Scripture Testifies to Jesus
Jesus Christ is not only the embodiment of Scripture, He is its theme. The fact that He is called "the Word" testifies to this truth (John 1:14; Rev 19:13). "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me" (John 5:39). " . . . These are the Scriptures that testify about me" (NIV). At this point we touch upon a foundation matter. Whose testimony is found in Scripture? i.e., who gave the testimony? This is God's own witness concerning His Son. Speaking of the Gospel in particular, and the whole of Scripture in general, John said, "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in him: he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he hath not believed in the witness that God hath borne concerning His Son. And the witness is this, that God gave unto us eternal life, and this life is in His Son" (1 John 5:10-11).
Notice that the subjective witness agrees perfectly with the objective one. If the Scripture was not focused in its message, this would not be possible! The Son of God is the most precise interpretation of Scripture. He is the personification of truth (John 14:6). He was foreshadowed by all the ordained individuals and ceremonies that were before Him. Whether it was Noah saving his house, the High Priest making intercession, or the lamb offered upon the alter, it all found its fulfillment in the Lord Jesus Christ! He is the Prophet foretold (Deut 18:15), the regal King that governs the nations (Isa 32:1; Psalm 22:28), and the Seed of the woman that bruised the serpent's head (Gen 3:15).
The holy men of old introduced the world to the kind of Savior that was coming. Abraham prefigured Christ as fathering enumerable offspring. Moses introduced the world to the idea of a mighty deliverer. Joshua provided the concept of a leader enabling people to possess the inheritance. Aaron brought the idea of a representative of the people before the Living God. David opened up the thought of one person triumphing over the enemy in behalf of the people. Solomon brought the concept of a wise ruler. Elijah shed light upon the coming Messiah as one that would turn the hearts of the people. Jeremiah revealed a sensitive Savior that would care for the people. On and on we could go! The Scriptures find their fulfillment in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the focus and the theme of the text!
It is imperative that we see the relevance of this to our subject. If Christ Jesus is the theme of Scripture, the importance of maintaining its purity is accentuated. Remember, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12, NIV). In view of this, would God divorce Himself from the passing of His Word from one generation to another? from one language to another? To postulate such a condition requires a prodigious imagination, and does not bring glory to God! It is also evidence of unbelief, a human response that is everywhere condemned in Scripture (Rom 3:3; Heb 3:12; 4:11).
The Subject of Prophecy
The coming Savior was the Subject of the prophets. Often their writings seemed to reflect their own experiences. This appearance caused difficulties for the Ethiopian eunuch, who could not distinguish whether Isaiah was speaking about himself or "some other man" (Acts 8:34). In a secondary sense, holy men of old did experience some of the sufferings of which they spoke. Their primary reference, however, was to Jesus Christ. As it is written, "For you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that was to be yours made careful search and inquiry, inquiring about the person or time that the Spirit of Christ within them indicated when it testified in advance to the sufferings destined for Christ and the subsequent glory" (1 Pet 1:9-11, NRSV).
It is inconceivable that God would withdraw from the process of passing Scripture from one generation to another. To do so would result in the obscurement of the very salvation He prepared for all men Luke 2:31). Such an imagination brings reproach upon God, and is unworthy of our embrace.
Isaiah Saw the Glory of Jesus
Another classic illustration of Christ's centrality in Scripture is found in the words of John the beloved. "For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn--and I would heal them. Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus' glory and spoke about Him" (John 12:39-41).
These words should suffice to establish the theme of Jesus in Scripture. They underscore the requirement for Divine involvement in the scripting and translation of His Word. There is no aspect of salvation in which God is not involved. If it is required to bring men to glory, God is in it. If it is required to overcome the Tempter in this world, Deity is in the process. If it is required to attain an acceptable status with the Lord, Divine influence will be found. If this is not the case, there is no hope of overcoming the devil, or dwelling forever with the Lord.
I have exercised myself to avoid oversimplification of this facet of our subject. Still, it is apparent that faith relies upon Divine involvement in an uncomplicated manner.
Thematic Centrality--Divine Purpose
The unity of Scripture involves the proclamation of Divine purpose--what God determined to be done before the world was formed. Remember, the theme of Scripture is the glue, so to speak, that keeps it together. This is what brings cohesion and consistency to the Word of God.