So far in the story of the Bible, we have covered the entire Old Testament. We have discussed Genesis to Malachi and have fit each book into their respective places in the history of the Bible and literary type. The big main storyline is this character who will crush the head of the serpent. The prophets predicted a Messianic character who would be this long-desired character. Now we have come to the gospels and are going to be introduced to this snake crusher character.
When you turn the page between the old and new testaments, you will come to the book of Matthew. Matthew starts out by saying, “This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham” (1:1) and then proceeds to give the genealogy of this Jesus character. Mark comes right out and connects Jesus with a prophecy from Isaiah that foretells of the Messiah. Luke’s version is a little more formal and gives some background details that we don’t get in Matthew or Mark. Then there is the gospel of John that has been separated from the rest of the gospels because of its design and literary styles. John starts out by going all the way back to the “beginning”, like in Genesis 1. Each gospel gives an account of the same story of Jesus but from different views. They are referred to as “the gospels” but they all talk about the same gospel or good news of Jesus. One gospel, four different viewpoints. All four gospels, no matter which one you read, they give a sense of hope. Jesus, who is called the Messiah, has now arrived and is now coming onto the scene. All of the prophecies and story lines up to this point have been pointing to the moment when the Messiah shows up and reigns victorious. That moment, has now come.
Let’s break down the gospels a little more to get a better understanding of what happens in each one. A general breakdown of all four would be as follows: Jesus grows up and starts his ministry. He calls 12 men together to be his 12 disciples. Jesus teaches and performs many miracles to the people. As with any good story, there is a villain. In this case, the villain is portrayed by the Pharisees and religious leaders of Jerusalem that want to kill Jesus. Well the moment finally comes where Jesus is betrayed and falls into the hands of the enemy. He is put on trial, but is innocent, and sentenced to death. Jesus is crucified and dies. Once again, this seems to be another failure by a human. This was the prophesied one who was going to crush the head of the snake and reign victorious over evil, but He is now dead and hope is lost, or is it? Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead and is alive! Jesus the Messiah did conquer death. He did crush the head of the serpent by conquering death and He is the Savior. A horrible ending turned into the perfect beginning. As the story goes, Jesus commands his followers to go and spread the news about him that he is alive and salvation can be found through him. And that is where the gospels end.
Each gospel is written by a different person and so there are differences between them. Some have stories that others don’t. Jesus says things in one that weren’t mentioned in another. This does not prove that they are invalid but rather it shows their individuality while still staying consistent to the truth. The gospels contain the story of how one man, Jesus who was both God and human, who fulfilled all that was written about him. He conquered death and crushed the head of the serpent.
Not only is the main story line fulfilled but also the smaller one of the nation of Israel who was lost and exiled but the remnant was allowed to return. Jesus, who was a descendant of David, was looked at as the one who was going to restore the kingdom of Israel. Some thought he came to rule as king and take the kingdom out from under the oppression of Rome. However, Jesus had a different plan in mind. Instead of building and ruling an earthly kingdom, Jesus rules the heavenly kingdom of God where those who are saved in Him get to be with Him in the kingdom after this life. Jesus didn’t restore the earthly relationships of politics between Israel and Rome but he does restore our relationship with God through his sacrifice.
So as you can see, Jesus is the climax of the story. He didn’t come too early or too late. He came at just the right time. He was the perfect sacrifice for us messed up humans and He was the one who finally overcame the serpent and through Him, we can finally overcome the serpent too.