- Have you ever found yourself reading the Bible and it not make sense to you?
- Have you ever felt like the Bible seems like two different books with one cover?
- Have you ever wondered what the connection was, if any, between the Old Testament and the New Testament?
- You know you are a New Testament believer or follower of Christ, but really what does the Old Testament have to do with me now in today’s time?
We are going to begin our Bible Study by grasping the most foundational truth of the entire Bible.
For a large part of the material in this study, I would like to acknowledge the following source:
The Miracle of the Scarlet Thread by Richard Booker, 1981 – Destiny Image Publishers
We must realize that the Bible is not a western book. It is based upon the eastern culture. You must take that into account when you are interpreting scripture.
The purpose of the Old Testament is to reveal the Lord Jesus Christ in God’s great Plan of Redemption.
The Old Testament is based upon types and shadows and works similar to a shadow picture that many of us had done when we were children. It bears the shape and resemblance of the real thing but it is not the real thing.
Because God has already been in eternity future as well as eternity past, He was able to lay this foundation in the Old Testament with the purpose that the shadow would highlight the real thing when He did arrive.
This is how the Old Testament and the New Testament are tied together: they both tell the same story.
The Old Testament tells that it is going to happen. The New Testament tells that it did happen.
The key to understanding the scripture was well said by St. Augustine: “The New is in the Old Testament contained, but the Old is by the New explained.”
Jesus Himself, confirms that the entire Old Testament is simply a portrait of Himself:
(John 5:39-47 NIV) You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. “I do not accept glory from human beings, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”
The Hebrew Bible was divided into three primary sections: The Law, The Prophets and Psalms and Proverbs (Wisdom Books)
(Luke 24:13-32 NIV) Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
(Luke 24:44-45 NIV) He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. The Old Testament is not a record of meaningless rituals, customs, places, names and unrelated events.
The Old Testament is an orderly, progressive, unfolding revelation from God, of the blood covenant He entered into with man through the Lord Jesus Christ.
In order to understand the Scriptures, one must always look for the Blood Covenant as it is woven throughout the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
In this study, we will cover the following:
- We will see the covenant in shadow form as it is spelled out in the Old Testament and how Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament and how we relate to Him in the New Testament.
- We will learn exactly what the Blood Covenant is and walk through what a Blood Covenant ceremony would have been like in the Old Testament as we see for example in David and Jonathan.
- We will see how the covenant affected Abraham’s relationship with God because his whole relationship was based upon was the covenant.
- We will look at the Tabernacle of Moses and discover some of the meaning and how it perfectly shows us Jesus.
- We will look at the Old Testament Priesthood that God ordained and the meaning behind the sacrifices they offered.
- We will look at the Passover Celebration and its significance to us and how Jesus is our Passover Lamb.
In The Miracle of the Scarlet Thread, Richard Booker made record of this poem:
I find my Lord in the Bible
Wherever I chance to look,
He is the theme of the Bible,
The center and heart of the Book;
He is the Rose of Sharon,
He is the Lily Fair,
Wherever I open my Bible,
The Lord of the Book is there.
He, at the Book’s beginning,
Gave to the earth its form,
He is the Ark of shelter,
Bearing the brunt of the storm;
The Burning Bush of the desert,
The budding of Aaron’s rod,
Wherever I look in the Bible,
I see the Son of God.
The Ram upon Mount Moriah,
The Ladder from earth to sky,
The Scarlet Cord in the window,
And the serpent lifted high;
The Smitten Rock in the desert,
The Shepherd with staff and crook,
The face of my Lord I discover,
Wherever I open the Book.
He is the seed of the Woman,
The Savior Virgin-born,
He is the Son of David,
Whom men rejected with scorn,
His garments of grace and beauty,
The stately Aaron deck,
Yet He is Priest forever,
For He is Melchizedek.
Lord of eternal glory,
Whom John, the Apostle saw,
Light of the Golden City,
Lamb without spot or flaw,
Bridegroom coming at midnight,
For whom the Virgins look,
Wherever I open my Bible,
I find my Lord in the Book.
The Blood Covenant is the common thread that runs throughout both Testaments and it is a covenant established in His blood.
Any time after the Fall of Man that you see God getting involved in the lives of men, the shedding of blood is always involved. Why?
(Leviticus 17:11 NLT) for the life of the body is in its blood. I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the LORD. It is the blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible.
Because of man’s sin, a holy God could not have any interaction with him unless there was life that was shed or spilled out because the penalty for man’s sin required it.
Without the shedding of blood, there is no payment, pardon or forgiveness for sin.
(Hebrews 9:20-22 NIV) He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
The Holy One cannot dwell in the same place as sin and therefore blood must be shed to forgive or wipe away sin so that His presence can show up.
There is more to this than just the shedding of blood. God has a greater purpose in this because of His desire and need to be in contact with man.
God is a covenant God.
Covenant: (Hebrew Dictionary) berîyth ber-eeth’’ (To cut until blood flows)
The covenant is the very foundation of our contact with God and His contact with us.
Blood covenant is an ancient rite. God instituted the covenant almost immediately after the fall of man.
(Genesis 3:1-7 NLT) The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the LORD God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.'” “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.
(Genesis 3:20-21 NLT) Then the man–Adam–named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all who live. And the LORD God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.
Adam was ashamed and afraid after he sinned. He no longer possessed the faith and confidence to stand before God because of sin. When sin is present, shame, guilt and condemnation always accompany it.
- What does man do? He tries in his own strength and ability to cover for his sin and shame.
- What did God do? He sacrificed and shed the blood of innocent animals in order to clothe or cover the nakedness of man.
God’s plan was that man always be clothed with the Glory of God and he once was. After the fall, that clothing was lost and for the first time, man was truly naked before God. God shed blood in order to provide a covering for Adam and Eve.
A covenant is simply a contract between two parties. A Blood Covenant goes much deeper than just a contract or simple agreement.
A Blood Covenant is the means by which two persons enter into the closest, most enduring, and most sacred of pacts. Only death can terminate the pact.
God wants that kind of relationship with man!