You study the scriptures thoroughly because you think in them you possess eternal life, and it is these same scriptures that testify about me, but you are not willing to come to me so that you may have life. John 5:39-40 (NETFull)
When I was working in Albania, a small boy couldn’t reach the table from his chair. I slid a thick Bible under the lad to boost him a few inches.
“How dare you use the Word of God to sit on,” an Albanian missionary said with wide eyes.
Sufficiently rebuked, I replaced the Bible with a pillow. It made me wonder which was more sacred, the paper, ink and leather of the Bible or the child who sat on it. I recalled that the living word of God, Jesus, allowed children to sit on him.
The Bible is the complete and inerrant written word of God and as such its truth must govern my faith. However, I must not allow the Bible to become something it is not. It is not a lucky talisman and it is not the object of my adoration. The truth the Bible contains is to be cherished, not the textual media itself.
Coming from a culture in which we tout our degrees of advanced learning, I catch myself idolizing bookish knowledge about Jesus instead of Jesus himself. He wants so much more than my head learning or rote obedience. He wants to saturate me to the very core.
On close examination every book in the Bible points to Jesus Christ. Genesis promises one to come who will crush Satan. That’s Jesus. The books of the law introduce the need for a sacrificial lamb—Jesus again. All the poetry, prophets, and of course the New Testament speak, at least symbolically, of Jesus. The Bible is a miraculous blessing because the Holy Spirit uses it to carry me to Jesus who is the true and full word of God.
The best way I know to respect Bibles, crosses, angels and whatever else points to Jesus is to not stop short at worship of them, but to go all the way to Jesus himself so that I may have life—full, eternal, really fun life.
Prayer: Jesus, Holy Word of God, consume me.