from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD
Matthew 5:17-19; 13:52; Luke 24:13-27
Jesus Christ is the full and final picture of God, and the New Testament is the definitive account of His life and teachings. So why should we study the Old Testament? Isn’t it completely outmoded and replaced by the New Testament? Isn’t it now irrelevant?
Without the Old Testament—without the law, the history, the Psalms, and the prophets—we cannot fully understand and appreciate Jesus Christ. They form the necessary backdrop for all He is and all He has done. Without them, we can’t fully receive Him as the fulfillment of all God’s promises and purposes, as our Sacrifice, our Great High Priest, our Redeemer, and our King. The Old Testament places Jesus in the full context of God’s magnificent plan to save us, bless us, and draw us to Himself.
- In Matthew 5:17-18, Jesus said that He didn’t come to replace the Old Testament but to fulfill it…to accomplish it…to bring it to its full importance.
- The Old Testament was the Word of God for Jesus, Paul, and all the New Testament writers. It fully informed their understanding of God and salvation.
- The Bible is a history of God’s dealings with His people. We watch as God interacts with them…with us…in all kinds of settings and needs. The New Testament provides about 60 years of that history. The Old Testament provides over 1,000 years of that history. It is a vast picture of our unchanging God. Actually, it is many pictures. It is the foundation and context for everything the New Testament says.
If you long to know Jesus better, read the Old Testament. Its beauty, depth, and importance will speak for themselves.