I have often thought I would like to have a Bible without the division of Old and New Testament Scriptures, just eliminate the labels Old Testament and New Testament altogether and call it “The Writings.” The label Old Testament tends to give it a lesser value. In fact, many Christians feel that it is primarily history. The New Testament, on the other hand, is far more valuable to a Christian – it has the sayings of Jesus. And what He says is almost always printed in red to give it more emphasis. Personally, I try to never buy a red-letter Bible. Of course, that is getting very hard to do today.
So, if you only want what Christ said, you only need the red-letter parts. Now the Scriptures are in three levels. The highest level is the words of Christ. Then the next level, which is a little lower, is the remainder of the New Testament. Last of all the third level, which many consider the least valuable, is the Old Testament. Most of our Bibles will testify of that. The Gospels’ section will look very worn, the rest of the New Testament will look somewhat used, but the Old Testament section will still have that new look.
Does Christ speak anywhere else in the New Testament? “Well, He speaks a little in the Book of Acts.” What about the Epistles? Paul said that Christ was revealed in him that he might preach Him among the Gentiles (Galatians 1:16). Then in II Corinthians 13:3 he plainly says that it was Christ speaking in him. The Thessalonians were aware of this for they said that Paul was speaking the Word of God (I Thessalonians 2:13). Christ was speaking through the apostles! How should we color those? Shouldn’t they at least be in a pale red or orange, or should they be in red, too?
What about those Old Testament Scriptures? Did Christ speak in them, too? Peter said He did. Peter said that Christ was in the prophets of old and spoke through them. Let’s read it. Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the Gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. I Peter 1:10-12. Did you get that? Christ not only spoke through the prophets of the Old Testament but He did it as ministry to us! Put those words in red, too! We’re going to have a red Bible! The whole Bible is a Word from God to us!
Three portions of Scripture in the New Testament concerning the Old Testament come to mind. So we are going to look at them and if God reveals something more on the way we’ll look at it, too. We will start with the words of Jesus.
Luke 24:44 And Jesus said to His disciples, These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.
What about those Old Testament Scriptures? They are concerning Christ! And everything written in them concerning Christ must be fulfilled. Now listen! If those Scriptures are concerning Christ, they are also concerning the many-membered Christ. Neglect them, and you are only hurting yourself.
Luke 24:45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
Do you understand those Scriptures we call the Old Testament? If you do, you just closed the door to hearing what God has to say in them. Don’t assume anything. If you think you understand, you just lumped yourself with the Pharisees. The Lord heals the deaf and the blind. Come to Him as a blind and deaf man that He might open your understanding of His writings. The more you know, the less qualified you are to becoming a man of God. For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in his presence. I Corinthians 1:26-29.
Second portion coming up.
John 5:39 You (Pharisees) search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.
The Scriptures the Pharisees studied so meticulously were the Old Testament Scriptures and in particular the Law of Moses. That was all they had. They spent all that time and energy studying the Scriptures and never realized that what they were studying was testifying of Christ.
John 5:40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
Jesus is not just saying that they were unwilling to come to Him now, but they were unwilling to come to the Christ that was in the Scriptures they studied.
John 5:45-47 Do not think
that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you – Moses, in
whom you trust.
46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me.
47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words.
What about those Old Testament Scriptures? They studied those Scriptures, but they didn’t find Christ in them. And since they couldn’t discern Christ in the writings of Moses, they couldn’t discern the Christ in Jesus. Now, that brings a unique question to mind. If you can’t understand the Old Testament Scriptures, can’t find Christ in them, how do you know you are finding Christ in the New Testament? How do you know that you are finding the Christ in the Gospels? “Well, I find Jesus in them.” You are reading about Jesus the man, but are you finding Christ? Are you finding the life of Jesus Christ and partaking of Him? What about those Old Testament Scriptures? They are Christ! Color them red!
Third portion coming up.
I Corinthians 10:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I do not
want you to be unaware (ignorant) that all our fathers were under the
cloud, all passed through the sea,
2 All were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,
3 All ate the same spiritual food,
4 And all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.
Are you hearing what Paul is saying here? Christ was the cloud that led them and sheltered them. Christ was the Sea they passed through. Christ was in Moses. Christ was their spiritual food, and Christ was the Rock from which they drank. He was the Rock and the water they drank flowing out of the Rock was His life. It was the same water He offered the woman at the well in John chapter four. Then Paul said…
I Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
What about those Old Testament Scriptures? They were written for us! We can drink from the Rock, too. Oh, saints! There is so much of Christ in those Scriptures for us to partake of. Don’t neglect them! Do what the Pharisees couldn’t do. Find Christ in those writings and partake of Him!
Copyright © 2005 by Henry DuBose