Is The Old Testament Relevant For Us Today?
"For whatever things were written before
were written for our learning,
that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures
might have hope."
Some do not read the "Old Testament" - thinking it was only for the Jews and that since Christ is the fulfillment of all that was written, they should read only the New Testament now.
What blessing, what richness they ignore. The Old Testament is filled with the revelation of God, the revelation of the Messiah, and the revelation of how God deals with men. Paul, in the New Testament, tells us that all of the Old Testament was written FOR US, for learning, and for the comfort of the Scriptures. By "the Scriptures" he means all of the Old Testament because when Paul wrote this, the New Testament had not yet been written. Paul was making it clear that "the Scriptures" mean all of it.
Jesus Christ is THE WORD from Genesis through Revelation.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God."
The Old Testament is a treasure trove of God revealing himself through the stories and writings contained there. For example, we see Abraham bringing his son Isaac to be sacrificed, Isaac willingly bearing the wood on his shoulders as they went to the top of Mount Moriah, the very place where many years later Jesus would bear the wood of the Cross and be sacrificed there. We see the Lord providing a goat for the sacrifice, so wonderfully showing that the sacrifice would be a substitutionary sacrifice - Jesus the sacrifice, in substitution for you and for me. It's the great picture of our redemption, and the Old Testament is filled with pictures and teachings, all about Jesus and what he accomplished for us.
Read the Old Testament, asking God to reveal Christ to you throughout. Ask him to open your eyes to behold the depths revealed there. There are many prophecies of the coming Messiah, and many "types," as exampled in the picture of the father sending the son to be sacrificed, bearing the wood on his shoulders, which is only one among MANY such types. Then there's the prophecies. Here's an example of the many prophecies of Christ:
"Behold, your King is coming to you;
he is just and having salvation,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
a colt, the foal of a donkey.
This prophecy written so long ago by the prophet Zechariah, foretold the day when Jesus would descend from the Mount of Olives on a donkey, and go into Jerusalem as recorded in Matthew 21:6. Imagine, the King of Kings coming ...on a donkey! Foretold and fulfilled hundreds of years beforehand. This is a small example of countless prophecies throughout the Old Testament concerning Jesus.
Take the challenge and read through the Old Testament looking for the many types and prophecies of Christ. You will be astonished. The more you read and reread, the more will be revealed to you.
"Then I said, 'Behold, I have come,
IN THE VOLUME OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME...'"
Speaking of the Old Testament to the Jewish people, BEFORE the New Testament was written, Jesus said:
"You search the Scriptures,
for in them you think you have eternal life;
and these are they which testify of me."
And surely they do. Jesus Christ is the Word. He is the Word from Genesis through Revelation, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end - IT'S ALL ABOUT HIM!