Today's Foundations Devotional: The authority of the Old Testament in Christ’s life

Yesterday we read Jesus' statement that not the smallest sign of the Law or the Prophets may be omitted. With that He emphasized the authority of the Old Testament.

Consistently throughout His earthly teaching ministry He maintained the same attitude toward the Old Testament Scriptures. For instance, we read that when the Pharisees raised a question about marriage and divorce, Christ answered by referring them to the opening chapters of Genesis (see Matt. 19:3-9). He introduced His answer by the question:

Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning “made them male and female”? (v. 4).

The phrase “at the beginning” constituted a direct reference to the book of Genesis since this is its Hebrew title.

Again, when the Sadducees raised a question about the resurrection from the dead, Christ answered them by referring to the account of Moses at the burning bush in the book of Exodus (see Matt. 22:31-32). As with the Pharisees, He replied in the form of a question:

Have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”? (Matt. 22:32).

Christ here quotes from Exodus 3:6. But in quoting these words recorded by Moses nearly fifteen centuries earlier, Christ said to the Sadducees of His own day, “Have you not read what was spoken to you by God?” Note that phrase “spoken to you by God.” Christ did not regard these writings of Moses as merely a historical document of the past, but rather as a living, up-to-date, authoritative message direct from God to the people of His own day. The passage of fifteen centuries had not deprived the record of Moses of its vitality, its accuracy or its authority.

Not merely did Christ accept the absolute accuracy of the Old Testament Scriptures in all His teaching, He also acknowledged their absolute authority and control over the whole course of His own earthly life. From His birth to His death and resurrection there was one supreme, controlling principle which was expressed in the phrase “that it might be fulfilled.” That which was to be fulfilled was in every case some relevant Scripture passage of the Old Testament. For example, the Bible specifically records that each of the following incidents in the earthly life of Jesus took place in fulfilment of Old Testament Scriptures:

His birth of a virgin; His birth at Bethlehem; His flight into Egypt; His dwelling at Nazareth; His anointing by the Holy Spirit; His ministry in Galilee; His healing of the sick; the rejection of His teaching and His miracles by the Jews; His use of parables; His betrayal by a friend; His being forsaken by His disciples; His being hated without a cause; His being condemned with criminals; His garments being parted and divided by lot; His being offered vinegar for His thirst; His body being pierced without His bones being broken; His burial in a rich man’s tomb; His rising from the dead on the third day.

The entire earthly life of Jesus was directed in every aspect by the absolute authority of the Old Testament Scriptures. When we set this fact side by side with His own unquestioning acceptance of the Old Testament Scriptures in all His teaching, we are left with only one logical conclusion: If the Old Testament Scriptures are not an absolutely accurate and authoritative revelation from God, then Jesus Christ Himself was either deceived or He was a deceiver.

Thank You Heavenly Father, that the entire course of life is described so impressively and accurately in the Old and New Testaments. Help me, Lord, to continually reflect on the truth of Your glorious, living Word and to know Your liberating truth ever deeper. Amen


Click on the link below for the Derek Prince book that these daily devotionals are based on:

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