Jason DeRouchie: If Christians are part of the new covenant, why should we seek to understand and apply the Old Testament (OT)? I’ll give 10 reasons why the first word in the phrase Old Testament must not mean unimportant or insignificant to Christians. 1. The OT was Jesus’s only Scripture and makes up three-fourths (75.55 percent) of our Bible. If space says anything, the OT matters to God, who gave us his Word in a book. In fact, it was his first special revelation, which set a foundation for the fulfillment we find in Jesus in the New Testament (NT). The OT was the only Bible of Jesus and the earliest church (e.g., Matt. 5:17; Luke 24:44; Acts 24:14; 2 Tim. 3:15), and it’s a major part of our Scriptures. 2. The OT substantially influences our understanding of key biblical teachings. By the end of the Law (Genesis–Deuteronomy), the Bible has already described or alluded to all five of the major covenants that guide Scripture’s plot
Dennis Johnson: Old Testament events, offices, and institutions (hereafter OTEOI) are invested by God with spiritual significance as integral steps in his history-long project to reverse sin and its effects… these OTEOI point beyond themselves, symbolizing the comprehensive, eschatological salvation that is God’s purpose for history and that has been inaugurated by Christ in his first coming and that will be consummated by Christ in his second coming. To understand how any OTEOI preaches Christ and finds its fulfillment in him, we first must grasp its symbolic depth in its own place in redemptive history. Then we need to consider how the OTEOI’s original symbolic depth (the aspect of redemption to which it pointed in shadow-form) finds final and complete fulfillment in Christ. Finally, we must identify and articulate how its message applies to ourselves and our listeners. The apostles’ proclamation of Christ as the fulfillment of all God’s promises provides abundant direction for the grateful outworking of this good
“The Old Testament is an incomplete book; it is revelation developing towards a climax. There is the constant prediction of a ‘day of the Lord,’ a consummation, a unique revelation of the power and glory of God. . . . This hope is expressed in terms of the past, yet exceeds anything experienced in the past. There is to be a new David, but a greater than David; a new Moses but a greater than Moses; a new Elijah or Melchizedek, but one greater than those who stand out from the pages of the old records. There is to be a greater and more wonderful tabernacling of God, as his presence comes to dwell in a new temple. There is to be a new creation, a new Israel, redeemed, revived, a people made up of those to whom a new heart and a new spirit are given that they may love and obey their Lord. Old Testament prophecy .
Making God known is the particular business of Jesus: making the coming God of Old Testament promise the present God, showing up close and personal (in the flesh!) the character and ways of the Creator. In Jesus of Nazareth, God is brought near, made close, personal, available to his people. In the incarnation God enters a young girl’s womb and comes into our world to begin the long and blood-covered path to rescue and regenerate, to reclaim again all creation, and to fulfill the covenant promise: I will be your God, and you will be my people. — Michael D. Williams, Far As the Curse is Found, (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing, 2005), 10 (HT: Of First Importance)
John Calvin: “For this is eternal life, to know the one and only true God, and Him who He sent, Jesus Christ, whom he constituted the beginning, the middle, and the end of our salvation. This One is Isaac the well-beloved Son of the Father, who was offered in sacrifice, and yet did not succumb to the power of death. This is the vigilant Shepherd Jacob, taking such great care of the sheep He has charge over. This is the good and pitiable Brother Joseph, who in His glory was not ashamed to recognize His brothers, however contemptible and abject as they were. This is the great Priest and Bishop Melchizedek, having made eternal sacrifice once for all. This is the sovereign Lawgiver Moses, writing His law on the tables of our hearts by His Spirit. This is the faithful Captain and Guide Joshua to conduct us to the promised land. This is the noble and victorious King David, subduing
