Do we need the New Testament?

Selie Visa

When we can learn about Jesus from the New Testament, do we need the Old Testament? Ask the counter-questiontoo. When we can learn so muchabout Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah, from the texts of the Old Testament, do we need the New Testament? These are not questions to debate on the relevance or the irrelevance of any portion of the Bible but to raisethe curiosityof believersand to encourage them to delve deeper into the word of God.This short Bible study is asummary of the origin of sin, its consequences, and God’s plan of salvation for mankindthat finds completion on the cross.The title is merely a cliff hanger. The primary messageisabout discovering Jesus Christ in Genesis and to understandhow the Old and the New Testament are correlated to each other.

Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating from the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil. You see, God gave them only one commandment but they couldn't keep it. Don't think you and I are different from Adam and Eve. Sin entered mankind through Adam for he is the head of the human race.

God told Adam in no uncertain terms that eating from the forbidden tree would result in death. This death is two-fold, physical death and spiritual death. Spiritual deathmeans the eternal separation from God. It is worse than physical death. It is the worst death one can ever think of. 

The serpent (Satan; the devil) caught the attention of Eve and started a conversation with her. Initially he asked seemingly harmless questions. Eventually, he told Eve that they will not die from eating from the forbidden tree andinstead they would become wise like God.The patience and tactic of Satanpaid off. The deceiver and the father of lies succeeded inconvincing Eve.

God did notforsake mankind even after they disobeyed him.The indescribable love of God for us is seen right before he cast Adam and Eve out of Eden. He made garments of skin for them. This is the first act of the kindness of God for fallen mankind. This is the first instance thatteaches us the meaning of the blood of Jesus. The garments could come only from an animal. An animal was sacrificed to clothe Adam and Eve. Blood is essential for the atonement of sin.

There is avery significantaccount in the story that is often overlooked bymany Christians. Two trees are specificallymentioned, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life.The Bible does not say thatAdam and Eve were driven out of the garden of Eden for eating from the tree of life knowledge of good and evil. It was a punishment for disobeying God’s commandment. But Genesis 3:22 tells us that they were cast out from the garden of Eden to prevent them from eating from the tree of life.

Has it ever occurred to you that casting out Adam and Eve was a judgment as well as an act of compassion? They have eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What would have happened if they stayed in the garden of Eden and thenate from the tree of life too? They will live in sin forever. There will be no possibility of redemption for them. On the appointed day, they will be thrown into the fiery pit of hell along with Satan and his followers to suffer eternal torment.

We have sinned by breaking God’s commandment. As sinners, we can no longer enjoy a close fellowship with the holy God. But all is not lost. God has set a plan of salvation, a plan to redeem us. This plan to redeem us is found in Genesis 3:15. There will be constant conflictbetween good and evil, between believers and Satan. The offspring (the seed) of the woman is Jesus Christborn to the virgin Mary through the Holy Spirit.Satan will strike the heel of Jesus Christ. This is prophetic of the Passion of Christ.He was mocked and humiliated. He wasblindfoldedandbeaten (third-degree torture). He was spit upon and his beard pulled off. The Roman soldiers whipped him, tearing his flesh and exposing the bones underneath.Then he was forced to carry his cross. Finally, they nailed himto a cross. Modern science has explained what it wouldbe likefor Jesus to die on that cross. It was anextremely painful and slow death. The details are gruesome beyond description.

There is no forgiveness of sin without blood. There is no salvation without blood. The Old Testament is filled with the bloodshed of animal sacrifices.But the blood of animals can not cleanse our sins. The animal sacrifices ofthe Old Testament are antitypesor shadowsof the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Our sins can be washed away only by the sinless blood of Jesus Christ.

Who killed Jesus? The Pharisees and the chief priests? All the Jews of Jerusalem? The Romans? No. We killed Jesus. He ascended from heaven to pay the wages of our sins with his life.He died because of our sins. He died for us and the best way we can return that favour is to live for him.

Is Jesus God? Hypostatic union is a common theological term. It simply means that Jesus was 100% God and 100% human.During the trial of Jesus, many charges were made against him. False witnesses were brought to testify against him. But none of them warrant a dead penalty. Eventually, they remembered Jesus claiming to be the Son of God. We may not immediately comprehend the significance of Jesus being the Son of God. But the Jews were quick to accuse Jesus of blasphemy. To declare oneself as the Son of God is claiming to be one with God or equal to God. Such a claim is blasphemous and punishable by death under the Mosaic law. But since the entire region was under the rule of Imperial Rome, the Jews could not carry out the death penalty their way. They took Jesus to Pontius Pilate. History will remember Pontius Pilate as a weak ruler who condemned an innocent man to Roman Crucifixion to please the crowd.

There is one more thing in Genesis 3:15 that we need to note. It says that the offspring or the seed of the woman will crush the headof the serpent. The serpentis Satan becausesnakes lacktheability of reasoning to misleador thepower of speech.The crushing of the head of the serpent can only mean one thing, a fatal blow.It is a total defeat from which there will be recovery. A time is coming when Satan and his followers willburn in hell for eternity.

It is finished! Christ died once and for all. No more animal sacrifices! No more priesthood! The veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom. We can approach the throne of grace with absolute confidence. In Christ, we are now reconciled with God. In Christ we are victorious.In Christ, we have overcome sin and death. Now, we look forward to eternal life in the glorious presence of our Lord.

Some Old Testament references (NIV):
Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, to strike his heel.”

Genesis 3:22 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not beallowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”

Isaiah 59:3 I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.

Isaiah 53:4-5 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.