The prime strategy in doing a jigsaw puzzle is looking at the box top, which enables us to figure out where individual pieces go by examining the picture of the whole thing.
Likewise, reading through the Bible is like looking at the box top. It allows us to glimpse the entirety of God’s message to us, with Genesis as the book of beginnings, Revelation describing how history turns out, and the books in between providing the plot of the story. Looking at the big picture helps us to determine where individual pieces fit in. Each time we read through Scripture we find ourselves putting a few more pieces in their place.
For example, since Christ was crucified on Passover and the church was born on Pentecost, gaining greater familiarity with those feasts as we read through Scripture provides us with a deeper understanding of the crucifixion and the birth of the church.
Numbers 2 records that God arranged the tribes of Israel around the Tabernacle with three tribes each on the North, South, East, and West sides. Revelation 21 informs us that the New Jerusalem has three gates on each of its four sides that are named for the twelve tribes of Israel. Perhaps Numbers 2 gives us some insight into how heaven will be arranged. Consequently, reading through the Bible might keep you from getting lost when you arrive in heaven. If Jesus finds you wandering the streets He may ask you how often you read through the Bible.
Wouldn’t 2017 be a great year to take another peek at the box top and fit in a few more pieces?