My Personal Experience And Perception Of The Old Testament
The Old Testament is a base for the new structure which is the New Testament, nobody can live inside a structure of concrete but they will live inside the building that is built upon that structure! The way a see the Old Testament is that it was a preparation, a base, a structure, a temporary Covenant intended to be replaced by a new one.
The Old Testament is that firm base that we cannot live because the roof that we need is not there, but for some time humankind had to find a way to live there in this type of basement without a house upon it, and it was wearisome, difficult, tight in space. But thank God every structure is there for a reason and the reason was the building to be constructed where living conditions improved 1000%, and that building is the New Testament and in it we have our Justification in Christ blood! The Old Testament Shows how human beings need mercy, how they by themselves cannot reach the standard they unsuccessfully seek!
Some years ago I had the opportunity to go to the Holy Land Theme Park in Orlando, and over there I saw a replica of the utensils of the Tabernacle and the priestly garments and many other things concerning the Old Covenant, and I could understand that Jesus is the perfect sacrifice and that all that happened in the Old Testament it was God planning our Salvation, when people of Israel sinned, God had to intervene and heal the nation again and again so that the right environment to the coming of the Messiah would be set in place. So the Old Testament in my perspective is this temporary alliance of God with men leading to an eternal one.
Jesus talks about the Old Testament on this verses below:
“Jesus said to him, ”You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.’
On theses verses Jesus summarizes the Old Testament in a way that we see that loving God with everything that we have and loving people as ourselves shows us that all the rites and commandments of the Old Testament was pointing to the direction of the New Testament with our actions and inner intentions are much more important than sacrifices and fulfilling many laws and statutes!
We can also see God’s grace in the Old Testament as if this was always his will and desire, to pour his Spirit on all the servants as HE did with David and debureaucratize the forgiveness to all as HE did with David. When David apart from priests and animal sacrifices was able to obtain forgiveness through recognizing his miseries, faults, sins, wickednesses, he was receiving the grace that only we in the New Covenant can receive!
Psalms 40. 6(a):
‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire’.
He was capable of discerning the what was in God’s heart for the future.
So the way I see it, it was always God’s plan back there but the law required
a perfect sacrifice for that.
Looking to David’s life in the period of history that he lived, in that time everything happened spiritually through the Tabernacle and through the priests, you had to go through mediators. But David had the Holy Spirit and he was only able to pull this off because he figured out God’s Mercy was great even though he was living in the time of the law, he was able to live the grace that was meant to be for us and advanced and made a way to receive forgiveness that only we can receive, that is, through confession and repentance without animal sacrifices, rites, and a mediator! It is so beautiful to see the life of David and admire his posture of living the future in the past! The other thing David lived that we live now in this New Covenant and see everyday in our churches is the power and importance of praising God in our everyday lives.
“Praise the Lord with the harp; Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.
Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy”.
David was able to go live something that a regular person did not live, and enjoy and rejoice in the presence of the Holy Spirit through praise in a time when the external and superficial type of rites abounded!
In the Old Testament we see animals dying and replacing men being their substitute, the animals were being slaughtered instead of people who actually sinned giving us the notion pointing to what Christ did for us on the cross.
In Hebrew we see the writer say that this New Covenant is superior than the Old One:
“…inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant…”
If we try to imagine a whole nation bringing sacrifices, millions of people going to the very same place to offer sacrifices and continuing to do so, all the Levites performing their duties but even though it was so complicated to administer all of that they and the priest did that for centuries. We that live in the Dispensation of Grace have look back so that we can value how we live today and how thankful and grateful we should be and value Jesus ‘sacrifice not taking it for granted. The Covenant is better because all the bureaucracy, rites and commandments to be followed and observed is replaced by loving God and your neighbor as we read in the beginning, and all the animals’ sacrifices are replaced for one and once for all. Truth be told, we live in a marvelous building thanks to the Old Testament that prepared and paved the way for New Testament. People who want to live in the Old Testament as juidizers of the church, don’t understand at all this notion. We are not to abide in the Old Testament because It was made to take us to the New, It was made so that the servants of God could receive forgiveness until the coming of Jesus with the last sacrifice, It was made to give us the consciousness of how sinful we are and how the demands of the law are impossible to be 100% followed and how we fall short of God’s standard of perfection, so that we can be justified only through Christ and we can look to him and be forgiven, saved, justified, built, filled with the Spirit, guided by the Spirit with his laws in our hearts. In our hearts we look back to understand today, this great salvation that have been hidden for Centuries and finally manifested so that we can live without guilt, burden or shame and that Jesus’ righteousness are valid for those who are in him and because our own righteousness could lead us only to condemnation. But we are made righteous through his perfection, righteousness and sacrifice. Something the Old Testament could never have done for us! But it brought us to this place of peace with God.