Here’s the Good News, Part One

Bible Focus: Old Testament

He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Wasn't it necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and enter into his glory?" Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted for them the things concerning himself in all the Scriptures. 
Luke 24:25-27 CSB

Most moviegoers are thoroughly familiar with the terms remake, sequel, and prequel. A remake is an attempt to create a new version of a movie. Filmmakers often create remakes of classic movies to make them more attractive to current audiences. Sometimes they even remake less popular movies if they feel that their stories still have merit. In any case, a remake is made in the hope that it will improve somewhat on the original film.

On the other hand, a sequel or prequel is an attempt to create a new movie related to the story of one or more movies. Filmmakers create sequels and prequels to provide new stories to followers of original films and to expand the audience for those films’ series. A sequel is made in the hope that it will provide a satisfying continuation of the original story. A prequel is made in the hope that it will provide a satisfying background for the original story.

Most Christians know that the Bible has two main parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament. However, we shouldn’t think of the New Testament as a remake of the Old Testament. The New Testament continues the story of the Old Testament, and the Old Testament provides the background for the New Testament. We need both the Old and New Testaments to have a full picture of the good news.

We need both the Old and New Testaments to have a full picture of the good news.

The afternoon of the day that Jesus rose from the dead, two Jewish men set out on a seven-mile walk from Jerusalem to the nearby town of Emmaus. The men had been followers of Jesus. They had been devastated by Jesus’s arrest, trial, and crucifixion. But earlier that day, they had heard news that Jesus’s body was missing and that some angels had proclaimed that Jesus was alive. They didn’t know what to make of this news. They walked down the road toward Emmaus, vigorously discussing everything that had happened concerning Jesus.

As they walked along, a stranger came up alongside them and listened to what they were saying. The stranger was Jesus, but they didn’t recognize him. Jesus didn’t tell them who he was. Instead, he asked them to explain what they were talking about. They were amazed that anyone in the Jerusalem area could be ignorant about Jesus. So they explained the whole situation from the beginning, even telling the stranger of their own dashed hopes that Jesus would have rescued the nation of Israel. They also shared the puzzling reports they had heard about Jesus’s so-called resurrection.

That’s when Jesus turned their whole conversation around. Jesus gently rebuked the two men for not believing what God’s prophets had said all along. He told them that the Messiah was supposed to suffer. As they walked down the road, Jesus walked them through the Old Testament Scriptures, explaining to the two men how all the Scriptures pointed to Jesus. They were thrilled by his explanations, and when they finally reached Emmaus, they urged Jesus to stay with them that night. So he joined them for dinner, and he blessed the bread they were about to eat. As he broke the bread and handed it to them, they suddenly realized he was Jesus.

Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight. They said to each other, “Weren’t our hearts burning within us while he was talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us?”
Luke 24:31-32 CSB

Christians tend to focus on the New Testament, and for good reason. Without the New Testament, we wouldn’t have all the good news. The New Testament gives us all the stories about Jesus and the sacred writings of the early church. If we didn’t have the New Testament, we wouldn’t fully know how God rescues people from their sin and gives them eternal life through the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus.

But we shouldn’t miss this: without the Old Testament, we wouldn’t have all the good news either. The Old Testament gives us all the foundational stories about God, our sin, and God’s desire to rescue us. If we didn’t have the Old Testament, we wouldn’t fully know why we need to be rescued from our sin in the first place, nor would we fully know of God’s pattern–demonstrated thousands of years before Christ–of reaching out to save the people who trusted in him.

This is the reason I write: to demonstrate how all of Scripture points to the good news of Jesus Christ. We all need the good news, and we need all of the good news. It’s why I wrote my book. It’s why I’ve been writing The Truly Good Book devotional series here on the blog. Last week, I completed 52 devotions from the Old Testament, and Lord willing, I’ll continue writing another 48 devotions from the New Testament over this next year.

Thanks for reading! If God is blessing you through my writing, please share it with others. It’s amazing how many more people view my blog when someone simply re-shares a post on social media. Comments, likes, forwards, and in-person recommendations are great too; they all help spread the word. They might even help someone who really needs to hear the good news of Jesus today.

Featured image from Evan Smogor on Unsplash.

If you like this post, I hope you’ll check out my book. It’s available at Amazon and other booksellers.

This post is an overview of Part One of the Truly Good Book series. Sign up here for future posts.

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