Why We Need the Old Testament

“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” Matthew 1:1

The Gospel of Matthew begins by answering the question for us of why we need the Old Testament. We cannot begin to understand Jesus Christ and his ministry without knowing the Old Testament. In Sunday School we have been looking at, and looking up all the quotations from the Old Testament that Matthew lists for us.

All 27 books of the New Testament assume the readers know the Old Testament. Those who would claim that we don’t need to read the Old Testament don’t really understand the Bible and how it all fits together. We need to be good students of all of Scripture and that will help us in our understanding.

Here are a few more examples that we have enjoyed from the book of Matthew in our Sunday School class:

“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord has spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel.” Matthew 1:22-23

This wonderful prophecy from Isaiah 7:14 was given over 700 years before the birth of Jesus.

“That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: ‘He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.’” Matthew 8:16-17

This is quoted from Isaiah 53:4, which is a familiar chapter regarding the Messiah who was to come. In fact, Matthew uses these fulfilled prophecies to point out how the Jews of the first century should have recognized Jesus as the Christ because of the Old Testament Scriptures.

One passage we have not come to in our study yet is when Jesus quotes Psalm 22:1 on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” The Jews present would have recognized this Psalm that Jesus was quoting.

I encourage you, when you finish reading this weekly thought, to turn to Psalm 22 and read the entire Psalm. What a blessing to see this Old Testament Scripture that Jesus fulfilled in his death. And I also encourage you to join us every Sunday at 1PM (except on fellowship meal day) for our Sunday School class. Let us continue to learn God’s Word together.

“Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.” Psalm 22:30-31

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