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How a Movie Plot Twist Changes the Way We Read the Old Testament

All of Scripture speaks of Jesus. Once we read about him in the New Testament, we can never read the Old Testament the same way. Tremper Longman III explains in his book, How to Read Proverbs, how meeting the Messiah in the New Testament changes how we read the Old Testament.

Tremper illustrates this point using the popular 1999 movie The Sixth Sense. In this critically acclaimed work, Bruce Willis plays the lead character, a psychologist who is treating a young man being tormented by visions of the dead. Willis treats his patient with compassion, but he understands the visions to be hallucinatory. In the meantime, Willis is struggling with his own problems, including a growing distance between himself and his wife, ever since he was almost killed by an intruder.

As it unfolds, the story makes perfect sense to the audience, but it takes on a new meaning with the revelation at the end that Willis himself is dead. He wasn’t almost killed by the intruder; he was killed. His estrangement from his wife is not psychological; it is spiritual: She is alive and he is dead. This plot twist is a complete surprise, but once it comes, the audience cannot see the first part with the same understanding as they did previously.

Possible Preaching Angle: The way Christ fulfills the Old Testament changes how we understand Old Testament passages.

Source: Tremper Longman III, How To Read Proverbs (Intervarsity Press, 2002), Page 103

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