The center of Scripture and the purpose of Advent.
G. Campbell Morgan on the preeminence of the unveiling of Christ.
A hallmark of my writing and preaching is highlighting all the ways in which Jesus is the sum and substance of biblical revelation. After all, the pages of Scripture aren’t a compendium of cleverly illustrated moral lessons or ethical manifestos. Rather, they are divinely orchestrated and preserved sets of moments wherein the Creator of all things discloses what lies in his heart of hearts — namely, that he is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love” (Exod. 34:6; Num. 14:18; Ps. 103:8; 145;8; Jonah 4:2; Nah. 1:3). The Son of God clued in the two on the Emmaus Road by demonstrating how “all the Scriptures” had himself as their chief concern (Luke 24:27). And ever since every subsequent disciple has been shepherded to the same conclusion.
Jesus is the point. He is the purpose. He is the message. All of Scripture centers on him. As Sally Lloyd-Jones has famously quipped, “Every Story in the Bible whispers his name” (3). Renowned British orator G. Campbell Morgan concurs:
The whole teaching of Holy Scripture places the Advent at the center of the methods of God with a sinning race. Toward that Advent everything moved until its accomplishment, finding therein fulfillment and explanation. The messages of the prophets, seers, and the songs of psalmists trembled with more or less certainty toward the final music which announced Jesus’ coming. All the results of these partial and broken messages of the past led toward the Advent. It is equally true that from that Advent all subsequent movements have proceeded, depending upon it for direction and dynamic. The writings which we have in the Gospel stories are all concerned with the coming of Christ, with His mission and His message. The last book of the Bible is a book the true title of which is The Unveiling of the Christ. Not only the actual messages which have been bound up in this one Divine Library, but all the results missing from them are finally results issuing from this selfsame coming of Christ. (298–99)
The dawning of the Word made flesh lies at the heart of the “whole teaching of Holy Scripture.” Beyond just the book of Revelation, all the writings of Scripture could be designated “The Unveiling of Christ,” since all of them have the revelation of the Christ of God as their primary enterprise. This is why it’s silly to relegate our commemoration of Jesus’s incarnation to just a few weeks in December. The whole Bible shows forth both the mystery and the necessity of the God who takes on flesh to redeem the world from sin. Indeed, that’s the whole reason for his appearing: “You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and . . . to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:5, 8).
Grace and peace.
Sally Lloyd-Jones, The Story of God’s Love for You (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2015).
G. Campbell Morgan, The Westminster Pulpit: The Preaching of G. Campbell Morgan, Vols. 1–10 (Fincastle, VA: Scripture Truth Book Co., 1954).