I haven't had a TV show that was appointment television for me since The Office went off the air. The Office was the only show that I had to watch and if I missed it I caught up online. Well, The Office was the only show that was appointment television for me until I got hooked on Gotham.
Now, Gotham is not a squeaky clean kids' show by any means. It's very violent and dark much of the time, but as a man that used to be a little boy in Batman underwear it's a show that I was trapped by and now I can't get out. I enjoy watching every week as this prequel to Batman plays out. See, Gotham takes place while Bruce Wayne (Batman) is a boy. During the show you get clues as to what characters turn into what bad guys or what characters get promoted to higher positions or who marries whom. As a Batman fan I can see all the little hints that tell me who's who in the near or distant future in the show and I enjoy that.
Gotham is a prequel and the fun of watching a prequel is seeing how things all come together to make the story you know is coming. In the TV show Gotham, Gotham City is a mess. Violence, injustice and corruption reigns and those who are trying to do good are by far the minority. When you watch the show Gotham you can't help but cheer for Batman to come sooner rather than later, but you know you have to wait for him. The TV show Gotham would be depressing and hopeless if you didn't know that Batman was coming. But we do know that Batman is coming and that eventually justice, peace and civility will have their day.
Reading the Old Testament is a lot like watching Gotham. Parts of the Old Testament are filled with violence, injustice and corruption. Read the book of Judges and see how futile the efforts of each judge seems to be because evil always come back. In fact, Jim Gordon on the show, who is like the one good guy, tries his best to do good but you know he can't do it alone. In the Old Testament read the corruption of some of the kings of Israel and of the nations that oppress Israel and see if you don't ache for things to be fixed. Reading the Old Testament can be depressing and hopeless if you don't know that Jesus is coming later on in the Bible. But we do know that Jesus comes later on in the Bible.
When we read the Old Testament we read for clues and hints about how Jesus will come and what He will be like and what He will do. The Old Testament isn't a prequel to the New Testament, but in some ways it is like a prequel. The Old Testament is meant to be read to get the meaning intended for the original audience and it is meant to be read knowing that Jesus and the New Testament is next.
So, I'm going to keep enjoying watching my show Gotham, but this post isn't about encouraging you to get hooked on a super-hero prequel show. I want you to read the Old Testament look for Jesus and long for Jesus just like the men and women of the Old Testament must have longed for the Messiah. I want you to read the Old Testament and see the beauty of God's arching narrative penned across centuries by several different men. Read your Old Testament looking for Jesus and loving God's story today.