From the Pastor’s Pen: “Blessed...” (Matthew 5:17)
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17)
In every generation, there arises someone who says to the effect, “We don’t need the Old Testament!” As much as we may disagree on paper, we do agree in practice. As a professor once told me, “Exodus 20 is the graveyard of most Bible reading plans.” We may read the Psalms with much delight, but we simply do not know what to do with the Law and the Prophets. The laws, the sacrifices, the predictions - time and distance envelopes these in a dense fog which leaves the average man befuddled.
But do you know what is more confusing? Only knowing half of a story. Growing up, I remember shelling butter beans in front of the TV with my “Mawmaw,” watching Days of Our Lives. I spent half the summer asking what was going on and the other half oblivious to what was actually happening. A more apt picture of Bible reading in the 21st century could not be given. Jesus did not come in order to start a new story; Jesus came to fulfill, to fill in the missing pieces of a story already in progress (Luke 24:44). Every prediction, every prophecy, every expectation is fulfilled in Jesus. Every sacrifice, every feast, every hope of forgiveness is fulfilled in Jesus. Every law, every commandment, every ounce of righteousness is fulfilled in Jesus. The only difference between the Old and New Testament is tense: they looked for a Savior to come; we look for a Savior that has come. The expectations of every page, every promise, and of every person are fulfilled in Jesus (Rom. 1:2-6).
Reader, do you want to know Jesus better? The very outline of his face can be seen in the pages of the Old Testament. Will it be easy? No. But will it be worth it? Yes. If you find yourself lost in the fog, ask your pastor, come by my office, and keep reading. In doing so, you will find your own joy fulfilled.