Step 4 - How to Read and Study the Old Testament

Look For Jesus And Those Things Which Point Us To (And Prepare Us For) The Gospel.

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You Know My Name

Look For Jesus And Those Things Which Point Us To (And Prepare Us For) The Gospel.

A number of years ago John R. Cross wrote a book entitled, The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus. It basically presents the story of Jesus as our Lord might have given it to the two men on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24:13-35. This approach was taken by missionaries, who wisely determined that the gospel should not be given to lost natives by starting in the New Testament, but rather by beginning where the gospel does -- in the Old Testament. The natives were enthralled by the story of salvation as it was progressively told to them. They were eager to hear how it ended, but the missionaries kept on in the Old Testament until the story reached the point of the New Testament Gospels.

The point I am seeking to make is that the gospel doesn’t begin with the New Testament Gospels, but rather it starts in Genesis chapter 1, and then is progressively revealed throughout the Old Testament. The God who brought salvation to men is the same God who created the universe (see John 1:1-3). To present the gospel only from the New Testament is not the complete story. The Old Testament is not only foundational to the gospel, it is the introduction to the gospel (see Genesis 3:15). Thus, we must continually look for gospel clues as we read through the Old Testament. These are the very things to which our Lord Jesus referred on the road to Emmaus.

So let’s hear about this from our Lord Jesus:

“You study the scriptures thoroughly because you think in them you possess eternal life, and it is these same scriptures that testify about me” (John 5:39).

So he said to them, “You foolish people– how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Wasn’t it necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 

Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things written about himself in all the [Old Testament] scriptures (Luke 24:25-27; see also 24:44-45).

Discussion Questions

  1. What is fourth step to apply when reading and studying the Bible?
  2. What other benefits can you think of that are applicable in applying this step that were not mentioned in this study?
  3. Let the group share any personal revelation that was realized by completing this study.
  4. Can you think of any other scriptures that may apply to this study?
  5. What was the take away message from step four?

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