Jesus and the old Testament

  "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."  Psalms 119:11

The holy chronicles which the Old and New Testaments of the Bible contain are given to man by God our creator. God revealed his plan of saving mankind  in these records of His dealings with men, the world at large, and especially His chosen people.

We should study the Old Testament because the Bible contains the story of God's interaction with mankind and the world.  The Old Testament records are the beginning of that story. God reveals His nature and His purpose throughout His written word. To ignore the Old Testament is to ignore a written account of the workings of God.  God is the same in the Old Testament as He is in the New, and studying the Old Testament enables us to know His ways better and to fully understand our duty as His children and our place in His plan.

Shortly after the account of creation in Genesis, the Bible tells us of the incredible damage humans can inflict on themselves and the world as a result of disobedience and sin. Having lost our relationship with God after Adam and Eve's fall in the Garden, mankind slid into continual sin and assured destruction.

In Genesis, believers in Christ find their identity: an anchor for our understanding of the beginning of all things. We find in Genesis our origins: that human life is not an accident but a purposeful creation, an act of God, and that we are all made in the image of God. We also learn from Genesis that our lives original purpose was to live in the presence of God our Heavenly Father as cherished children in the most perfect place we can imagine, the garden of Eden.

 Finally,  Genesis reveals that God declares sin and disobedience will not be the final fate of mankind and the serpent’s demise is a certainty. God’s initial intention for humanity will again be attained when we are saved by the blood of the Lamb Jesus Christ, obey His commands, and again walk in unrestrained fellowship with Him.

The Old Testament contains several covenants which still stand today and will never become obsolete. One of them is the covenant God made with Noah in Genesis chapter 8. It was neither conditional nor temporary. God did not say, “If you do this, then I will do that.” God simply promised to never destroy the earth again with a flood for as long as the earth remains. The rainbow is still visable in the sky today and the covenant God made with Noah and mankind is still in effect. The covenant that God made with Abraham (Gen 17:7) was not temporary either; it was called an everlasting covenant. In fact, the covenant God made with Abraham was very much “New Testament” in nature. Abraham believed God and his faith was credited to him as righteousness. The Apostle Paul says that if you are truly saved by Christ, then you are considered as Abraham’s line of descendants, and heirs according to the promise”

"And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."  (Gal. 3:29).

That is a pretty amazing statement. If you are a follower of Christ, Paul explains, you are Abraham’s seed and a heir to the promises that God made to Abraham four thousand years ago. If you really want to fully understand what God has promised New Testament believers, you must know what God promised Abraham. In other words, you have to read the Old Testament and recognize that it does not have an expiration date at all !

To fully comprehend the arrival of Christ, we must read and understand the history of the Israelites, later to be known as Jews, in the Old Testament following up to the birth of Christ in the book of Matthew. The story of Christ begins with Abraham in Genesis and continues throughout the Old Testament to the rebuilding of the Temple in the days of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Habakkuk. 

The prophets predicted the culmination of God's work in our history. First, the coming of the Messiah (Isaiah 7:14, 9:6; Isaiah 53:3-7; Micah 5:2; Zechariah 9:9; Psalm 22:16-18), then the end times (Daniel 7-12). It is the Old Testament that gives us the context for Jesus' birth, ministry, teachings, crucifixion, and resurrection.

While the New Testament is a record of approximately sixty years of history, plus prophecy of the end times. The Old Testament shows the character of God interacting with His people over millennia.