Too many Christians fail to read the Old Testament. For some reason, they find it foreign, unusual, or even distasteful.
But what many fail to realize is that every time Jesus said something to the effect of, “it is written” he was speaking of the Old Testament.
There was one famous pastor who recently made the claim that the early Christians didn’t have a Bible. While that is true in the sense that Crossway didn’t have a market in Jerusalem selling calf-leather bound printed copies of the 66 books of the protestant Bible, his statement is complete absurd and betrays a distaste or perhaps a disrespect for the Old Testament.
Luke 24:44-49 says this:
44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
Here the modern Christian’s bias against the Old Testament is rebuked, outlawed, and displayed as plain silly for 3 reasons.
- Jesus himself used, read, trusted, depended on, and relished in the Old Testament. Here after his own death and resurrection he is concerned not with recounting the events of the Old Testament, but he focuses in on what was written in the Old Testament.
- Jesus is also using the Old Testament to explain recent events. His own death and resurrection needed clarification and definition. He gave those things by teaching from the Old Testament. He could have just easily said, ” This is what it means I declare.” But instead he had already declared and he was sharing that declaration with these disciples.
- Jesus it he center of the Old Testament. We can’t overlook the fact that Jesus says, “everything written about me.” Jesus understood that the Old Testament was valuable, but it was valuable not simply because it could explain human condition, but because it centered on the person of Christ.
Christians, take up the Old Testament and read it. Read it with a view to helping you understand what happened in Jesus’ Life, but use the New Testament to help you properly interpret the Old Testament. But please read it.