Oct 20, 2010
“To preach Christ from all the scriptures requires careful interpretation, not wild flights of imagination. We need to ask, ‘What truth about God and his saving work is disclosed in this passage?’ When we can answer that question, we are on firm ground to ask two others: ‘How is this particular truth carried forward in the history of revelation? How does it find fulfillment in Christ?’ Because the Old Testament points beyond itself, it is rich in symbolism. We cannot miss the symbolism of the sacrifices commanded in the law, of the temple as God's dwelling place, of the sacred calendar with its day of atonement and year of jubilee. We must recognize, too, the symbolism implied in the calling of God's servants: prophets, priests, and kings. Even the events of the Old Testament may have a symbolic dimension: the exodus certainly does; so do the deliverances accomplished by those of whom God raised up to be judges and kings of his people. Indeed, we come to see that the whole structure of God’s dealings with his people is preparing us for the new covenant realities. This is how the New Testament writers constantly find types of Christ in the Scriptures. What is symbolical in the Old Testament is found to be typical in the New; it points us to the fullness of Christ.”
Edmund P. Clowney, “Preaching Christ from Biblical Theology,” in Inside the Sermon, ed. Richard Allen Bodey (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1990), 59.