God’s Loaded Rifle

Posted: May 26, 2011 in Faith

The Bible is a collection of 66 books, written by 40 different authors, across 3 continents, in 3 languages, spanning a period of nearly 1500 years. And yet it constitutes a remarkable whole that cannot be explained or ignored as simply as “Man conspired to make it up.” Allow me to explain…

Being a writer means I’m forever thinking in terms of threads, arcs and themes. I can’t help it. The films I watch, the books I read, the sermons I prepare, the novels I write, the people I talk to… I love looking for a central thread that weaves its way through fiction or other people’s real stories. And spotting the pegs on which these stories hang is fascinating.

One of the best quotes on this subject is a classic trope called “Chekhov’s Gun“. The Russian writer Anton Chekhov once wrote, “One must not put a loaded rifle on the stage if no one is thinking of firing it.” For a most obvious example, think of the Winchester rifle in Shaun of the Dead. It’s classic foreshadowing, and is found in all good stories. I’d heard and used this myself many times before, but it was just this past week when I realised how much God had got there first. The Old Testament (written approx 1200-100BC) is God’s “loaded rifle”, which He fires so conclusively in the New Testament (written approx 51-95AD):

[Old Testament → New Testament]

Israel: His chosen people, set apart and rescued → The church: His chosen people, set apart and rescued…

The law → fulfilled by Christ, the impossible made possible…

The lamb(s), taking our place  → Christ, the “Lamb”, taking our place once and for all

The temple → God dwells within His body of people

Original creation → A renewed creation

Old Covenant/marriage between God and His people → New Covenant/marriage between Christ and His bride (the church)

… these are just a few examples, the list goes on and on the more you look. And this is without mentioning the hundreds of prophecies, written hundreds of years before Christ arrived, that He actually fulfils!

The Old Testament is God’s “Loaded Rifle”. Go read the Bible and watch Him pull the trigger…


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