Tonight I began reading Look to the Rock: An Old Testament Background to Our Understanding of Christ by Alec Motyer. Lately I have been under the conviction that I need a better understanding of the Old Testament in order to more fully appreciate and understand the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Christ. Simply put, I desire to know the Old Testament because I know it is important to knowing Jesus and I long to know my Savior. I thought Motyer’s book would be helpful in that endeavor. I have only read the introduction and first chapter but it has not disappointed so far. One of the main points of the book is to bring unity to the Bible and its authority. We often act as if the New Testament carries more authority than the Old Testament because Jesus is humanly present in the New Testament. This kind of thinking fails to recognize that Jesus is present in all of Scripture and thus all of Scripture is authoritative. As Motyer says:
This great Lord Jesus came from outside and volutarily and deliberately attached himself to the Old Testament, affirmed it to be the word of God and set himself, at cost, to fulfil it (e.g. Mt. 26:51-54). This fact of facts cuts the ground from under any suspicion that the doctrine of biblical authority rests on a circular argument such as, ‘I believe the Bible to be authoritative because the Bible says it is authoritative.’ Not so! It was Jesus who came ‘from outside’ as the incarnate Son of God, Jesus who was raised from the dead as the Son of God with power, who chose to validate the Old Testament in retrospect and the New Testament in prospect, and who is himself the grand theme of the ‘story-line’ of both Testaments, the focal-point giving coherence to the total ‘picture’ in all it complexities. (p. 21-22)
To summarize…it’s all about Jesus. All of Scripture centers and converges on Jesus Christ. You cannot properly understand the New Testament Jesus without the Old Testament background. Simple and yet profound.