When Understanding the Old Testament is Impossible
“Understanding the Old Testament is also impossible without reference to Christ. He is the key that unlocks all the mysteries of the Old Testament. This is not speculation; this is the teaching of the New Testament, both by direct statement and by example. When the resurrected Christ walked with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, He expressed His concern that they were slow to believe what the prophets had written concerning His suffering and glory (Luke 24:25-26). Then “beginning at Moses and all the prophets…he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27).
“Later in the company of all the disciples He declared that “all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me” and then “opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures” (Luke 24:44, 45). His reference to Moses, the prophets, and the psalms was the Jewish designation for the entire Old Testament, similar to our referring to the New Testament as the Gospels and Epistles. In other words, Christ said that the entirety of the Old Testament spoke about Him. The Pentateuch, the first five books with all their religious rituals, prepares the way for the Perfect Priest to stand between God and men as the perfect sacrifice for sin. The Historical Books draw attention to the Perfect King, who would come to rule His people and subdue His enemies. The Prophets anticipate the Perfect Prophet, who represents and reveals the only true and living God to man. The Poetical Books put it all together with the Christ as the great theme for worship and praise.
“What an authoritative clue for interpretation this is! It means that if we read any book of the Old Testament without reference to what it teaches concerning Christ, we are missing the key element in that book. If we do not see Christ, it is not because He is not there.”