Reviewed by: Lawrence Semel
Date posted: 11/09/2014
Jesus on Every Page: 10 Simple Ways to Seek and Find Christ in the Old Testament, by David Murray. Thomas Nelson, 2013. Paperback, 246 pages, list price $16.99. Reviewed by OP minister Lawrence Semel.
If you are not yet persuaded of Christ-centered interpretation and preaching of the Old Testament, consider reading this book.
In the first part of his book, David Murray relates his own struggle to understand the purpose of the Old Testament and how to preach from it. Even after seminary, it was not until he was asked to teach Old Testament at his denominational seminary that he was driven to search the Scriptures for answers.
The answer to his questions came first from the words of Jesus to the two men on the road to Emmaus: "Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself" (Luke 24:27). According to Jesus, the Old Testament was about him. And this is confirmed by the apostles John (in John 1:17), Peter (in 1 Peter 1:10–12), and Paul (in Gal. 3–4 and 2 Cor. 3).
After Christ left the two men on the road, they talked about how their hearts burned within them while Jesus explained the Scriptures to them (Luke 24:32). So in the second part of his book, Murray invites the reader to join him in some "spiritual heartburn." He shows in detail and with plenty of examples his ten simple ways to discover Jesus in the Old Testament.
Murray discovers the covenant of grace at the heart of the Old Testament. And wherever there is grace, there is Christ. Grace can be extended to the Old Testament saints only because Christ is the lamb slain before the foundation of the world. Christ is not forced into the Old Testament story. You find him there because he is there, in all parts of the Old Testament: in the Law, in the books of history, in the Prophets, and in the books of poetry. Jesus is on every page—yes, in shadowy form, but a shadow always indicates the presence of light.
Among the many insights in this book, Murray helps to identify types and interpret them in a way that unfolds their Christ-centered beauty. One of Murray's passions is to restore a sane, spiritually edifying typology to the church (p. 137).
Murray quotes from a wide variety of authors and from the Westminster Confession of Faith in support of his thesis. Hodge believed that "the Old Testament Scriptures are intelligible only when understood as predicting and prefiguring Christ" (p. 35). "[Jonathan] Edwards regarded Jesus and His redemption not only as the climax of redemptive history but also as an integral, constant part of all redemptive history" (p. 106).
Murray has succeeded in writing a book that is helpful to believers in general. It is well written, easy to understand, and filled with helpful illustrations and biblical examples. There are discussion questions for each chapter. All of these things make the book an excellent choice for study by various groups within the church.