How Jesus Makes the Old Testament New


September 1, 2020

John 5:41-47 (NIV)

“I do not accept glory from human beings, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?

“But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”


You know the trial is going bad when opposing counsel calls your star witness and turns him into your accuser. That’s the nutshell on today’s text.

“Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”

Did Jesus actually tell these Moses fanboys they didn’t believe what Moses wrote? Yep. He did. Translation: If you don’t believe what I say then you have no idea what Moses was saying. It’s another way of saying you can know the Bible upside down and inside out and completely miss the point. File it in the folder that says, “It should give us great caution.”

Something about the use of the term BC and the way we commonly understand it (i.e., Before Christ) bleeds over into our understanding of the Old Testament as being before Christ. Now, if Jesus is the lamb slain from before the foundation of the world, can there even be such a thing as “before Christ”? And if Jesus can be found throughout the Old Testament, how is anything before Christ?

Remember that time after Jesus rose from the dead and he came alongside those two guys walking down the road to Emmaus? They reported to Jesus all of the cataclysmic events of Jesus’ crucifixion. Then this:

He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. (Luke 24:25-27)

So here’s the question we need to consider: When we read Moses and the Prophets (i.e., the Old Testament) do we see Jesus? If not, then why not?

One sign that we are reading the Old Testament with Jesus is when what happened to those two disciples on the road to Emmaus begins to happen for us: “They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?’” (Luke 24:32).


Abba Father, thank you for Jesus, who is the Word made flesh. He is the one who came to fulfill the law of Moses, and who makes his fulfillment of the Law effective in and for us by the Holy Spirit who writes the Law on our hearts. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.


1. Why do people perceive such a disconnect between the Old Testament and the New Testaments?

2. Have you ever experienced the revelation of Jesus in the Old Testament that it caused a burning in your heart?

3. Are you ready to dive deeper into the Old Testament with Jesus? What is holding you back?

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For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt

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Comments and Discussion

One Response

  1. I believe the reason we might have difficulty seeing Jesus in the O.T. is the apparent disconnect between the way God is presented there as opposed to his nature as expressed in Jesus. Some Christians just can’t reconcile the two appearances. This is made even more difficult when certain Biblical teachers promote the idea that Moses didn’t really write the Pentateuch. Or that the Prophetical books where actually written after the fact and were not the words attributed to the named prophet. No, I’ve never experienced the warmed heart, but I’ve come to see more clearly Jesus’s presence in the O.T. narrative. Finally, yes I am looking forward to growing in faith and my knowledge of Jesus Christ in every way.

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