I have had several conversations lately with people who shy away from reading and studying the Old Testament. They feel that it is antiquated and difficult to understand for daily living. Comments have been made like: I like Genesis, Psalm, and Proverbs, but I don’t read the rest of it; I just understand the N.T. and it connects more with my life; the O.T. is a bunch of stories and the N.T. is about Jesus and our Church. I know from my seminary days that even many of my classmates loved the Greek language over the Hebrew, and so most of their time now is spent studying and preaching the N.T. I want to ask you to pick up your Bible and put the Old Testament in your left hand and your New Testament in your right. Yes, the message of the birth, life, death, burial, resurrection and ascension found in your right hand is wonderful, powerful and life changing. But let me tell you, as you explore the Old Testament in light of its central message your whole Bible can come to life with new meaning and understanding.
In my next several blogs I’m going to attempt to direct those who question the relevance, use, and meaning of the Old Testament to the central message of the O.T. Today I want to start our exploration of the central message found in the O.T.
Genesis 1:1 introduces to us the hero of the Bible, God. From Genesis 1:2 through Revelation 22:20 this God is revealed. In the last verse of the Scriptures, Revelation 22:21, we are brought back to our hero, Jesus Christ, as a reminder of His grace for us all. So, how are we to know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? It is through the written Word of God. We must define then the central message of our Old Testament because it is the key to give us an understanding of the Scripture in order that we may truly know and love the real Jesus.
Some people would rather pick up the New Testament to read rather than the Old Testament because they believe the New Testament is the only source about Jesus. However, if we look at what Jesus taught about the Old Testament we will see that He says it is mainly about Him. In John 5: 39-40 Jesus rebukes some “theologians” of that time when He said, “You search the Scriptures [Old Testament] because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they [Old Testament] that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” You can see Jesus has something to say about the Old Testament.
I’ll continue this discussion next time as we pick apart Luke chapter 24.