Search the Scriptures, as Jesus spoke thus to those around him while he was on this earth.
On a biblical stand, at a fair, a young man asked for a New Testament, stating that he did not want to have the complete Bible! He thought the Old Testament was “out of date” as long as Christ came.
Certainly the texts of the Old Testament were written more than 3000 years ago! But God has made sure that they are kept in their entirety. For this long work of conservation of the text, he used for centuries pious scribes, very careful and patient, writing on the parchments used then.
The Apostle Paul wrote to his spiritual child Timothy: “Stay in the things you have learned … You know the Holy Scriptures that can make you stronger through your faith. God words are useful for teaching, for convincing, for correcting, for instructing in righteousness, that the man of God may be accomplished and perfectly prepared for every good work. To leave the Old Testament aside would be a serious mistake. At least three times the Word of God insists on warning us not to add or remove “Holy Scripture”.
The teaching of Jesus
Already 2,000 years ago, when the New Testament was not yet written, Jesus Christ showed throughout the Gospels, his way of teaching to crowds and disciples. By his marvelous example, he shows how his redeemed, led by the Holy Spirit, can also use the Old Testament in their contacts with souls, and meet their primary spiritual needs.
Let’s see, for example, how the Lord approached two discouraged disciples on the way from Jerusalem to Emmaus. He walks with them, inquires about the subject of their conversation, because he notes their sadness. They did not know that he was risen and did not recognize him!
With intense emotion, they tell the story of the previous days. They hoped that Jesus would deliver them from the yoke of the Romans. Now he had been crucified, with the consent of their religious leaders. He was dead: three days had already passed, all hope seemed to have disappeared.
Jesus takes them back with love and enlightens them: O people without intelligence and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have said! Was it not necessary for Christ to endure these sufferings and enter into his glory?. He makes abundant use of the scriptures that filled his heart. “And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he explained to them in all the scriptures the things that concern him”. For their greatest joy, he shows them that these Old Testament texts – which should have been familiar to them – spoke of him!
The Lord shares their meal and makes himself known to them in the breaking of bread. On their way back to Jerusalem, they will say, “Did not our heart burn within us, when he spoke to us on the way, and opened the Scriptures to us?”. This is what he always proposes to those who are discouraged or desperate.
The unity of the Bible
There are 66 books in the Bible, grouped in the two Testaments, Old and New. All these texts are deeply linked together. Moreover in the New Testament, quotations from the Old abound.
Beginning with Genesis – the first book of the Word – God makes himself progressively known to his creatures fallen into sin. Already in this book we find Abraham offering his only son Isaac as a sacrifice – but this only son will eventually be spared.
But in filigree we see the holy God, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He did not spare his only son. He died on the cross for us. The sufferings, the moral virtues of Christ, are sketched out in the life of men of God such as Joseph, David or Daniel … Looking through the book of Psalms that sings the glory of God, we find 15 texts par excellence Messianic. They relate essentially to Christ, the Messiah, in various aspects.
In his marvelous grace, God has given us a Savior in Jesus, His Son. He came to live voluntarily – as a man among men. He has poured out grace and love around him. Then he paid for us the high price of our redemption – on the cross. He is the full and definitive revelation of God! Now there are already in all the Old Testament types, as he was announced there by the Prophets.