Old Testament Allusions and Biblical Theology

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I have officially decided to start writing more regularly on the Biblical topic that ignited a fire within my soul 7 years ago, one that has been a steady stream of nourishment in Christ. The topic is a sort of mix of looking at how the New Testament alludes to Old Testament texts, mixed with a Biblical Theology of that text or topic. You see, 7 years ago I began thinking seriously about Luke 24. After dying for the sins of his people on the cross and raising victoriously three days later, Jesus shows up to two different groups of disciples. The one thing he makes clear to both groups is that they should have known that he would be crucified and resurrected. And how should they have known? From their precious Scriptures, our Old Testament. Jesus tells the first group,

And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:25-27, ESV).

After telling these disciples who are sad and confused by the crucifixion that they should have known this from the Scriptures, Jesus opens the Scriptures and shows them that he was on every single page. Their response is one that I also have had and hope to walk in the rest of my life. Seeing Jesus in all the Scriptures, they respond,

They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”

Why Should I Read the Old Testament?

The goal for this blog is primarily driven, whether you read it or not, as a means for me to study and enjoy the work that leads to a heart burning for Jesus. However, if you do read this blog, I hope to correct and make clear a couple wrong understandings in the Evangelical church today regarding the Old Testament. I myself have had these misunderstandings in the past and am sympathetic towards you if you hold these but also hope to help you see the Biblical story does not allow room for these. One of the main misunderstandings I hear is, “The Old Testament is not for us (Christians).”

That is an audacious claim to say the least. While I believe what some people are trying to say is that the Ceremonial Laws found primarily in Leviticus are not binding on the Christian in regards to salvation, the claim itself lumps the whole Old Testament into this category of “not for us.”

This is where I hope you can hear my heart and loving tone through writing. To miss the Old Testament and all it’s context for the New Testament will leave you without the depth and richness of who Christ is and what he has done. Reading the New Testament without understanding the allusions of the Old Testament is like looking at a picture of Niagara Falls and thinking that is the highest of all experiences in regards to seeing them. But going to Niagara Falls, seeing the movement of the water, feeling the power and rumble of water crashing down, smelling the pure water, and feeling the mist on your face far surpasses the picture.

That is what I hope to explore more deeply and so include you on the ride. The truth is that there are many men that have studied these things at greater lengths than I, and who I am still learning from often (Geerhardus Vos, G.K. Beale, D.A. Carson, etc.). However, while I have labored to read their 1,000+ page books to better grasp the beauty of things, my hope is to both show you and teach you in a way that doesn’t necessitate you reading all of those books (although, if you do you will find fruit from your labor). I want to post concise blogs that walk you through these allusions and how they unfold from the Old Testament to the New Testament, and how they are means to be the Holy Spirit’s intended route to see Christ lifted up and exalted for our great joy and delight. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:12-18,

Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 13 not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. 14 But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Next Time: Ephesians 6:10-20

The next post will begin by looking at how the Apostle Paul intended, by the Spirit of God, for the Ephesians and us to understand the armor of God passage. We will look at all the OT allusions he had in mind and how it makes that passage all the more beautiful, powerful, and hopeful.

Lastly, these will not be posted to the Kaleo Church website for two reasons: 1) I do not want to bombard the site and our people with my own studies unless prompted otherwise. 2) Although my views are in sync with the views of Kaleo Church, these blogs will be my own way of studying the texts and not finalities on a specific text.

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