Christ: The Ground and Goal of the Old Testament

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We are in the middle of a series of messages called Spectacular Sins and Their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ. All but one of these sins happened before Christ came into the world. One might ask then: Should we really think of the purpose of these ancient sins having anything to do with Christ who came so much later? The answer is yes. The link between Christ and the Old Testament is more amazing than any of us realizes. Here are a couple general statements about that link. First, Luke said, in Luke 24:27, “Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, [Jesus] interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” And in John 5:39, Jesus said, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me.”

What follows is a sampling of how Christ is the ground and goal of everything in the Old Testament. Let this litany of Christ’s pervasive presence make you marvel at him and look for him everywhere.

  • Christ upholds all things (Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3). Therefore, all Old Testament events are possible because of Christ.
  • Christ created all things (John 1:3, 10; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2). Therefore, all that exists in the Old Testament is because of Christ.
  • Christ is one with God (John 10:30; 17:11, 22). Therefore, all that God does in the Old Testament Christ is involved in doing.
  • All things were created for Christ (Colossians 1:16). Therefore, all people, things, customs, nature, and events in the Old Testament are for the glory of Christ.
  • Christ is the end and goal of the law for righteousness to all who believe (Romans 10:4; Galatians 3:24). Therefore, all Old Testament commands lead to Christ for righteousness.
  • Christ was speaking through the Old Testament writers (1 Peter 1:10-12). Therefore, all the Old Testament is the word of Christ.
  • All treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in Christ (Colossians 2:3). Therefore, all Old Testament wisdom finds complete expression in Christ, the one who is wiser than Solomon (Matthew 12:41), who surpassed all the kings of the earth in wisdom (1 Kings 10:23).
  • Christ is the final high priest (Hebrews 1:3; 2:17-18; 3:1; 4:14-15; 5:5-10; 6:20-8:1-2, 6; 9:11-12, 24; 10:11-14; 10:21). Therefore, all the atoning action of priests in the Old Testament is fulfilled through Christ and their atoning work is ended in him.
  • Christ is himself the final atoning sacrifice (Romans 3:25; 5:9; Colossians 1:20; Hebrews 9:12-14, 25-26, 28; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18; 1 John 2:2; 4:10;). Therefore, all Old Testament sacrifices lead to him and end in him.
  • Christ is greater than the temple (Matthew 12:6; John 1:14; 2:18-22; Colossians 2:9). Therefore, he is “where” we meet and have fellowship with God and see his glory.
  • Christ is greater than Jonah (Matthew 12:41). Therefore, all the miracles of the prophets are surpassed in Christ’s Jonah-like miracle of death and resurrection.
  • Christ is preeminent in all things (Colossians 1:18; 3:11). Therefore, all greatness in the Old Testament points to and is surpassed by Christ’s greatness.
  • Christ is the Yes to all God’s promises (2 Corinthians1:20). Therefore, in him we are heirs of all the promises in Scripture.
  • Christ is the seed of Abraham (Galatians 3:16). Therefore, in him we inherit the promise of Abraham.
  • Christ is the son of David (Matthew 1:1; Luke 1:32, 69; John 7:42; Acts 2:30; 13:23; Romans 1:3; 2 Timothy 2:8; Revelation 22:16). Therefore, the covenant with David is ours in him (Isaiah 55:3).

Standing in awe of Christ—from whom and through whom and to whom are all things,

Pastor John