Some Christians say we don’t need the Old Testament because it is not relevant. However, without the Old, the New would make no sense at all. The Old is a history of the world in need of a Savior. The New Testament provides the answer in the person of Christ. The New tells how the prophesied person of the Old Testament came into the world. As a whole both Testaments express the fallen nature of humanity, but the provision of restoration and salvation.
There is, however, another angle to all of this that I recently came across in a book I read. The Old and New Testament mirror each other. Together, they show God’s sovereign plan for humanity from the beginning of time to the end of time. This was shown as a triangle in the book, but I will express it in linear form.
- JESUS reigns over it all as shown in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
- The Old Covenant in Genesis 12 to Malachi mirrors the New Covenant in Acts to Jude.
- One world government in Genesis 10-11 mirrors the one world government in Rev. 6-19.
- The world judged and destroyed in Genesis 6-9 mirrors the world judged and destroyed in Revelation 6-19.
- Satan and sin entering in Genesis 3-5 mirrors Satan and sin exiting in Revelation 20.
- God and righteous people in paradise in Genesis 1-2 mirrors God and redeemed people in paradise in Revelation 20-22.
There you have it. One can see how the Old and New Testament fit together like hand and glove. You can’t have one without the other. To say that the Old Testament is no longer necessary or relevant is refuted by the above. On the other hand, there are those who put too much emphasis on the Old Testament, especially the Torah, the first five books from Genesis to Deuteronomy. There needs to be a healthy balance in teaching the two Testaments. They both have valuable insight for living the Christian life, and for leading a person to the saving grace of Christ.
In both the Old and New Testaments, there is only one Redeemer and Savior. Compare Isaiah 44:6, “Thus says the Lord, King of Israel, and his redeemer, the Lord of hosts, ‘I am the first and the last; besides me there is no god’”, with Acts 4:12 which says, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
The central theme of the entire Bible, from the first verse of Genesis to the last verse of Revelation, is God and his interaction with the human race. Yes, the Bible is full of violence and immorality, because that is the outward manifestation of a sinful nature living apart from God. It also has stories of people who are very righteous and religious but do not have a relationship with God. The Bible shows both the grace and judgment of God. But in the final analysis, we need both the Old and New Testaments to reveal to us the sinfulness of our hearts in need of forgiveness, redemption, and salvation through God’s Son, Jesus Christ.