By Jarrod Belcher
Reading the Old Testament can be a great difficulty for some Christians. Sometimes we don’t know what to make of it even though it constitutes well over half of Holy Scripture. I’ve even heard some people say that the Old Testament isn’t important now that we have the New Testament. But the fact of the matter is we’re not meant to discard such a large section of the Bible that Jesus read and that the New Testament itself refers to as Scripture.
1 Corinthians 10:11 helps here when it shows us that the things contained in the Old Covenant were examples for us. “Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.” This helps us to understand the interconnected nature of the Old and New Testaments. Where we ought to especially see that is in the idea of redemptive victory. It is this redemptive victory that stands out as the most important detail of Scripture because we see where God is doing something for us that we cannot do for ourselves.
We see this in many places in the Old Testament where God reaches down and delivers his people. We see it when he leads Israel up out of Egypt and through the Red Sea. We see it when he leads them into the promise land 40 years later. In both cases the enemies of God’s people were bigger, stronger, faster, and better equipped. This took place so they would know that it wasn’t by their might that they would be delivered. Instead it was their God who would rescue the weak because he loved them.
According to 1 Corinthians 10 these things happened in order to foreshadow the redemptive victory that God’s people find in Christ. It is the work of Jesus that all the Old Testament was pointing to. We are able to look at the Old Testament and see types and shadows of the victory accomplished by Christ in the resurrection. I hope this helps to open up your reading of the Old Testament.