“Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28b-31(ESV)
Yesterday we looked at selected parts of the Old Testament and today we contrast the same parts as revealed in the New Testament. Though the same God, much of the difference is in focus. The Old Testament chronicles God's power and works, looking forward to the coming Messiah. The New Testament reveals that Jesus has come as the Messiah, as God himself incarnate on earth, fulfilling all that was prophesied (or will be fulfilled with His second coming),
12 Disciples/Church: With Jesus’s sacrifice, the Church age began. The setting apart of God’s holy people has been extended to the Gentiles (=non-Jews). Galatians 3:8: “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘In you shall all the nations be blessed.’ “
Practice of Worship: In the New Testament, Jesus offers Himself as the focus of worship, as the way, the truth, and the life, and (now) no one could come to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).
Covenant: Jesus came as a fulfillment of the Law, offering forgiveness and eternal life to all who believe in Him. The Jewish people (and Gentiles) no longer need the written Law to find atonement.
Satan & Sin exit: As Christians (=Christ within) we are overcomers and are no longer subject to the power of sin or Satan: “Where, O Death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1Cor 15:55-57.
World Judged & Destroyed: With the New Testament we learn much more about coming judgment and replacement of our current, fallen world, by a new Earth and new Heaven. Matt 24:35, Mark 13:31, 2 Peter 3:7, Rev 20:11.
God & redeemed people in Paradise: Paradise is located wherever God is. We will all visit heaven when judged by God. Unfortunately, not all will remain in heaven. Without knowing Jesus, and Him being our righteousness, our garments will be filthy rags, and unfit to remain in God’s holy presence, forever.
Daily Battle Order:
For this author, revisiting these selected differences has deepened my appreciation for how Jesus’s perfect sacrifice can link this Gentile to the promises of Israel. How about you? What do these differences between the Old and New Testaments mean to you?
Next week we dive into the very beginning - as we open up with Genesis.