If it is true that our eternal life and joy consists only of seeing the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, and if the Old Testament scriptures are they which testify of Christ, then it is certainly of eternal profit that we study the scriptures not just as ancient histories or moral tales, but as the living and personal revelation of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In an attempt to do just that, Images of the Savior from the Pentateuch walks through the major events of the five books of Moses, and shows how every event and feature of the text is designed to teach us something of Christ the Savior, from the first account of creation in Genesis 1 to Moses' final song and blessing before his death in Deuteronomy 34.
When Jesus offered up for all believers his high-priestly prayer in their behalf, he summed up the essence of his request thus: “Father, I desire that those whom you have given me might be with me, where I am, in order that they might behold my glory, which you gave me because you loved me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24). From which circumstance we may learn that the very essence of what Jesus died to provide us with is nothing less than a rapturous gazing upon his glorious person, as we dwell in his presence forevermore. Heaven is nowhere but where Jesus dwells in his glory, and eternal life is nothing besides the sight of this glory. This is why Jesus had earlier defined eternal life as this: “that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). True life is that which fulfills the purpose for which man was created, namely, to know and enjoy fellowship with God; and Jesus Christ is the only One who is able to reveal the nature of God to mankind, as we may learn from John chapter one, verses 14 and 18: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as from the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth .... No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has revealed him.” If we would be eternally satisfied, we must learn to behold the glory of Christ. And if we would be among those who for all eternity will indeed be in the joy of God's presence, we must learn to seek Christ's glory even now, as we live upon the earth.
This reduces the entire purpose of our lives on earth, and our eternal lives which follow, to this one thing: seeking to see Jesus the Savior. And there is only one place where we may see the Savior; and that is, the word of God, which was inspired by the Spirit (II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:21) who delights to testify of Christ (John 15:26). This word of God includes both the Old and New Testaments, and we may be sure that the Spirit spoke of Jesus in both Testaments, even as Jesus himself testifies to the Pharisees, calling the Old Testament scriptures “they which testify of me” (John 5:39); and likewise to the disciples, when, “beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he explained to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27).
It is, therefore, a most grievous circumstance that many believers do not habitually see or even look for Jesus the Savior, when they are reading the Old Testament scriptures. Too often they are satisfied with a mere surface understanding of the Jewish history testified therein, or else they look for such a moral as may be found in Aesop's fables. But if the Old Testament scriptures will at all satisfy us or prepare us for eternal life, they will do so by virtue of their ability to uncover the Savior before our eyes. And one of the notable ways in which they do this is through the means of types. God purposed to reveal himself to the world, through his Son, by slow degrees; and therefore, long before he sent him into the world, he spoke of him in many dark and symbolic ways, through the circumstances, histories, and persons which he recorded for us in his Word. The true believers of the Old Testament were instructed of Christ as they looked beyond the types to the Savior which they signified (see, for example, John 8:56); and we may be assured that we will not be profited by those same scriptures unless we do the same thing, looking to Christ under the figures by means of which he is represented to us in the Scriptures.