Stay Hitched to the Old Testament
As Christians, we know the importance of daily time in God's word. At times, it can really help me to have a plan so I can read each day and pick up in the next place the plan tells me to. A year and a half ago I started a plan that would take me through the Bible in two years and through Psalms and Proverbs four times. This plan started in Genesis and went forward and I just finished the Old Testament. I read only the Old Testament daily for a year and half.
It's recently come up that the Old Testament is something Christians shouldn't worry about or be too concerned with. It was said that really what makes Christianity is Jesus and His death and resurrection. The Old Testament was for the Jews. We've got Jesus! Why worry about it?
There are more reasons than can be said in a short blog about why the Old Testament is vitally important and relevant for Christians today. Let me take a moment to give at least three reasons that you shouldn't dump the Old Testament, but should instead cherish it and spend time reading it.
First and most important in my mind is that Jesus quoted the Old Testament as Scripture and used it authoritatively. If Jesus was ushering in a new movement that replacing the old then wouldn't He just make all His words the only authoritative ones? Why would He continually quote the Old Testament? What did Jesus use to resist Satan's temptation in the wilderness? What did Jesus use to speak of Himself as being the promised Messiah from God? Oh that's right, the Old Testament!
Second is that what we can't make sense of why we'd even need a Savior without the Old Testament. How do I know who God is? How do I know why I would even need God? How do I know that God had a plan to fix the world's brokeness? I think you see where I'm going.
Finally, I think many have the temptation to view the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament as almost two different Gods. The God of the OT was angry and vengeful and the God of the NT is loving, merciful, and gracious. This couldn't be further from the truth. The Old Testament is largely a beautiful book of grace. After Adam and Eve sinned, humanity deserved to be wiped out. The end, story over. Instead we see a merciful, loving God choosing a people for Himself, constantly showing them grace instead of destroying them in their sinfulness, and making a way for a Savior to come and save His people. Those saved in the Old Testament were those who hoped in the promised Savior, not those who were making enough sacrifices and following the commands.
Jesus said that all of the commands were summed up in loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and loving your neighbor as yourself. In doing these things, we keep the same commands given in the Old Testament.
Stay hitched to the Old Testament. God will preserve His Word.