The Story Chapter 22 - The Birth of a King
So, we are now into the New Testament, but I'm seeing all sorts of references back to the Old! Imagine just jumping into the Gospels without some background to build on. It would be like jumping into a trilogy and skipping episodes one and two and starting with three. It would be like watching Rocky V without watching the previous four installments (did anyone really watch Rocky V anyway?). You could probably get some sense of the story, but you would miss out on so much!
No doubt we live under the new covenant but knowledge of the old proves itself so important. Right off the bat in this opening chapter of the New Testament we see repeated quotes, references, and allusions to the Old.
Case in point:
John's introduction to the story of Jesus has several allusions back to Genesis 1. "In the beginning," "light," "word of God". There's no doubt that John sees the coming of Jesus as somewhat of a new genesis, a new beginning.
Joseph is a descendent of David. Is this really a surprise? We start reading about this young couple and then it's revealed - "Oh, by the way, Joseph is a descendant of David." We couldn’t imagine it being any different. The gospels see Jesus as a new king and as good as David was he's not even worthy to shine this king's shoes!
Quotes from prophets. Already in this brief introduction to the coming and ministry of Jesus we have quotes from prophets who lived HUNDREDS of years ago. Micah and Jeremiah are cited as talking about this child's birth! The gospels see Jesus as the climax of prophecy. It was really all about Him even before he was here!
And this is just the beginning. Throughout the New we will see numerous glimpses of the Old. The past 21 weeks have helped set the stage for this new and exciting work of God and knowledge of those "old" stories will enhance our understanding of the "new." We may be starting a new testament but it sure helps to have read the old.