My son loves books, often pushing for extra stories at bedtime. A favourite is the Jesus Storybook Bible. Its paraphrased Bible stories are the perfect length for bedtime. The Jesus Storybook Bible seems like other children’s Bibles, but one thing sets it apart: each story points towards Jesus. Jesus isn’t mentioned by name until the New Testament, yet every story ends with Jesus. In the story of David and Goliath, there’s a line that would end most storybooks: “God had saved his people. David was a hero!” But in the Jesus Storybook Bible the final line is:
“Many years later, God would send his people another young hero to fight for them and to save them, but this hero would fight the greatest battle the world has ever known.”
The story of David and Goliath doesn’t end with David; it foreshadows the greater hero, Jesus, who saves us from something deadlier than a giant.
This foreshadowing is possible because the Bible is one complete story, a fact that the creators of BibleProject stress frequently. They spend much of their video “How to read the Bible: The Gospel” relaying the entire story of the Bible. Even though the Old Testament doesn’t mention Jesus by name, BibleProject demonstrates how he is the culmination of all the stories found in the Old Testament. The whole Bible is about Jesus, and BibleProject explains how we can read the New Testament biographies of Jesus in light of the Old Testament.
The video explains, for example, how the Old Testament prophet Micah prophesied Jesus’ birth (Micah 5:2), which is directly quoted by Matthew (Matt 2:6):
“When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Matthew reminds us that this was anticipated by the prophet Micah.”
Sometimes the parallels between the testaments are not as obvious. The video shows some drawings of Old Testament stories with arrows pointing to their counterparts in Jesus’ story. The video shows a drawing of Isaac carrying wood for a sacrifice up a hill (Gen. 22:6). An arrow points to a drawing depicting Jesus carrying his wooden cross up a hill for his sacrifice (John 19:17). Isaac and Jesus were both meant to be the sacrifice, but Isaac didn’t die that day. Isaac’s story points to Jesus; Jesus became the sacrifice for humanity.
What I appreciate about BibleProject and the Jesus Storybook Bible is the ways in which they train me to see the good news about Jesus on every page of the Bible. It’s a skill I hope to hone and pass on to my children through many precious moments of exploring our Bible together.