All Scripture Testifies About Jesus (05-26-2014)

In a sermon on John 5:39 last week, I posed this question: “What could Jesus have said if the Jewish authorities would have asked Him to elaborate on just how Scripture bears witness to Him?” In answering the question, I created a fictional dialogue to illustrate some (by no means all!) of the ways that Jesus could have demonstrated that the Old Testament is about Him. The goal was to use Scripture to interpret Scripture; to demonstrate how all of the OT authors (Moses particularly, though) were all writing the same story. I attempted to stick to the central themes of creation, fall, and redemption. There were some people that requested a written copy. So I decided to make it available here.

Let me make a couple of introductory remarks. This dialogue presupposes a familiarity with the Old Testament, which the religious leaders most certainly would have had. Because it is a dialogue that would have taken place in the 1st century, there are no references to verses and chapters. I have footnoted all direct and indirect quotes from the Bible. Where there are block quotes from Scripture, I have put them in italics. Finally, there is also a great deal of interweaving between the two Testaments. For some, this may seem a bit anachronistic but ultimately, this dialogue was not intended for Jewish people in the 1st century but Christians in the 21st. Therefore, I wanted to demonstrate where the New Testament continues the same storyline that begins way back in Genesis 1:1.

There are, of course, many other verses that could have been used and many ways that this can be improved upon. My prayer is that each person that reads this will improve it for themselves as they continue to read and re-read Scripture; that by God’s grace, all of Christ’s followers could, indeed, explain this simple but profound verse: “You search Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me.” (John 5:39)

Fictional Dialogue Between Jesus and the Jewish Leaders


You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me.[1]

Have you not read where in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth?[2] Did you not see that in the beginning God created by His Word and by the Power of the Holy Spirit?[3] That he made man on the 6th day of creation?[4] That man was the pinnacle of all creation?[5]

Did you not read, how after the six days God looked at all he had created and called it very good?[6] And did you fail to understand what Moses meant when after God had rested he wrote:These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens”?[7]

Now what was the purpose of this? Doesn’t Scripture tell you what this means? Do you not read in the Psalms:The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.[8] And again:The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.[9]

Can you understand? All that God created was created to reveal his glory. From the light of the first day to the man on the 6th, the heavens and earth were designed to bear witness to the glory of God!

And what did you read of Adam? Did you not note that he was formed from the earth but that he did not come alive until God’s breathed life into him?[10] Do you understand what God did? He made from the earth a creature that would bear his image? This man, this image-bearer of God, was therefore a liaison between God and the creation. And how was this man to image God in creation? By justly having dominion over the creation.[11] By beginning in the Garden and spreading the glory of the Lord to the ends of the earth.[12]

Now, did God make an altogether new creature to join with Adam, to complete this mandate?[13] Did he make from the earth another human that would be a helper? He did not create a new species. No! What does Moses tell you? God pierced Adam’s side and from that wound he created a bride of His image-bearer.[14] A bride that was one with Adam because she was formed from his flesh and blood.[15]

Scripture testifies about me!

Have you forgotten the Serpent that entered the Garden? How Adam stood silent while his bride was tempted?[16] Do you recall their horrific reaction when their eyes were opened to their sin? And what did Moses say? Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.[17]

Now I ask you – what does this mean? Do you not understand? Do you not see? They exchanged the glory of God for a lie![18] The image-bearers did not consider fellowship with God something to be grasped, but instead, desiring to be exalted to the status of God, they forfeited their role.[19] Do you understand that in being prideful and hungry for power that they placed themselves under the power of Satan?[20] And what was their nakedness other than their eyes being opened to their sin? And what were the fig leaves but an attempt by man to blot out his wickedness by his own effort?[21]

You think that in Scripture you can possess eternal life, and it is they that bear witness about me![22]

Can you not read and understand the effects of sin?[23] Do you not understand that they were cast out of the presence of God?[24] And do you not remember the cherubim that were placed at the entrance of the Garden?[25] What do they tell you? That before you can stand in the presence of God, your sin must be dealt with!

Is this not the reason your tabernacle was designed in such a way? Did not the dark blues and purples of the curtains, adorned with the images of cherubim, do they not remind you of this separation? And what about the inner sanctuary? What does it mean that the priests had to offer a sacrifice and then pass through that heavy curtain, again with the cherubim embroidered into the pattern?[26] What was this for but to remind you that before you can stand in the presence of God that sin must be dealt with?[27]

And what are the wages of sin? Is it not death?[28] Is this not what Adam brought into the world through his transgressions?[29] And is God not just in punishing this sin against his Holy name with the death of the sinner?[30]

But let’s go back to the Garden. Do you not recall the wonderful promise that God made there, as he was pronouncing judgment on Adam, Eve, and the serpent? What was written? I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.[31]

Can you see that there are two seeds talked about here? The children of the woman and the children of Satan?[32] And what does God promise, that though the two will war, the seed of the woman will prevail, and crush the head of Satan.This is God’s word – that a seed of this woman would save his people and free them and creation from the effects of the Fall.

