Where’s Wally and The Old Testament
This term in our Church’s youth ministry, we are looking at an overview of the Old Testament. We thought it would be a good way to help the young folk get an idea of how it all fits together. I got up in front of the group and told them that the Old Testament is just like Where’s Wally. Remember Where’s Wally ? The guy in the beanie and the striped shirt that would be hiding in a crowd full of crazy people? What does he have to do with the Old Testament?
If you remember the Wally books, each two page spread is a different setting. It might be France, the Crusades, a party full of monsters, a science fiction movie set, a cake factory, etc. A Wally book is made up of all these different type of scenes. Just like the Old Testament. The OT is made up of 37 different books. Some are books about history. Some are books of poetry. Some are books telling Israel how they need to get their act together. Just as their are different scenes in a Wally book, there are different things going on in the OT.
In each scene there’s lots going on. There are hundreds of little people doing all kinds of things. When I was a kid, I had a Where’s Wally jigsaw puzzle. The best way to work on it was to work on it one bit at a time. Where are the pieces with the guys playing cards? Work on that first, etc. The OT is similar. There are stacks of stories in there. They all fit together, but you can just as easily focus on one story.
Most importantly, Wally is like Jesus. And no, I don’t mean that Wally died on the cross to pay for our sins. Wally is in every scene in the books. Sometimes he’s easy to find. Sometimes you can spend hours looking for him. But he’s always there. Same goes for Jesus and the OT. The OT is all about Jesus. It tells us that there is a problem and that someone is coming to fix it. That someone is Jesus. Sometimes it’s easier to see Jesus than others. 2 Samuel 7, Daniel 7, Isaiah 53. Jesus is there. As Christians, we need to look at the OT as words of God that are fulfilled in Jesus. And sometimes we need to look harder than others.
I’m always on the look out for a cheap copy of Where’s Wally? so I can go through it with a thick black texta and circle Wally on every page. Found him! In the same way, as I’m reading the Old Testament and preparing sermons, I’m looking for Jesus so I can point to him in the text and say “Found Him!”