Sadly, in 2016 America, many churches virtually ignore the Hebrew Scriptures, or, as Christians refer to the collection of books, the Old Testament. The OT’s records of history, the prophets, and wisdom all points to … Jesus Christ. As they say, He is the red crimson thread that runs through all of Scripture.
From Genesis to Malachi, the story is about the Messiah. Would that more pastors, youth leaders and ministry heads teach this. If they did, perhaps the gross biblical illiteracy in this country could be overturned.
The question is, though, how best to teach it? Congregational scripture reading no longer really exists. Small groups are jammed with “Bible studies” featuring the latest celebrity pastor. Or analyzing movies.
David Limbaugh has one solution: a tremendous new apologetic, “The Emmaus Code: Finding Jesus in the Old Testament.” In it, the nimble legal mind brings to life the chief plot in Scripture, and he does it with the kind of flair that will keep readers turning pages.
Limbaugh makes the claim that Christ’s encounter with the two men from Emmaus (Luke 24) is the key to unlocking the journey of Messiah through the Bible.
Often, a word/image/idea turns on a light of understanding for readers. Limbaugh accomplishes this to extraordinary effect in “The Emmaus Code.”
As Limbaugh states:
There are many different ways that Christ is revealed in the Old Testament, including by His titles; His work as creator; His role as the sustainer of God’s creation; His appearance (known as ‘Christophanies’); the ‘types’ and ‘portraits’ of persons, institutions, events, and ceremonies pointing to Him; the Old Testament offices of prophet, priest, and king that prefigure His perfect work to come; God’s promises, especially His major covenants that find their ultimate fulfillment in Him; and the many messianic prophecies.
And I’m speaking there also of the effort Limbaugh has put into this book. There is more Bible teaching in the above paragraph than in most celebrity pastor “Bible studies.” For example, did you notice that Limbaugh refers to Jesus Christ as “creator”? Who knew? This kind of detail is all through “The Emmaus Code,” and makes it a remarkable companion guide to the Bible itself, which should be the text of choice for churches.
Look, let’s be honest: vast numbers of professing Christians in the pews in America didn’t know that the Old Testament points to Christ all the way through. The … adventure is the right word to describe reading “The Emmaus Code” … adventure readers will embark upon will equip believers to really understand what the Christian faith is all about, and, in turn, produce more true and authentic disciples.
For example, in Chapter 10 (“Christ in Every Book: Exodus”), Limbaugh points out that the Israelites’ experience in leaving Egypt – particularly in the Passover story itself – is a perfect picture of Christ:
The Passover is strikingly typical of Christ and His sacrificial and saving work. Like our salvation in Christ, the Passover is a function of God’s sovereign and gracious will. It is an illustration, in real-life history, of how God saves sinners through the shedding of blood. The Passover story probably has as much New Testament symbolism as any event in the Old Testament. This episode and its subsequent commemoration unmistakably point to the cross.
The Appendix is also extraordinarily helpful, and will stun readers: “Messianic Prophecies of the Old Testament.” There are hundreds of them, passages ranging from Genesis 3:15 to Malachi 4. In fact, many are unaware that the foundational passage for all reality is Genesis 3:15, in which God the Father explains to Adam and Eve the basis for the age-old war between good and evil. This kind of teaching, again, makes “The Emmaus Code” the go-to apologetics book of 2016, in my view.
What would be terrific is if some high-profile ministry leaders would take a pause from promoting their friends’ vapid books, and instead trumpet David Limbaugh’s latest effort. It would not only energize their own congregations, now armed with real knowledge of their faith; it would provide the kind of proper homage to the King that is sadly lacking in American Christianity.