Do you remember this good news? Did you see how Moses continued to write about it – following the two seeds throughout Genesis?[33]

Now, let me ask you – what is the difference between these two seeds? Can you tell me what makes one a child of Satan or a child of the promise? What does Moses write about Abraham? Where did he come from? Did he not live with Father in a land that worshiped false gods?[34] Whose offspring was Abraham, then? Have you not heard how God chose Abraham from among all the people on the earth?[35] Does it say that there was anything commendable about Abraham that God was obligated to choose him? No! God chose Abraham not because of his merits but because of God’s grace alone.[36] And what did God do? He called Abraham? He called him out of the land of idolatry to follow the one true God.

Have you forgotten what Moses wrote:And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.[37] Abraham believed the word of God and it was counted as righteousness. This is how you can identify the seed of the promise. They are those that trust in the Word of God. They do not rely on their own works. They believe.

And what did God promise Abraham? That his offspring would be as numerous as the stars. A multitude that can not be counted. And the Lord God made a covenant with Abraham. And he said that Abraham would be fruitful and multiply and that all nations would be blessed through him.[38] Tell me – did you not recognize these words? Were they not the words that God spoke to Adam?[39] What was Moses telling you? That through Abraham’s line would come the restoration of creation. That where Adam had failed, the offspring of Abraham would succeed – spreading across the world as image-bearers of God, sons of righteousness.

Are you blind to what Moses was writing? Could you not see the pattern? Did you not see it in the story of Jacob when he blessed his son Jacob? Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons shall bow down before you. Judah is a lion’s cub; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down; he crouched as a lion and as a lioness; who dares rouse him? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples. Binding his foal to the vine and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, he has washed his garments in wine and his vesture in the blood of grapes. His eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth whiter than milk.[40]

Do you see the description – he shall defeat his enemies, he will be a ruler. . .Do you not recall the words of Balaam? The prophet in the desert? Did he not prophecy of this same future king?[41]Water shall flow from his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters; his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted. God brings him out of Egypt and is for him like the horns of the wild ox; he shall eat up the nations, his adversaries, and shall break their bones in pieces and pierce them through with his arrows. He crouched, he lay down like a lion and like a lioness; who will rouse him up? Blessed are those who bless you, and cursed are those who curse you.

And again Balaam says: I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the forehead of Moab and break down all the sons of Sheth. 18 Edom shall be dispossessed; Seir also, his enemies, shall be dispossessed. Israel is doing valiantly. And one from Jacob shall exercise dominion and destroy the survivors of cities![42]

Did you not follow this thread? Do you not see that the promise was for a King that would finally purge God’s land of its enemies?

Scripture testifies about me!

And is that all that you were to look for? Do you not recall all that Moses said as the Israelites prepared to enter the Promised Land? Who did he tell you would come in the future? Did Moses not tell you to look for a prophet? Did he not write:“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listenI will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.[43]

Did he not also remind you that of a mighty warrior that would come from Judah?And this he said of Judah: “Hear, O Lord, the voice of Judah, and bring him in to his people. With your hands contend for him, and be a help against his adversaries.[44]

And then again of a mighty priest:Bless, O Lord, his substance, and accept the work of his hands; crush the loins of his adversaries, of those who hate him, that they rise not again.[45]

Tell me now – did it not strike you as significant that Moses was prophesying about a king and a priest that would destroy his enemies? Do you suppose that this Prophet, this Priest, and this King are three separate people?

Why then did God tell Abraham that it would be his seed – singular, and not seeds – plural, through whom all the nations would be blessed?[46] And did not the same Moses record all of this? Do you not understand that this Seed of Abraham would at once be a Prophet that spoke the Word of God, that He would rule as God’s Anointed, and that He would also intercede for men in such a way as to crush the enmity between man and God?

