OT19 | Eden to Exile

Weekly Reading: T – Matt. 5:17-20 | W – 2 Tim. 3:10-17; 2 Pt. 1:21 | Th – 1 Cor. 10:1-13 | F – Lk 24:12-35 | OT Connection – Isaiah 55:10-11

The Value of the OT

It might seem strange to begin an Old Testament reading plan with five days of reading in the New Testament. The goal this week has been to remind us that the Apostles and even Jesus himself had a high view of the Old Testament. They understood the Old Testament as the word of God, and they believed that it continues to have value for New Testament believers.

In Matthew 5:17-20, Jesus reminds us that he is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. That is to say, Jesus fulfills the Old Testament. Both 2 Timothy 3:10-17 and 2 Peter 1:21 point to the fact that Scripture comes from God. These are not merely human writings; they are breathed out from God. In 2 Timothy, Paul primarily has in mind the Old Testament, and it is this Old Testament that is “able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” In 1 Corinthians 10:1-13, Paul tells us that the events of the Old Testament took place as examples for us as New Testament believers. Jesus also saw the Old Testament as God’s word. He responds to his critics in Mark 10:1-12 by highlighting the authority and truthfulness of the Genesis account. Similarly in Mark 12:36, Jesus declares that David wrote his Psalms under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. In Luke 24 while on the road to Emmaus, Jesus demonstrates how the entire Old Testament is about him (Luke 24:27).

Another reason this plan begins with the New Testament is in order to highlight the need to read the Old Testament through the lens of the New. We are able to understand the Old Testament more clearly because we now know the one to whom the Old Testament pointed, Jesus Christ. When we read the Old Testament, we read with the knowledge that Jesus shared in Luke 24: this whole book, indeed all of Scripture, is about him.

Today, when we read Isaiah 55:10-11 about the power and effectiveness of God’s word, we know that his word in Scripture is powerful and effective because the written word always points us to the Word-made-flesh, Jesus Christ. As we read the Old Testament together this year, let us go to each reading and say as those from Bethsaida in Galilee said to Philip, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus” (John 12:21).

John Morrison