A properly selected and contextualized preaching text must move immediately toward Jesus if it is to speak honestly to the Church. Therefore, once a preaching text has been properly selected and contextualized, the second movement in preaching must be toward Christ and not toward ourselves. A simple way to do this is to imagine for a moment that you are Jesus and ask the question: How is this passage about Me? Or, still pretending to be Jesus: How does this apply to My life? Whether the preaching text is from the Old or New Testament the first application of that text is for Christ alone. This is easier in some passages than others. Nevertheless, this is an essential aspect of all preaching. If the preacher does not know how a text should be applied to Christ then he is not ready to preach from that text.
There are many ways a text can be applied to Jesus. Different Old Testament texts require different forms of application to Christ. The Gospels present unique ease for Christocentric reading, though even still there are some passages that require extra consideration. Acts, the epistles, and Revelation, which are written to the Church, present their own challenges. Upcoming blog posts will examine some of the many ways that the Bible can be applied to Jesus.