Have you not read what was said to you by God, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”? He is God not of the dead, but of the living.
At this time of year, as you well know, the Church celebrates the feast of All Saints and gathers up thanksgiving for the whole company of those who, in various and different ways, bore witness to Christ. Today we extend our thanksgiving and include the saints of the Old Testament in our celebration of faith.
The New Testament teaches us that Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, was “born under the law of Moses” and thereby fulfilled the long history of God’s covenant with Israel, a covenant that included both descendants and land—Jesus Christ, born of the line of David, bringing forth many brothers and sisters, and leading them all, us all, into a new land of liberation and love of God. For this reason, the Church believes that he gathered into the kingdom of heaven all those Hebrew men and women who bore faithful and holy witness to Christ in the ages before his coming in great humility to redeem the whole world. 
There is an important and timeless (literally!) truth here that I want to pause on for a moment. The Church believes that these men and women who came before Christ, many of whom we heard named in our reading from Hebrews, bore witness to Christ prior to his coming. Take two of those named, for example: Abraham and Moses. Listen to the way the author of Hebrews describes these two men. Abraham set out for a foreign land that he was to receive as an inheritance. And as he travelled he lived in tents. We are told also that, despite his age, he received the power of procreation: “Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born,” (11:12).
Then there is Moses whose life was in danger from the time of his birth. The author of Hebrews tells us that by faith he, “refused to be called a son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God,” (11:24-25). By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood and, of course, lead God’s people out of slavery in Egypt towards the the land of promise.
Do you see and hear Christ in the lives of Abraham and Moses? Like Abraham, Christ went off to a foreign land that was his inheritance, even living in a tent we might say. John the gospel writer tells us that, “the Word became flesh and lived among us,” (1:14). The word translated “lived among” literally means that the Word “tabernacled” among us. And the tabernacle was the tent of God’s presence which Israel lugged around through the wilderness. Also, as Jesus Christ hung on the cross, “as good as dead,” his blood was the seed from which many descendants were born and continue to be born today.
Like Moses, the life of the infant Jesus was in immediate danger as Herod sent forth an edict demanding the slaughter of baby boys. Furthermore, as Moses left behind the glories of the house of Pharaoh to suffer instead with his people, so Paul tells us in Philippians that Christ Jesus, “though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave,” suffering with and for God’s people. Moreover, Jesus Christ is the passover lamb who leads God’s people out of slavery to sin and death.
How is it, though, that those men and women who came before Christ could in any way bear witness to Christ prior to his coming? We can come at an answer to this question through two pieces of the rich tapestry of Scripture, one which we heard just moments ago and one which we heard on Sunday.
The author of Hebrews writes, “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God,” (11:3). Speaking about this same Word of God, John writes in the prologue to the gospel: “All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being,” (1:3). Moreover, as we heard in our reading from Revelation on Sunday, the risen and living Jesus stands before the new creation and proclaims, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end,” (21:6).
That is to say, Jesus Christ is the foundation and goal of all things.
To say that he is the foundation is not just to say that all things were created by him at some distant point in the past but is to say also that in him, in every moment, all things are sustained.
You and I, all that is and continues to be, all things visible and invisible have their very being in Jesus Christ. Jesus is also the goal, the end, the fulfillment of all things.
So then, the lives of the saints of the Old Testament bear witness to Jesus Christ because their very lives take their form from Jesus to begin with. The lamb of God is the sustaining ground of their being. The same is true for us, of course, and so it is worth asking the question: what is God doing with us? How is God using our life together to show forth his Son? The same is also true of the Old Testament itself, and of all Holy Scripture. Scripture takes its form from Jesus Christ, and in and through the Bible we begin to see how the same is true of history itself. God uses real lives, in time and space, to achieve His purposes.
And so today we give thanks for the lives of the saints in the Old Testament, whose lives together with ours are sustained in Christ who is the beginning and the end. May our common life here, at St. Mary and St. Martha’s, evermore bear witness to this truth. Amen.
 For All The Saints, ‘Saints of the Old Testament’, p.334.