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The Essential Testament - Arrival Series [6-14-20]

Updated: Jun 22, 2020

How's this for irony? After a nearly two year series on the Gospel of John, we're going to revisit his gospel to look at how essential the Old Testament is to our understanding of Jesus and salvation. The Old Testament shapes our worldview. It informs the language we use to talk about faith and our place in the world. Here's the source of our confidence in the Old Testament and why it's so important to our faith. These are the words of Jesus:

If you believed Moses, you would have believed me, for he wrote of me. - John 5:46
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me. - John 5:39

The word "Scriptures" refers here to the Jewish Scriptures. That's what we call the Old Testament, which of course wasn't the Old Testament 2000 years ago. The Jewish Scriptures were, specifically, the Torah, or the five books of Moses, and more generally also included the writings, the poetry, and the prophets.

In more recent times, the Jewish Scriptures have also been called the Old Covenant. We call it that because we believe that the Jewish Messiah has come…that is, Jesus Christ…and by his death and resurrection has inaugurated a New Testament…a New Covenant. Thus Jeremiah 31:31:

Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.

So the writings that Jesus authorized through his apostles are included in our Bibles because they summarize the completion of what was promised in the Old Covenant - the New Covenant.

What do you think was the decisive moment in the New Covenant? Right…that Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, died for sinners so that both Jews and Gentiles, who believe in him would become heirs of the Old Testament promises. Jesus taught this when he said:

"I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with