Ensuring Our Bible Stories are Actually Christian
The way we teach children the stories of Scripture can help provide a much-needed roadmap and big-picture understanding for them of how the whole Bible fits together as “the Word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). Since the “gospel is the power of God for salvation for all who believe” (Romans 1:16–17), may we never hinder the children from coming to Jesus by failing to show them Jesus as the fulfillment of each story.
Isn’t it wonderful to teach the stories in Scripture to children? Many of us who are parents, Sunday school teachers, VBS leaders, or elementary school teachers know that the accounts of David and Goliath and Israel Crossing the Red Sea is more exciting for eight-year-olds than teaching them justification by faith alone from Romans 3:21–28 (as vital as the latter is). My ten-year-old finds a vivid telling of Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones more exhilarating than a treatise on the doctrine of the resurrection from 1 Corinthians 15! Most kids’ imaginations are more captivated by the thought of Noah and his family being rescued through the cataclysmic flood waters of judgment than learning abstract (yet essential) truths like sanctification. After all, most of the Bible is written in narrative story form, as the drama and plot of salvation history unfolds from Genesis to the Gospels and the book of Acts.
Did you notice what I called biblical history in the prior sentence? It is salvation history, also called redemptive history, because it is the infallible record of God’s one unfolding story of salvation fulfilled and accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is safe to say that the resurrected Christ taught his disciples to understand that the stories of the Old Testament find their ultimate meaning in the person and work of Jesus (see Luke 24:27, 44). After all, Jesus told the Pharisees, “Moses wrote about me” (John 5:46). It’s no wonder then, that when Moses and Elijah appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration, they were speaking with Jesus about the exodus he was about to accomplish in Jerusalem (Luke 9:31), referring to his death and resurrection that would set his people free from sin, death, and Satan.