Many people think that the Old Testament is no longer important for the Christian life. There is no reason to give attention to it, because it has been replaced by the New Testament. Is that correct? If it is, why does the Old Testament comprise about 70% of the total volume of Scripture? Why did the Holy Spirit inspire the writers (some were persecuted for it) if the 39 books of the Old Testament would become ‘old’ and without value?
God the Holy Spirit did not make a mistake, because He is omniscient. If the Bible had no Old Testament, people would only have the 27 books of the New Testament. Its message is that Jesus died for our sins and that He is the only way to God.1
If we go to Revelation 20:11-15, we read about the final judgment of all people. Everyone will be judged for what they did on earth. Based on Scripture, each person will get his or her inheritance: either eternal peace and happiness or eternal pain and agony.
Let us say a person comes to the Judge with an objection. He claims that he or she saw no need for Jesus, because a moral life is possible without Him. On what basis is he wrong? What would the Judge answer? Why is it impossible for any person to lead a moral life without Jesus? Many atheists claim they do, but that is where the Old Testament comes in.
God conclusively proved in the Old Testament that nobody can live up to His standards. Sure, there were many good people like Joseph and Daniel. Others, like Moses and David, are also highly regarded in God’s Kingdom, although their sins are clearly stated (murder and immorality). Regardless, they could not live up to God’s holy standards.
The Old Testament explains with many examples of individuals and nations that man’s basic problem is an ‘uncircumcised’ heart. Man does not have the ability to please God, or to fully live according to God’s requirements. So the Old Testament shows that people cannot make the grade on their own.
Anybody who claims that he can live such a moral life that he can please God, is proved wrong by the historical data in the Old Testament. God designed and planned that the Old Testament conclusively proved that there is only one way to God, and that is through Jesus.
Without the Old Testament, people might argue that they lived a moral life and should be allowed into the eternal Kingdom. The Old Testament disproves it. Ultimately the Old Testament is an ode of praise to Jesus who made the impossible possible – reconciliation with God. Jesus came to circumcise our hard hearts, and make a relationship with the Father possible.
NB! It is important to remember that for the Old Testament saints, forgiveness was possible through the sacrificial system.
- John 14:6
- Jeremiah 31:31