By Trevin Wax: No pastor wants his preaching to be considered “Christ-less” or something other than “Christ-centered.” Still, it is sometimes difficult to understand what exactly is meant by this kind of terminology. Likewise, no pastor wants to “read into” the text something that is not there. In the initial chapter of his book,Preaching Christ from Genesis,Sidney Griedanus lays out seven ways that a preacher can legitimately preach Christ from the Old Testament. I’ve adapted the examples for each category in order to keep the focus on how there are multiple ways to preach Christ from an Old Testament account (such as Noah). 1. Redemptive-Historical Progression The redemptive-historical road to Christ is the “broadest and foundational path from an Old Testament text to Jesus Christ” (3). It takes into consideration the history of redemption which begins with the opening chapters of Genesis and culminates in the vision of a restored paradise in Revelation. This journey from creation to new creation
By Scott Redd: I am increasingly hesitant to use the phrase “finding Christ in the Old Testament” (or Pentateuch, Psalter, or Wisdom Literature, and so on). It seems to imply that the person of Christ is merely a theme among others to be mined from the Old Testament alongside other themes such as justification, resurrection, or the like. The second person of the Trinity made incarnate is, of course, more than simply a theme of God’s self-revelation in the Old Testament Scriptures. He is the culmination of God’s self-revelation in all of history, the perfect embodiment of the godhead (Col 2:9). To a certain extent, we could say that the quest to find Christ in the Old Testament is analogous to the quest to find Thomas Jefferson in Declaration of Independence. Christ is everywhere throughout the Old Testament. It speaks of him explicitly and implicitly, in promises, patterns, types, hints, and images. Through these various ways the Old Testament reveals
Bavinck on the work of Christ: Christ had to bear all three offices. He had to be a prophet to know and to disclose the truth of God; a priest, to devote himself to God and, in our place, to offer himself up to God; a king, to govern and protect us according to God’s will. To teach, to reconcile, and to lead; to instruct, to acquire, and to apply salvation; wisdom, righteousness, and redemption; truth, love, and power–all three are essential to the completeness of our salvation. . . . Rationalism acknowledges only his prophetic office; mysticism only his priestly office; millennialism only his kingly office. But Scripture, consistently and simultaneously attributing all three offices to him, describes him as our chief prophet, our only priest, and our eternal king. Though a king, he rules not by the sword but by his Word and Spirit. He is a prophet, but his word is power and really happens. He is
Matt Harmon’s helpful concluding thoughts to his series on the Minor Prophets: Two Key Concepts The Covenantal Context. After discussing things like author, date and historical context we quickly moved to what we called the covenantal context. We did this because the respective covenants were the governing structure of how God interacts with his people throughout the Old Testament. So in looking at each Minor Prophet, we paid careful attention to how they drew upon the Abrahamic (Gen 12:1-3), Mosaic (Exod 19-24), and Davidic (2 Sam 7) covenants. Initial & Final Fulfillment. Although we tend to think of the relationship between promise and fulfillment as a simple one-to-one correspondence, we have seen that in the Minor Prophets that is often not the case. The various promises made in the Minor Prophets often have an initial fulfillment in an event in the near future of the prophet while at the same time having a final fulfillment in the distant future. Nowhere was this clearer
Donald Robinson, Graeme Goldsworthy’s theological mentor: “Jesus is Himself the End. There is nothing revealed to us in the purposes of God which does not have its fulfilment in Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 1:20). All that the Old Testament believers looked forward to in the day of the Lord finds its realization in Jesus: the passover (1 Cor. 5:7), the exodus (Luke 9:31), the covenant (Matt. 26:28), the law (John 13:34; Rom. 10:4), the tabernacle (John 1:14), the bread from heaven (John 6:35), Canaan (1 Pet. 1:4; Heb. 11:16), David (John 1:49), Jerusalem (Heb. 12:22; Rev. 21:10-14), the Temple (John 2:21; Acts 15:16). But Jesus not only concludes and fulfils the historical experience of old Israel; He fulfils also the more ancient history of creation. He is the last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45), the firstborn of all creation (Col. 1:15), who has already received the glory and dominion with which it was God’s purpose to endow man (Heb. 2:5-9). The End has therefore come in Jesus Christ. . . .