The Main Purpose of the
Old Testament Scriptures
According to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, when we study the Scriptures we must study it in the light of Him, looking to see Him in it.
For Jesus Christ taught the Jewish leaders and the disciples that He was the central figure , and the central sum and substance of the Old Testament Scriptures. He emphasized the truth and the fact, that all the holy Scriptures speak, testify and point to Him.
For example, Jesus told the Jews, "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me". (John5:39,46).
Furthermore, Jesus told two of His disciples on the road to Emmaus right after he rose from the dead, “Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself”. (Luke 24:25-27).
Jesus appeared to His disciples where they assembled, the doors being locked, “Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high”. (Lk.24:44-49).
The Apostle Peter declared, saying, “Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow”. (1Pet1:10-11).
The apostle Paul preached Jesus is the Christ from the Old Testament Scriptures everywhere he went. For he preached and taught that the Old Testament Scriptures are able to lead all people to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus, whether they be Jews or Gentiles, Sectarians, Barbarians, slaves or free, male or female, for there is no difference. For God is gracious and merciful to all who call on Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Paul wrote to Timothy reminding him of the Scriptures saying, “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work”. (2Tim.3:14-17).
Paul reasoned with the Jews, and with the Gentiles relying on the holy Scriptures, "explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, ‘This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.’"
The Jewish man Apollos mightily demonstrated by the old Testament Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.
The Bible says, “Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus.
This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John.
So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace; for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ”.
Philip from the old testament Scriptures preached Jesus to a man of Ethiopia: Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.” So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. The place in the Scripture which he read was this: “ He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth.
In His humiliation His justice was taken away, and who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.”
So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?”
Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?”
Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. (Acts 8:26-39).
Philip the evangelist preached Jesus to the Ethiopian eunuch from the Old Testament Scriptures that he was reading and was trying to understand. He was reading the prophet Isaiah chapter 53, the Old Testament holy Scriptures. The eunuch believed and was saved with great joy.
The apostle John who wrote the gospel of John made many references to the old Testament Scriptures, to point out and prove that Jesus is the Lord and Savior and concluded by declaring, “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name”. (John 20:30-31).
All the apostles who wrote the four Gospels’ and all Epistles’ demonstrated from the Old Testament Scriptures with signs and wonders by the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God.
All the apostles spoke with one voice, one mind and one accord, to who they believed to be the central figurehead and the central sum of all of the Scriptures , they mad it very clear, it is the Lord Jesus Christ.
The main purpose of the Old Testament was not to reveal the history of all of creation, or the laws, or the history of man, or the Jews and Gentiles, the end times or any other things. Although the Old Testament reveals all these things and even more, it was not the main purpose.
The main purpose of the Old Testament Scriptures was an anchor for all of mankind to know the true God, and a tutor to prepare all people for the revelation and the coming of the Son of God, Jesus Christ the Lord, His person, power, wisdom, glory and majesty. His plan of Salvation from the begging in the Garden of Eden and before the Creation of the world was and is for Adam the first Man, and all of Adam’s descendants who would believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior!
It was written to be a voice crying in this wilderness world to prepare all mankind for the way of the LORD and Make His paths straight. By humbling ourselves before God with repentance for all of our sins and have faith in Jesus Christ as our only Savior and Lord. (the Salvition of God is Jesus).
And of course “ For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope“.
It was also written and given for examples for all people to heed, fear and obey God, “Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them.As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come”. (Corinthians 10:1-11).
Before Christ was manifested in the flesh, The early Jews used the Old Testament to know God’s will, laws, promises and their roots and customs. But after Jesus Christ was manifested, the Jews who accepted Him as Lord and Savior used the Old Testament to show that Jesus was the Christ.
For us believers in Jesus Christ, the Old Testament Scriptures’ primary function is to reveal God’s plan of Salvation through Christ from the beginning in the Garden of Eden when God promised that the “Seed of the woman will crush the head of the devil. And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” (Genesis 3:5).
Also God kept the promise by promising Abraham that in His Seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed (all nations, not some), because you have obeyed My voice”.
The apostle Paul reveals and explains that the Seed is Christ saying, “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ:
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they (Hebrews 1:1-4).
So the Old Testament is not to be a book of do’s and don’ts or centered on Jews and the end of the world. Yes, it reveals much about the Jews, the end time and all other things that everyone else gets caught up in. But it is to be primarily Christ-centered, as the Savior of the whole world.
Jesus declared to Nicodemus the religious Pharisee, (a teacher and a leader of the Jews), “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
We are called to accept and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and to be filled with His Holy Spirit and be His witnesses to all people making no distinctions in race or color, and not the witness of all the things people get caught up in.
The Lord Jesus Christ, before He ascended back to heaven in His resurrected glorified body, assembled together with all of His disciples, and commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”
And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Mein Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:4-8).”
In other words, Jesus told all of his disciples it is not your business, call or purpose. “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority". “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
(you shall be witnesses to Me! and not of the kingdom of Israel or anyone else). Talk about Jesus, follow Jesus and be His witnesses to the end of the earth.
We are to wake up and look up unto Jesus Christ, the Savior of the whole world.
Do not be caught up with all the other things of this world! Do not be caught up with the End Times or the restoration of the kingdom of Israel to the Jews, or the Antichrist and all the other things that people preach rather than knowing and preaching Jesus to all people equally.
Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.
2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation!
3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,
4 though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so:
5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee;
6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.
8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ
9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;
10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Pressing Toward the Goal
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.