Saturday, March 17, 2007

Friday's Devotional: Learning from the Patriarch's Part 2

“I don’t read the Old Testament because it has no relevance for me—it’s the Old Covenant. The New Testament pertains to me because it is about Jesus.”

I did not say that. A fellow student said that to me my first year at Northwestern while we were studying for an OT exam. Unfortunately, many students, and Christians for that matter, breeze over the Old Testament because they find it archaic and, well—boring. That being said, I love the Old Testament (and the New Testament). Every part of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is proclaiming the greatness of Christ and the power of the Cross. The Old Testament is a foreshadowing of the coming Messiah and the New Testament is the proclamation that He has come!

My Friday devotional is still from Genesis, and the Lord has blessed me and convicted me tremendously through my study of the Patriarch’s. Genesis 22 is a very familiar passage—the sacrifice of Isaac. It is a passage filled with hope because we can know and rest in the fact that God provides our sacrifice, God provides our ransom.

Verse 8 says: “Abraham said, ‘God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.’”

And God did. The atonement was where the wrath of God was satisfied. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ was to appease God the Father. Abraham knew that God was the one who saved. Sinful man cannot provide his own sacrifice, it must come from another place.

This is what the Old Testament believers held to. Sin must be dealt with, and the animal sacrificial system was not enough—Messiah had to come. Redemptive history, and even the Old Testament, is laying for us a framework and understanding of the greatness of our sin before a holy, righteous God, and the power of Christ in taking on the judgment for that sin on our behalf.

The God of the Universe did provide a sacrifice for Abraham, and God credited his faith in that promise as righteousness, and the God of the Universe provided a sacrifice for us as well—Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. Understanding and knowing the Old Testament is crucial to the growth of a Christian because without it we cannot adequately interpret the New Testament.

Messianic promises in the Old Testament enable us to rest in the future grace of our God. We don’t need to fear because God will, and has provided the sacrifice on our behalf. Don’t despair Christian, Christ is your righteousness. May God awaken in you a deep love for the whole counsel of God, and may He grant you the discipline and grace to know His word from Genesis to Revelation!

4 comments:

Steven said...

One could spend years studying the theology of the book of Joshua and not have wasted a second of that time.
Or do I say that because it's the last OT book I studied in-depth?

stellerblue32 said...

it is often times hard for me to actually want to read the old testament. i dont know, its hard for me to focus and understand it on my own i guess. i have been in bible studies that have gone through books in the old testament and those have been really great! but when im by myself, it seems like i cant get anything out of it. i dont know, i probably just dont know what im looking for.

cdt said...

Katie,

I think that when we want a desire to read the Old Testament ignited in our heart, it has to start with a mindset change. We need to ask God to show us how the whole counsel of God includes the OT too, and also ask God to show us Christ from beginning to end.

The whole of Scripture, Genesis to Revelation is in place to magnify Christ and redemption.

I also think, that a lot of pastors don't preach from the OT and in turn it makes their congregants less inclined to study it themselves. It must start with pastors lifting high the OT and NT (which I think Pastor John is doing in his series on marriage, and has done throughout his preaching).

Does that help?

And thanks, Steve, for your comment!

stellerblue32 said...

yes that does help, thank you :) and i do want a desire to read it, so i guess i'll just keep praying! hope you are well,
katie