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Why should Christians read the Old Testament?

Author: Mark Woods, 16 February 2024

One answer is that the whole Bible is inspired by God, and it’s all his word to us. 

Another is that it’s full of great stories and wonderful verse that feeds our spirits. 

Another is that the world of the New Testament grew directly out of the world of the Old; the early disciples knew the Hebrew Scriptures and they shaped the way they saw God, the world and themselves. 

We see the Jesus in the Old Testament

There’s a sense in which it was all written prophetically; it foreshadowed Jesus not just in its big story of God’s desire for a relationship with his people, but in the smaller tales that make up that large one. The Old Testament, too, is the story of Jesus. He’s there at Creation; through him God made the world (Colossians 1.16). He’s there at the Fall; he is the one who will bruise the serpent’s head (Genesis 3.15). 

The Exodus is a picture of the liberation that Jesus brings; the Exile is a picture of his abandonment; and throughout the Old Testament there are glimpses of him, in Joseph, in Ruth and in David; in the Psalms, in the Temple, and in Elisha; in the Servant Songs of Isaiah. 

In The Lent Encounter this year, we’re following the traces of the Jesus of the New Testament through the Old. We’ll be looking for him with the eyes of faith, and seeing how these ancient stories, poems and prophecies can shed more light on his life and work, and help us read them again with fresh understanding. 

You can join The Lent Encounter today and receive daily reflections like this one by email. Our Lenten journey, as it does every year, leads us to the cross and resurrection of our Lord. We’ll prepare ourselves to mourn on Good Friday and rejoice on Easter Sunday, with our minds and hearts full of the Scripture he knew so well himself.

Join The Lent Encounter

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