parts fit together, would you want to know about it?
Today we are going to take a look at how Jesus is the key to opening up the deeper meaning of the Bible. The Bible is not just a collection of random stories, but is actually one big story about God’s rescue plan to save his people. At the center of that story is Jesus, the hero. The Old Testament points forward to him and the New Testament points back to him. Let’s take a look at some passages in the Bible to see if we can find him in them.
1. Read Genesis 1:1, Colossians 1:15-17, and John 1:3-4. What part did Jesus take in the Creation?
Jesus created the world and everything in it. Nothing was created except through him. He wasn’t a part of the creation, he was around before creation began and he was the one that did the creating.
2. Read Genesis 12:1-3. How do you think “all nations of the earth” will be blessed through Abraham?
Allow the group to discuss. It isn’t clear in the passage so don’t try too hard to get the “right” answer. Just get people talking.
3. Galatians 3:6-9 uses the key of Jesus to shine more light on the Genesis passage of Abraham. With this new information, how do you think all nations will be blessed through Abraham?
This passage helps us better understand the Genesis passage. True children of Abraham are those who place their faith in God. Abraham is a blessing to all nations in 2 ways. First, because his great, great great… grandson was Jesus, who would pay for the sins of all who believe. Second, because (as verses 6 & 7 say) Abraham was made righteous by his faith rather than by doing good. He showed us all that being right with God comes by faith, not by being good. Being righteous is an issue of placing our faith in Jesus, not of being good all the time.
4. King David was one of the greatest kings in Israel’s history. In 2 Samuel 7:12-13, what does God promise David? One thousand years later, an angel speaks to Mary (Jesus’ mom) about her son in Luke 1:31-33. What light does this shine on God’s promise to David?
God promised David that his descendant would be a great king and would rule forever. But God doesn’t identify exactly who that ancestor will be. God, later tells Mary that her son, Jesus, is that ancestor. He is the one who will reign forever. Jesus is the great king that all of Israel had been waiting for for over a thousand years.
5. When Isaiah 53:10-12 was written, people had hope because this prophecy was promising a savior, and the people needed one! However, they didn’t know who this person would be. Hundreds of years later, Jesus’ friend John wrote 1 John 4:9-10. How do these verses from 1 John help us better understand the Isaiah passage?
The Isaiah passage said that this suffering servant would be beaten and die, but ultimately would pay for our sins. The 1 John passage tells us that it is God’s son (Jesus) who will save us from our sins. And, as we know from the end of Jesus’ life, he also was beaten and died.
6. Read Isaiah 50:6. How does the story about Jesus in Matthew 26:65-67 help explain what is said in Isaiah?
The Isaiah passage foretells someone getting beaten and spit upon. The Matthew passage shows us that this person was Jesus.
The entire Old Testament sets the stage for Jesus. From God’s promise to Abraham that he would bless the whole world through him, to David pointing to the King of Kings to come (Jesus), to the prophets giving all kinds of details about this “coming savior,” it all points to Jesus.
The New Testament explains how Jesus pays for our sins and is important to our everyday lives. He puts our current trials into perspective because we can know that he will return one day, making every wrong right and bringing us to God forever. Jesus is the hero of the Bible and is the key that helps us understand what the Bible is really about.
7. How would it change your understanding of the Bible if you asked, “How does this passage point to Jesus?” whenever you read the Bible?
It would help us see how that passage fits into the bigger story that God is writing in the Bible. It would help us better understand the true meaning of the Bible and how it truly relates to our lives. Leader, encourage your students to begin asking this question whenever they read the Bible.
8. How does it change the way you see hard circumstances if you understand that Jesus is the hero (not you or me)?
Allow the group to discuss. The kind of response we want to get to is that this perspective frees us from feeling like everything rides on us. It helps us to see that since Jesus is the hero who’s proven his worth in his death and resurrection, we can trust him and rest in him with any hard thing.
9. If one of your friends asked you what the Bible was about, what would you say?
Allow the group to discuss. Guide your students toward what we learned in this lesson as they answer this question. Jesus is the main character of the Bible. The Old Testament and New Testament both point to Him. The Bible is the story of how God is bringing all people to himself through Jesus.
What ideas do you have that could improve this study? Are there creative things you do to bring this topic home to your students? Please share with the community clicking the FEEDBACK button or leaving a comment below.