Jesus crucified! What a glorious subject ! What a marvelous message! What preacher does not thrill at the opportunity to proclaim the Christ of the cross?Yet there is a danger of misuse of Paul’s declaration in 1 Corinthians 2:2. This danger is expressed in our attitude toward the Old Testament . It has been said among us, “do not preach from the Old Testament , and preach Jesus and Him crucified. We do not need the Old Testament because it was nailed to the cross.
Such a conclusion is false, as can be seen from the following:
He who said, “I determined not to know anything…except Jesus and Him crucified” also said, “Whatever things which were written before (i.e., the Old Testament) were written for our learning” (Romans 15:4). He who preached Jesus and Him crucified of ten quoted from the Old Testament in his sermons(see Acts 13:14-47). He who was the apostle to the Gentiles, wrote to them as if they should know the Old Testament.
Consider 1 Corinthians 10:1-11, where the one who determined to know nothing except Jesus and Him crucified, said that the events in the Old Testament were writ ten “as examples for us.” Should we, in preaching Jesus crucified, take away examples designed to help us follow the crucified Savior?No! Rather, we should follow the example of this preacher of the crucified Lord whose writings included quotations from Isaiah (Romans 15), Genesis(Romans 4; Gal. 3), Jeremiah (Romans 11), Psalms (Romans 9), Hosea (1Corinthians 15), Exodus (2 Corinthians 3), Ezekiel (2 Corinthians 6), and many other Old Testament books.
He who preached Jesus and Him crucified, of ten mentioned Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He spoke of Moses, David, Sarah, Hagar, and other Old Testament characters. The apostle Paul, the “apostle to the Gentiles”expected even the Gentiles to either know or to learn the Old Testament . He who determined to “know nothing except Jesus and Him crucified” used the Old Testament to prove that this crucified Jesus is the promised Savior of both the Jew and the Gentile (Acts 13). As a matter of fact , Paul was following the example of the crucified Christ when he preached from the Old Testament.
Jesus’ teaching was based on the Old Testament . Read the Sermon on the Mount and not ice the statement , “I did not come to destroy the Law or the Prophets, but to fulfill” (Mat thew 5:17) and “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life, and these are they which testify of me”(John 5:39). Not ice that Jesus was speaking to the Jews and the only Scriptures they had were the Old Testament scriptures. Those scriptures that speak of Jesus. Shall we forbid those who follow Jesus the very scriptures which speak of Him? God forbid. Rather, study the Old Testament to learn of Him (i.e., Isaiah 53; John 5:43-47).
If we do not study the Law, how shall we know the sinfulness of sin? (Romans7). How shall we come to understand the priesthood of Jesus without acknowledge of the Levitical priesthood? (Hebrews 7). Indeed, how will we appreciate the New Covenant without knowing the burden of the Old(Hebrews 8). And how shall we preach the blood of Jesus shed on the cross without comparing the crucified Christ to the blood of bulls and goats that can never take away sin? (Hebrews 10). Indeed, how shall we be led to Christ without a knowledge of the Law? (Gal. 3).
God told Hosea, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). And Paul said the Old Testament was “written for our learning” (Romans15:4).
Preachers, preach “Christ crucified” just as Paul did. Don’t let the church be destroyed for a lack of knowledge. Preach Christ and Him crucified from the Old Testament !
–Alton Norman, via the Montana Street bullet