The bible was something I viewed as being boring and obsolete.
I thought it was full of rules that were impossible or ridiculous to follow.
I thought it was really strange with things like talking snakes, donkeys and a beast that lives in the sea. I got most of these ideas from the internet because truthfully, I had never really read the bible until I became a Christian.
But even then, I was taught (maybe not meaning to be) that it’s better to read the New Testament then the Old because the New is more relevant to us today – mostly because it has Jesus in it (he was presumed missing or on holiday in the OT) and there are churches and Christians which we can relate to. It also wasn’t full of laws and strange things that are hard to explain and a God that seems meaner and distant.
It took me a while to untangle that.
I’m glad I did because I found that the Old Testament is rich with stories.
I learnt that Jesus is very much present in the first half of the bible – he isn’t distant or absent, he walks with his people, he meets Moses face to face, He eats with Abraham, He wrestles with Jacob.
It is the Old and New Testament together that creates the greatest story ever told and contained in the Old Testament is some of the most flavoursome stories that point to Jesus. The gospel runs deep throughout.
It is the ultimate love story.
Furthermore, it is a story that is echoed in every story ever written.
What convinced me of this was reading Tolkien’s essay, “On Fairie Stories.” In essence Tolkien said that the The Gospel, the story of the bible is the greatest story ever told. That it is the “true myth” that every story is derived from.
I think we can see this in the films we watch or the books we read.
We love it when the princess is saved, when the slave gains freedom, when the evil one is overcome and when someone displays self-sacrifice. They are all echoes of the story that the bible tells us.
And the bible tells us of a true and better story that we long for and shows us that Jesus is the great hero and we are the ones being rescued.
Jesus is the truer and better Bilbo Baggins destroying all evil.
He is the truer and better Harry Potter dying to save his friends and then rising to life.
Jesus is the truer and better Superman who saves the weak.
He is the truer and better Katness who takes her sisters place in the hunger games.
From Genesis to Revelation the bible tells us of a hero who meets this broken, messed up people and loves them, rescues them and dies in their place and then rises to life and says that they can be with that hero forever.
It’s a story of a people who reject God time and time again and yet he never abandons them.
The bible offers us the best story we will ever hear and its one that all stories in our culture echoes. But what’s even better is that its true and the Hero of the story is real and better than anyone you know.
The bible is about a hero who will always welcome you back with open arms.
Now that certainly doesn’t sound boring!