Can I ask you a question?
Could you preach the Gospel to someone by only using the Old Testament?
For some of you this might seem easy and to some impossible (like me, an ordinary human!). This was exactly what the Apostles and Jesus Himself did – there was no other alternative!
“As they customarily did, they went to the synagogue to speak to the Jews from the Torah scrolls. For three weeks Paul challenged them by explaining the truth and proving to them the reality of the gospel—that the Messiah had to suffer and die, then rise again from among the dead. He made it clear to them, saying, “I come to announce to you that Jesus is the Anointed One, the Messiah!”
Note how Paul was preaching Jesus straight out of the Torah. Some people think we can only find Jesus in the New Testament but Jesus Himself said that He came to fulfill the Old Testament (Matt 5:17).
Should we, as Christ followers, be able to preach Jesus from the Old Testament and the New Testament?
None of the New Testament writers had the New Testament!! But they had the greatest Revealer of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, who uncovered the mysteries and prophecies of the Old Testament to them. Could the same Spirit reveal Jesus to us today as we study the scriptures in a deeper way?
If we understood the Old Testament better would the New Testament be doubly powerful?
The Old Testament is detailed and is precisely a shadow of all that was to come (Col 2:17).
We know that Paul was extremely passionate, skilled and educated in his Jewish religion – but when Jesus appeared to him those scriptures received LIFE. Acts 9:22 says, “Saul’s power increased greatly as he became more and more proficient in proving that Jesus was the Anointed Messiah.” An amazing transformation when the Old Testament connects with the New.
Thank God for the simplicity of the New Testament and the amazing revelations we receive on a ‘silver platter’, but I urge you to go search for the life that was released in the accounts of the Old Testament. Look for Jesus and you will find Him in incredible ways! Your eyes will be opened to so many new things that link with the New Testament!
The whole Bible was given to us to enjoy for the rest of our lives. Through it God speaks His incredible love to us and how, from the beginning of time, His plan was for us to live at peace and right standing with Him.
They found that the Jews of Berea were of more noble character and much more open minded than those of Thessalonica. They were hungry to learn and eagerly received the word. Every day they opened the scrolls of Scripture to search and examine them, to verify that what Paul taught them was true.
Go verify for yourself with this same attitude (open minded, hungry to learn, eager and devoted daily) how true Paul’s teachings are in the Old Testament and your mind will be blown!
Ryki van Wijk