Have you ever opened the Bible and turned to the Old Testament and wondered what you are actually reading? The seemingly long list of genealogies, strange laws, occasional talking, burning bush. To be honest, without my study Bible, I would be lost to what is actually throughout the Bible.
Over the last month or so, I have been doing a Read the Bible in a Year Challenge. What I really like about this particular challenge is that you read one chapter of the Old Testament with one chapter of the New Testament.
However, I find myself dragging through the Old Testament, Leviticus is a tough one with all the laws, while looking forward to reading the New Testament. I know I do this because the New Testament is where we find the good news that Jesus fulfills God’s redemptive plan as the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of sinners.
But, Christ is the goal of everything in the Old Testament. The Bible is One story, created by One God, and culminates in One person, Jesus Christ.
For the first time in my life, it has become clear how Jesus relates to the Old Testament. Each piece of the Bible was carefully crafted by God to testify of Jesus Christ. The Old Testament prepares the way and points to Jesus Christ while the New Testament reveals and explains who He is.
How Is The Bible Still Relevant Today
Pride is the root of our sin. It is the same as it was 2,000 years ago as it will be 2,000 years from now.
While I am doing this challenge, I am also participating in women’s Bible study on the Book of Judges. Throughout this Book, you continually see Israel’s shortfall without a true leader. They continually turn away from God to worship pagan gods.
“Do not turn to idols or make cast images of gods for yourselves I am Yahweh your God.” Leviticus 19:4.
Sometimes you read these stories and you are like how could someone do that, like Abimelech, who killed 70 people. Well, the Holy Spirit has convicted me, and as much as I hate to admit, that while I may not have physically killed people but I have made plenty of people dead in my mind.
Or his father, Gideon, who doubted God’s ability to use him. He repeatedly questioned and tested God’s authority and faithfulness. The New Testament has examples of this too (Matthew 16:1-4, 22:34-40, Mark 8:11-12, John 1:19-22, 8:3-11).
I definitely see my cycle of sin, questioning, and repentance as I read the Bible. Without my eyes fixed on the cross, I will run towards every other thing that I think will fulfill my every need.
God Dwells Among Us
Time and time again God proves His faithfulness for a nation that forgot all of the wonderful things He had done for them. God led Israel out of Egypt and into the promised land by cloud by day and fire by night before Moses built the tabernacle and established a covenant with Him.
“For we are the sanctuary of the living God, as God said: I will dwell among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.” 2 Corinthians 6:16.
God dwelt among His people until the building of the temple in Jerusalem. God came in human flesh in the incarnation of Jesus Christ and dwelt among humans. After Jesus’ resurrection, God’s Spirit was sent to dwell among His people.
We may not get a talking burning bush but God still dwells among us today and speaks to us through His Word. God sent the Holy Spirit to intercede on our behalf and lead us into all of the truth.
New Covenant in Christ
Jesus is the mediator of a new covenant so that we might also receive the promise of eternal inheritance. The old sacrifices were just shadows of the actual form of blessings that come from the personal sacrifice of Jesus Christ. In Hebrews 9, we see that God was no longer interested in whole burnt offerings and sin offerings of the old covenant.
“But the Messiah appeared, high priest of the good things that have come. In the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not mad made with hands (that is, not of this creation), He entered the most holy place once and for all, not by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.” Hebrews 9:11-12.
The old sacrifices had to be performed continually, and they did not accomplish anything beyond what God intended and they could not take away sin. For this reason, the Messiah was sent to fulfill God’s will. Jesus, the Messiah, offered one sacrifice for sins forever by offering Himself. The old sacrifices are no longer necessary because He offered the perfect sacrifice that perfects believers.
Jesus is the Perfecter of our Faith
In the Old Testament, people continue to fall short because they do not have the One King who makes everything right. The failure of the judges and kings leads us to the realization of the need for a Messiah, who rules with perfect righteousness.
“Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.” Hebrews 12:1-2.
Keep your eyes on Jesus who is the perfect example of faith. Our faith is a gift from God, He initiates our faith, bestows our faith upon us and perfects it in us. As Jesus endured the cross and despised shame in order to attain the joy of rejoining His Father, so must Christians run the race with endurance.
Now, we can boldly enter into the presence of God. So let us hold on to grace and confidently draw near to the cross, without wavering, for God is faithful in all things. There is a greater reward awaiting us through faith in Jesus Christ.