An Old Testament Opening Statement
(A listing of clickable books of the Bible is at the bottom of this page)–
The focus of the Old Testament is Jesus. John 24:27 says, “Beginning at Moses and all the prophets, (Jesus) explained to them in ALL the scriptures the things concerning HIMSELF.” This is referring to the Old Testament speaking about him. And of course the entire New Testament is about Jesus too.
Jesus and his Disciples
Then in John 24:44 Jesus says, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was yet with you, that ALL things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and the prophets and in the psalms, CONCERNING ME.” All things in the Old Testament were fulfilled in Jesus.
Thus Paul says to only minister the New Covenant, not the Old (II Cor 3:6). He doesn’t say to abandon the Old Covenant. It has good things to consider, and to allow to be examples for us (I Cor 10:6). But he also says that all things have been made new (II Cor 5:17). We have a better, New Covenant (Heb 11:39-40). Thus, we should use the Old as a comparison to how much better we have things today.
The Old Covenant Had Faults In It
We are told if the first, Old Covenant law had been faultless, there would be no need for a second, New Covenant. But Jesus was made mediator of a better covenant with better promises, and he brought a total reformation of covenants (Heb 8:6-7, 9:10). We are told Jesus came to do the will of God: “He TAKES AWAY the first Old Covenant, that he may ESTABLISH the second New Covenant” (Heb 10:9, emphasis supplied).
We are told it is like the Old Covenant is decaying in a grave and rotting away (Heb 8:13). This is the how the difference between the Old and the New is described. The Old has been buried, and the New has been birthed.
The Old Covenant is in a grave! — at least as far as us trying to live it as a way of life. It is still very vital and important for historical, prophetic, and other purposes, and for serving as a COMPARISON between then and now (as compared to our better New Covenant).
The Faults Have Been Fixed
The Old Covenant ended in failure. We are told if the first covenant had not been faulty, there would have been no need for a second (Heb 8:7).
The job of the last prophets was to tell the people WHY the promises of God were not meant for them, but rather for people in the future. Then, there was 400 years of silence from God. That’s a long time. That’s longer than the United States has been in existence as a nation.
What this tells us is there has been a replacement: the Old Covenant has been rescinded and abolished (II Cor 3:13, Eph 2:15, Col 2:14). The New Covenant is the only one in existence today. It is God’s ‘new and living way’ (Heb 10:20).
Think of the U.S. Constitution
For example, It’s like our Constitution of the United States.
The United States Constitution
The Articles of Confederation (which can be compared to the Old Covenant) only a temporary document. It was cancelled out and discarded when the Constitution was put into effect. Today it is illegal to try to re-establish and live by the Articles of Confederation. This is the way it was with the Old Covenant. It was only meant to be temporary, until Jesus came (Gal 3:16, 19).
Today it is illegal to live by the Old Covenant of the Old Testament.
The establishment of the Constitution of the U. S. was a time of reformation from the Old Articles of Confederation. They were abolished and the Constitution was enacted. Likewise, the establishment of the New Covenant gospel was a time of reformation from the Old Covenant law (Heb 9:9-10). The Old Covenant was abolished, and the New Covenant was established.
As a lawyer, this is so clear to me. It’s the way a lawyer’s mind works.
A Lawyer’s Ways of Thinking
We Must Read Our Bible Backwards
Now, by this I do not mean to start with the book of Revelation. What I mean is we must begin by understanding the finished work of the cross of Jesus in the New Testament, before we begin delving into the Old Testament.
Much of what was said in the OLD Testament was said in anticipation and prophetic prophecy concerning the NEW Testament. The OLD looked forward to (1) a coming King, meaning Jesus, and (2) his coming Kingdom. The prophets looked forward, trying to understand the glory that would come to us because of the sacrifice of Jesus (I Peter 1:9-12).
The NEW Testament contrasts and compares the things of the OLD.
This means that everything in the Bible must be read and interpreted through the New Covenant in the New Testament.
For a period of about 4,000 years, which is the time span of the Old Testament, everything pointed ahead to God’s New Covenant Kingdom and the what is called ‘the Christ event.’ The New Testament is all about the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, and what it all means to us, as explained by the gospel. So, the whole entire Bible is really about what happened 2,000 years ago.
The Old Testament predicted it and shows us what happened leading up to the salvation, grace and glory that would come to us because of ‘the Christ event.’
Now, in describing this, the Old Testament involves a lot of stories of people’s lives, and events that happened. They’re all important in themselves as God’s history with the human race.
But they are even more important on a spiritual level because they point to the covenant we live in: The New Covenant, as described by the gospel Jesus came to bring.
The Old Law vs. the New Gospel
Here is the bottom line: except for understanding God’s history with man, the Old Testament should not be read in and of itself as having any impact or authority over us today. The New Covenant gospel is what governs us.
If we do read it for the purpose of having any impact and authority over us today, then people who do so have a veil over their heart and mind when they read the Old Testament. It is only taken away if we live in the finished work of Christ, and read the Old Testament in light of the New Testament — that the Old Testament predicted (II Cor 3:14-16).
This is what this writing attempts to do. It attempts to examine what the Old Testament says, but it interprets it in light of New Testament Kingdom truth and reality as revealed by the gospel.
God’s thoughts and ways are higher than ours (Isa 55:8-9). We should live in God’s thoughts and ways, and not just in our own. This is what the gospel does for us.