I am grateful that the work of biblical theology is becoming more common both among scholars and also among preachers, but there are still some who do not see the rationale of proclaiming Christ from Old Testament texts. At a conference once I was making a biblical case for a gospel-centered preaching of the OT, even saying that many Christians do not preach the Old Testament in a Christian way. Afterward an attendee took issue with me in the foyer. “You preach the text as it lays,” he said. “Indeed,” I tried to convince him, “and every OT text lays, as Spurgeon put it, ‘along the road to Christ.'”

In case you wonder where some of us get this stuff, here are some New Testament texts that should have significant effect on how we preach and teach the Old.

John 5:39 — “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me”

John 8:56 — “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.”

Luke 24:27 — “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”

Acts 2:14-28 — The first Christian sermon, Peter’s at Pentecost, is essentially a Christ-centered exposition of Joel 2 and Psalm 16.

Romans 15:4 — “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 — “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.”

2 Corinthians 1:20 — “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.”

Galatians 3:24-25 — “So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian”

The entire book of Hebrews

The truth is, the entire New Testament—from the Gospels to Revelation—is full of the fulfillment of Old Testament texts in the person and work of Christ. The Old Testament is Christian Scripture. We have more than enough reasons to teach it as such.

Helpful Resources:

Preaching Christ from the Old Testament by Sidney Greidanus
Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church by Michael Lawrence
According to Plan by Graeme Goldsworthy
Jesus on Every Page by David Murray
Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament edited by D. A. Carson and G. K. Beale