Tell me – How does a priest intercede? Does He not enter the Holy of Holies and offer a sacrifice to God to turn His wrath from His people?[47] Was it not the blood of a Lamb that covered you, when God visited Egypt and poured His wrath out on all who rejected Him?[48]

Answer me: what sort of man does this speak of? Where is the man that is called Lord and King and also a priest – a mediator between a Holy God and sinful man? Did this come to mind when you read the Psalm that David wrote: The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” The Lord sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies! Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours. The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” The Lord is at your right hand; he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.[49]

And whom did you believe Isaiah spoke of when he told you that the Lord would raise up a servant from the line of David, a Spirit-led Servant who would obey the Lord God completely?[50]

Did you fail to see that Isaiah spoke of the same One that Moses wrote about? A Servant of God that would utter the Words of God, that would rescue the people of God and defeat their enemies.[51] How can you not believe Scripture when it says that this same Servant would crush sin by being crushed himself?[52] And yet, does God not say that this Servant will be exalted?[53]

And what did John say to you? “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: “Make straight the path of the Lord!”[54] Tell me: Who is it that you are looking for?[55] Does not the Lord say:

Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.[56] Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.[57] He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.[58]

Is this not who Moses spoke about? Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord, the shield of your help, and the sword of your triumph! Your enemies shall come fawning to you, and you shall tread upon their backs.[59]

So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.[60] For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me.[61] And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.[62] I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. For unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.[63]

You search Scriptures because in them you believe you have eternal life. And it is they that bear witness about me!”


[1] John 5:39

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[2] Genesis 1:2-27

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[3] Genesis 1:2-3, Psalm 33:7; Job 26:13; John 1:1-3;

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[4] Genesis 1:26

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[5] Genesis 1:27

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[6] Genesis 1:31

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[7] Genesis 2:4

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[8] Psalm 19:1

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[9] Psalm 97:6

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[10] Genesis 2:7

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[11] Genesis 1:26-28; Psalm 8:5-9 (In which this original mandate is shown to have a messianic layer. Compare with Hebrews 2:5-9)

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[12] Psalm 19:1-4; Isaiah 42:8; 43:7

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[13] Genesis 2:20

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[14] Genesis 2:21 (The Hebrew word tzeila translated rib in most English Bibles means “side”.)

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[15] Genesis 2:23

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[16] Genesis 3:1-6

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[17] Genesis 3:7-8

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[18] Deuteronomy 4:16; Psalm 106:20; Jeremiah 2:11; Romans 1:23

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[19] Philippians 2:6-11 (What can be said of Jesus is the opposite of what we can say of Adam!)

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[20] John 12:31; Ephesians 2:2; Colossians 1:13; 1 John 5:19

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[21] Isaiah 43:25; 44:22; Jeremiah 13:23; Matthew 23:27; Acts 3:19; Hebrews 4:13

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[22] John 5:39

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[23] Genesis 6:5; Isaiah 59:2; Romans 1:18-23

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[24] Genesis 3:24; Genesis 4:14-16; 2 Kings 17:18; Jeremiah 23:29; Jonah 2:4

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[25] Genesis 3:22-24

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[26] Exodus 26:1; 36:8

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[27] Exodus 30:21; Psalm 24:3-6

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[28] Romans 3:23

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[29] Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:21

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[30] Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 1:18

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[31] Genesis 3:15

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[32] Again, Genesis 3:15; John 8:39-47 (note how Jesus stresses who their father truly is!)

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[33] I would refer you to the meticulous generations Moses lists through the Pentateuch and how this pattern is continued, first through the OT and then into the gospels.

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[34] Acts 7:4

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[35] Genesis 12:1-7

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[36] Deuteronomy 26:5 (note the emphasis placed on Abraham’s inauspicious origins.)

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[37] Genesis 15:5-6; Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6

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[38] Genesis 12:1-2; 15:5-6; 22:15-18

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[39] As with the genealogies that continue to occur through Genesis (and the OT), so too does the repeated command to “be fruitful and multiply” (c.f. – Noah and Israel itself!)

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[40] Genesis 49:8–12

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[41] Numbers 24:7-9

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[42] Numbers 24:17-19

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[43] Deuteronomy 18:15, 18

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[44] Deuteronomy 33:7

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[45] Deuteronomy 33:11 (This is particularly interesting. It is a prophecy of Levi, the line of the priests.)

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[46] Genesis 15:4-5; Galatians 3:16

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[47] Exodus 26:31-35

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[48] Exodus 12

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[49] Psalm 110

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[50] Isaiah 11:1

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[51] Isaiah 11 (almost every verse in this chapter is referred to in the gospels)

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[52] Isaiah 53:5, 10-11

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[53] Isaiah 53:12

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[54] Isaiah 40:3; John 1:23

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[55] John 18:7

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[56] Isaiah 40:10-11

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[57] Isaiah 40:21–23

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[58] Isaiah 40:29–31

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[59] Deuteronomy 33:29

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[60] John 5:19

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[61] John 5:36

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[62] John 17:3

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[63] John 14:6; John 8:24

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