“Hey kids, gather round, I’ve got something amazing to tell you.”

“What is it Dad?”

“How would you like to go to Disney for a week?”

“Yeah, Let’s do it! Can we go tomorrow?”

“Not so fast, buddy? There’s a bit of a challenge here. In two weeks time, Disney are sending a man to Grand Rapids with five-day Disney passes.  He’ll arrive on a plane and the challenge is that we have to pick him out of the crowd of passengers if we’re to get the tickets.”

“O, Dad, that’s impossible. How will we ever manage that?”

“Don’t worry, Disney have sent some descriptions by email and they’ve also attached some pictures. The pictures are a bit unclear, a bit shadowy, but I think if we all study them every day for the next two weeks, surely one of us will pick him out?”

“Right, then, print them off Dad and let’s get studying.”

“O look, here’s a close up of his ear! And this one’s taken from the left. Here’s what looks like a silhouette….”

Two weeks later, one Dad and a bunch of kids arrive at Grand Rapids Airport. At home strewn across the floor are multiple crumpled and well-worn pages and pictures. The BIG day has arrived!

“Now concentrate kids, remember all that you’ve studied, all the descriptions and all the pictures. You can do it.”

“O Dad, I can hardly breathe, I’m so exited.”

“Not him….Definitely not him….Hmm, maybe….Yes, definitely. That’s him, that’s him.”

“Excuse me sir, do you have free tickets to Disney?”

“Children, children, get your hands out of my pockets. Yes, here, they’re in my briefcase. Look!”

“O, thank you, thank you, thank you, sir. We love you so much. Thank you for coming to us with such an amazing gift.”

“Wait you’re going to knock me over, why are you….let go of my legs…”

In some ways, the Old Testament is like that. God told Israel that His Son was coming, not with a Disney tickets, but with salvation. God gave them lots of descriptions and lots of pictures – of sacrifices, the Tabernacle, different personalities, different officials – lots and lots of pictures from different perspectives so that when His Son came, people would recognize him, and say, “There He is!” and throw not only their arms but their hearts around Him. And He doesn’t say “Let go!” but rather, “Hold me tighter!”