Recently I discovered the first thirteen seasons of the TV show CSI. I began to watch this program in its fourteenth season, so I was curious to see the earlier episodes. After my initial surprise at how young the continuing characters were back then, what struck me most was how much better I was understanding the current stories as I learned the history of the show and its characters. Although I had enjoyed it without knowing what came before, catching up on the early years is like reading a novel with all its nuances.
There are many Christians who confine their Bible study to the New Testament, considering the Old Testament almost irrelevant. That’s like watching only the current season of a long-running TV show, or reading only the last book in a series of novels; while it may be pleasant and, in the case of the Bible, edifying, without learning the back story leading up to it, the deeper meaning is lost.
The entire Bible is the story of Jesus, God incarnate. He is present in the opening lines of Genesis and was there at Creation, “In the beginning was the Word (Jesus).” His earthly life if predicted and foretold all through the Old Testament. The New Testament is the fulfillment of the promises of the Old and becomes clearer and richer when we dig deeply into the back story God has given us.
Studying and understanding the whole Bible is the task of a lifetime, but what a rewarding effort. If you have been ignoring the first half of the Scriptures, I urge you to rediscover the Old Testament today and add it to your daily reading. You will be all the richer for it.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness – 2 Timothy 3:16